In an online environment that is seemingly full of marketing opportunities it is challenging for small businesses that don’t have a big budget to hire a marketing team, hence the need for them to learn how to become social on their own. Everyone’s eyes are on mobile devices and social networks, but when it comes to social marketing, what works for organizations and bigger businesses may not necessarily work for small businesses.
Ignoring the potential of email newsletters to increase your sales
Neither Facebook nor Twitter can replace good old email marketing, whose directness, immediacy and higher conversion rates recommend it as a sustainable, long-term marketing tool even in the age of micro-blogging. The key to using email marketing effectively is to provide unique content and exclusive offers.
Trying to market your business on too many social platforms
As a small business, you probably don’t have the financial resources to sustain promotional campaigns across all networks. So it’s easier to focus on Facebook and Twitter, where most users are, and then slowly discover the other platforms that can help you spread the word about your business. For example, if you run a ‘visual’ business, go for YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr.
Trying to sell your knowledge
Sell products and services, but not your knowledge — people are sick and tired of e-books that promise to reveal to them great secrets and to bring them fantastic results in no time. Share your expertise for free through regular blog posts, YouTube videos, infographics, resources, and other social content; sooner or later people will flock to you.
Failing to provide a good mobile experience
Too many people search for businesses, locations, and even products and services through their mobile devices; you can’t afford not to invest in optimizing your website, to ensure it runs smoothly on smartphones and tablets. If you don’t have a responsive theme, grab one as soon as possible.
Not developing a mobile app if you don’t have one already.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling donuts, delivering fresh fruits to local companies, designing web pages, or raising cattle: with a bit of creativity and a small investment that in time will pay off you can build an iOS/Android application to make it easier for your customers to buy from you, keep track of their orders, discover your products, and more.
Finally, a warning: don’t become complacent and think that having a website, some social profiles, and a Google Maps listing is enough for your business to be visible online. Instead, be socially involved, distribute valuable content, and seek to continually improve your mobile experience.