If you’re a business owner, then congratulations, you are independent! The next thing for you to do as a business owner is to stay that way. One way of going about that is through social media. The days of going door to door are long gone, and email alone is enough to signify that. Facebook and Twitter have just expanded the game.
It would be ignorant to say that the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic hasn’t created a gradual shift in the business model. It’s no longer news to recognize that there has been a radical flip involving remote workers, curbside pick-ups, delivery, and the implementation of social distancing practices in the workplace. The business world, in general, has shifted. Although some would argue that this accelerated change has been for the worse, the more optimistic and ambitiously driven business-oriented entrepreneurs would see the opportunity at hand.
How Can A Business Owner Grow Their Business?
For a business to grow, it needs to achieve greater consumer expansion. How is this done? Well, the simple answer is to get consumers to buy your stuff. Sadly, things are never as easy as the simple answer would like to dictate. If you are a business owner, you’re no stranger to competition, and living in the era of social media platforms only reinforces the scope of the playing field.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Instagram have all changed the plateau of global communication. It has become instrumental for the business sector, particularly as a form of advertising rather than just fancy communication. Promoting a business through a social media platform has increased business owners’ capacity to market themselves to a broader audience. This can be accomplished through features like daily postings, ad purchasing, or even live events as a more direct approach to marketing. The possibilities of social media as a tool for business growth are tremendous. But what many business owners underestimate about social media is that they see it as merely the key instead of the bridge towards building a better, more successful enterprise.
How Business Owners Should Not Use Social Media
Any business owner can market their brand through a website. Website builders like Squarespace and Wix have been useful in allowing the most ambitious entrepreneurs the chance to create websites with zero coding experience. But, being able to build your own website is radically different from using it effectively.
The same can be said for a business owner’s approach to promoting their brand through a social media platform. In fact, Sprout Social estimated about 47% of social media marketers say their number one challenge is supporting business initiatives. It’s no wonder so many businesses struggle and potentially fail.
If a business owner does not use social media as a means of meeting quantitative business goals, they’re failing to fully utilize social media marketing when it comes to the growth of their business. Hanging out all day on social media is fine, but business-oriented marketing is more focused on measurable outcomes, including increasing website traffic and boosting conversions.
Many business owners believe that creating a Facebook page centering around their brand will justify using a phrase like “Look how amazing my program is. Please buy our products.” It’s obvious to say that simply asking for something won’t guarantee acquiring it. But, if you want to grow your business, you have to understand why you turned off potential consumers.
Here’s a different approach, say you have expertise in Martial arts. In fact, you have a lot of passion for the practice. You think that because it helped you, you can use it to help others, and maybe that’s something to build a business around. The next part is the how, and it involves doing more than asking potential consumers to buy your merchandise.
How about something like, “Check out my website where you can learn everything exciting about Martial Arts. Explore a variety of fighting styles, such as Muay Thai, Taekwondo, and Jiujitsu. We are an awesome business made up of an awesome team. We will work hard to entertain, inspire, inform, and help you better learn to not only defend yourself but also to know yourself as you explore the ever-evolving variety of martial arts.” It may not get consumers to automatically buy your custom-made company mugs, but it will help keep them on the website long enough to keep clicking and essentially sharing with their friends and family.
Lightening The Load
If you want to start a business, then you can’t be lazy. It’s almost laughable to see how easily business owners believe their companies can grow with minimal effort or even with an excessive load. What is meant by this? Having multiple social media platforms can give small business owners many options, especially when just starting out. Sadly though, as much as this is considered a gift, it is also a curse when poorly mismanaged.
One common approach most business owners make when using social media to promote their business is often to use all or most available platforms.
The beauty of the internet is undoubtedly an optionality. However, there is also the burden of having too many options, and it’s a dilemma business owners suffer from. Instead of taking it slow, they go full force by creating a Facebook page, a YouTube channel, a Podcast, a Linkedin profile, an Instagram page, etc. These are the kinds of entrepreneurs that decided to run a track field long before knowing how to crawl as all beginners should. What often allows for businesses to grow more organically is the slow approach, and that can only be done by taking baby steps that include:
1. Starting With One Platform:
It’s easy for a business owner to set up a Facebook page centering around their Marital arts courses. It’s probably an even more efficient venture for them to start their program through a YouTube channel where they can take a more active role. But then there’s the underlying insecurity that, unfortunately, even the most experienced and successful business owners never truly get over. That is the feeling that “I’m not doing enough.” All business owners have this, and it is a testament to the commitment needed to ride this game.
