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The Things No One Tells You About Digital Marketing for Small Businesses (Part Two)

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digital marketing small business

[5 minute read]

Hello again. We’ve kicked off the month of March by lifting the veil on some hidden truths about digital marketing for small businesses. If you missed out on part one, give it a read and let us know what you think. In case you’re a digital marketing newbie and the thought of delving into the technical details makes you want to bite your nails, relax, this series is for small business owners, marketers and anyone who’s interested in building their empire online. And it’s collaborative, so if you have something to say on the topic, connect with us on socials (details at the end of this post) and we’ll reach out.

But now, let’s get down to business. Presenting part two in a digital content series we’re flippantly calling: Demystifying Digital Marketing for Small Business. 

Untold Truth #3: You don’t have to be on every social media platform to stay relevant

There’s panic in the air. We call it the “me-first” syndrome and it’s spreading faster than the news about J-Lo’s divorce. We’re living in the 21st century a.k.a the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and that means that the rate of innovation is snowballing. With the invention of the first social media platform, what were once regional and national communities mushroomed into a global community that is always connected and on the move. Once the movement gained momentum, techies started coding. After Facebook came Youtube, after Youtube there was Twitter, after Twitter we all wanted to be on Tumblr. There are in excess of 95 social media platforms in existence (that we know of) and brands around the world have joined the scramble to become the most social. The rat race is real. But here’s something that no one will tell you – you don’t have to join the rat race. 

Not every social media platform is going to be relevant to your brand message. And there’s nothing more cringeworthy than seeing brands trying to force the fit. Before choosing whether you’d like to jump on the next big thing, we suggest considering the following:

  • Does the demographic match your target audience?

We once believed that only millennials loved Youtube but it’s become a shangri-la for brands aimed at children. It’s child protective policies have made it a safe option for parents all around the world. Unboxing videos, toy trials, reviews, sing-a-longs – if the content is on Youtube, kids are tuning in. And did you know that Twitter’s demographic is majority male? Look into the demographic profile of each social media profile before including it in your strategy and if your target audience is among that demographic, it makes sense to get involved. If not, don’t waste valuable resources talking to the wrong people.

  • Is my content presentable in a way that would appeal to the users of this platform?

Social media platforms are a medium for disseminating content and each one is tailored to a certain type of content. Instagram and Pinterest, for example are all about what you see. They’re what we like to think of as inspiration platforms – their audiences use them to get ideas, create wish lists and follow trends. They’re not, for example, platforms for real discussion and debate. For that kind of engagement, you’ll want to opt for a platform like Twitter, which we like to think of as a news and opinion platform. Linkedin is ideal for business-related, longer form content. Before opting into a platform, think about the message you want to get out with your content. If it’s pretty and #instaworthy, then by all means, go visual and invest in beautiful photography. But if your brand is related to trading on the stock market for example, and involves informed opinions and talks to decision-makers, then try Linkedin and skip the more visual platforms. Social media marketing requires a significant resource investment in terms of money, time and effort so allow your content to dictate which ones work best for you.

  • Do I have the resources to manage this channel?

A few years ago, the job of social media marketer simply did not exist. Now, it’s number 42 on CNN’s list of top careers with big growth potential. It’s a dedicated role for a reason. Managing social media on behalf of a brand requires an investment of time, effort and money. It’s a role that bundles content creation, curation, scheduling, research and community management in one. Multiply that across a few different channels that require a few posts per week and you’ve got the makings of an engine that needs some serious oil to keep running. The golden rule of “quality over quantity” applies to every area of digital marketing. It’s better to have one or two well-run channels than five or six ones that have digital tumbleweeds rolling around them (cue the theme from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly here). Now before you open a new tab and Google, “how many hours should a small business be spending on social media,” know that it’s all relative. The time you spend on social media will depend on your sales strategy and how much you depend on social media for conversions. The key here is, return on investment. Set out your goals for social media, whether its brand awareness, audience growth or cold hard money in the bank and then quantify your time and effort to determine how much you should invest. Hmmmm – that could make an interesting blog post…

To be continued…

This article is part one of a three-part series on demystifying digital marketing for small business. Watch this space for part three. In the meantime, you can connect with us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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