Look out world—tech is coming through. Technology has single-handedly changed not only the way we interact inside our personal lives, but the way the world does business as well. Social media is no longer just for posting pictures of your lunch. Businesses are thriving off platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. What started as a great way to stay connected is now leading the charge in the age of marketing.
Likewise with shopping. The rise of e-commerce has made it near impossible for longtime brick-and-mortar champions to not compete in the online shopping world. The failure to do so has put major companies out of business, just as adapting to e-commerce has leapfrogged small businesses into emerging viral empires.
Here’s what you need to know about this new tech, and how you can use it to your advantage.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is hands down the greatest digital marketing tool that any small business has at its disposal. This is for two main reasons. First, it’s free. Second, it’s the portal to not just your neighbourhood, your city, or even your state. The right social media marketing strategy can connect your business with customers all over the world. Even if you sell a tangible good that is not exportable (like a coffee or meal), a viral glow up for your shop can lead to customers flooding in your door.
The key to being a successful social media marketing manager is posting consistent and engaging content. The other big key is the metrics of each social media platform. Knowing how each platform operates will help you to create content that is retrofitted for each specific platform. For example, writing-focused platforms like Facebook, and LinkedIn have different metrics than social media platforms that focus more on media sharing like Twitter and Instagram.
The content you post should also be optimised to reach your target audience. This last part might include some necessary research like when your target audience is typically online, and what types of content they tend to interact with, as well as how they interact with that content.
One of the best social media marketing strategies is what is referred to as the “waterfall method.” This involves chopping up a long-form blog post (1000-2500 words) into several shorter pieces of 100 words or less. This allows you to recycle a blog post into multiple social media posts. It’s an excellent way to utilise your time and resources.
It’s a fact—if you sell a tangible good or service, you need to be selling online. The rise and dominance of e-commerce in today’s online crazed world have given small businesses a much needed competitive advantage. Online shopping has evened the playing field between small businesses and large regional and national chain stores.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a killer web developer to get started selling online. The web development pros at outfits like Shopify, and website hosting companies like WordPress and Wix have already done the heavy lifting for you. All you need to do is sign up for the subscription, and plug in your products.
Feeling unsure about the setup process? Hire a WordPress developer. For a reasonable fee, you can have a pro get your online storefront up and running.
Chubbies Shorts is an excellent case study of a small business that has thrived into dominance in the clothing industry through the channels of social media marketing and e-commerce. This San Francisco based startup went from selling American flag shorts to an entire clothing line featuring shorts, shirts, swimwear, loungewear, and even incredibly comfortable sport coats. Their marketing emails are some of the best around, and their e-commerce site is constantly up-to-date and easy to use.
Tech has changed the game for small businesses. Social media marketing and e-commerce are two of the best technology tools for small businesses to utilise. If you run a small business. Be it in a large city, or a small town, you absolutely need to be selling and marketing online through these channels.