Every responsible business owner has an ambitious drive, and it pushes them to achieve more efficient results. At the same time, though, it can often lead them to jump the gun and go overboard when they set up ten more social media accounts centering around their businesses in the span of a week. This kind of tactic, although sometimes a risk worth taking if trying to achieve audience growth, can lead to an overwhelming level of responsibility for a business that not only hurts their current customer base but even diminishes the chance of expanding it at a consistent rate.
Starting with just one social media platform, although a slow start, is the necessary approach if a business owner is to maintain some level of balance. Going all out will not only exhaust them mentally from having to constantly update their multiple company pages. But it will send a bad message to any consumers that have already seen their business, and that will catch up, especially in a digital space where word of mouth spreads fast.
2. Starting With A Limited Customer Base
Although every business should try to attract as many consumers as possible, it’s equally important for small businesses to step back and look at their limits. This approach should go beyond the economic instability created by the Covid-19 pandemic, which, although accelerated the business model for many companies, also harmed many small business ventures, particularly ones that didn’t fully understand their own capabilities.
If a business owner is to utilize social media effectively whilst promoting their business, then they need to get consumers, which is obvious. However, in addition to going for far too many platforms when first starting out, small businesses often bite off more than they can chew when it comes to garnering consumers. Initially, that will be the goal of their business if they hope to grow. But small steps like targeting the people you already know and building on those relationships can be a greater investment than trying to build a Linkedin or Twitter account with the aim of gaining over a million followers as quickly as possible.
Having quantity over quality has never worked in any business venture. If a business owner aims for a million followers on their Facebook page while ignoring the opportunity in investing in the very few people they could essentially use to expand the business more organically is a wasted opportunity.
Having a loyal customer base isn’t just a good starting point. It’s also the perfect trigger for a potentially rewarding domino effect. When the Covid-19 lockdowns began, many businesses had to be closed down while major retailers like Amazon and Walmart were hailed as the big providers for online orders. It’s only natural given the popularity and efficiency these companies provide that a majority of consumers would rely on them to fulfill their basic needs. Despite that, there were plenty of people under lockdown who still relied on the small mom and pop shops to provide their more preferential needs. Now, as to which are still around today is up for debate. Many businesses never make it into the mainstream whilst still retaining a moderate and potentially expansive level of success.
It all depends on which businesses got back to their loyal customers explaining how “At the moment, due to the restrictions of the lockdowns, we cannot continue operations until further notice. But upon any updates, we will gladly notify you. We greatly appreciate the opportunity to satisfy your customer needs” as opposed to the mundane “Sorry, but Covid has slowed down our operations. You’ll have to look elsewhere until further notice.”
Not every business is built for a crisis. But how a business responds to its customers in the event of such an occurrence, especially its more frequently loyal ones only aides in their use of social media. Having a limited customer base to build relationships can go a long way. In all the ways a bad review on a businesses’ Facebook page can damage it for the long run, a good review can initially help grow a business when business owners recognize the investment potential they can make. Sure they can seize the opportunity to buy cheap ads, which is what many did last year. But businesses aren’t built from just the investment of great tools but through the investment in the strategy. Sometimes the best method of investment is in the people that help evolve the scope of that strategy.
Take Action By Starting Small And Forgetting The Finish Line
Even with the steps laid out, there is no how-to manual when it comes to building a business. Whether it remains small or grows to exponential proportions, the bottom is where every business owner initially has their start. Rushing to the top will do no good. In fact, there really should not even be a top because then that implies that there is an end goal in sight.
Any successful business venture lives on the core aspect of constant growth and unending expansion. What often kills this is the idea that there is an end. The worst business owners to implement this strategy are the ones who don’t see that they are part of a long game.
If you want to start a business, then social media is the way to go. But thinking a few posts and a limited goal only adds to the disappointment you will inevitably feel when business is slow until it is ultimately dead. But every business with ambition as the driving force is part of a long game, and the businesses that understand the use of social media in building their platform also understand that they are playing for the long term. The short term will only lead to a quick end to their business.
Get in touch with Brandstar Digital’s social media marketing experts today to learn more about how we can help your business make the most out of your social media efforts.