Ruling the social media platforms is the ultimate dream of every business owner. But with these networking platforms getting crowded day by day, it isn’t easy to stand out from the rest without creating amazing content.
With millions of dollars in their marketing budget, the bigger brands go high and beyond and gain a lot of attention by pulling obnoxious social media marketing stunts – like hiring anyone from the Kardashian – Jenner clan to endorse their products.
But being a small business owner, can you afford such marketing stunts? Of course not!
So, how can you harness the powers of social media and use it to grow your small business? Let’s find out!
Can Small Startups Make It Big on Social Media?
So, do small businesses stand no chance on social media? Don’t be silly!
The best thing about social media is, it doesn’t side with the rich. That means it offers a level playing field to all businesses, big and small, and provides them with fertile grounds to grow their business.
The essence of social media growth is creativity. If you can hatch some out-of-the-box content ideas and mix them with an understanding of your target audience, you can experience social-media-driven business growth without emptying your pockets.
A great example of how small businesses made it big through social media simply by doing something different is Dr. Bob Wagstaff’s Orabrush Tongue Cleaner startup.
In 2009 Dr. Wagstaff turned to YouTube, a relatively young and untouched-by-marketers platform, after sinking $40k on television ads and generating no return.He launched his brand on social media with a quirky and hilarious video that took a little over $500 to shoot.
The result? His video went viral.
Why? Because it offered something fun and unique.
Within a year of his success on YouTube, Orabrush closed millions of dollars worth of sales, and the small business experienced unprecedented growth.
Of course, this is over a decade ago. The social media scene has evolved dramatically since then, and what worked back then won’t work the same way today.
So, what can you do to help you find success through social media today? Take a different approach. Let’s see how.
How Can Small Startups Find Social Media Growth Today?
Social media is great for marketing. But what’s not so good is the fact that everyone has now discovered this “growth hack.” Social platforms have become advertisement channels, with businesses having a small marketing budget struggling to gain traction.
Here are a few time-tested growth hacks that you can leverage to develop a social media marketing strategy that generates tangible results:
More than 67.9% of US marketers are expected to invest in influencer marketing this year. That means something ought to be good about it, right? Right.People trust the people they follow. They are more inclined towards buying what their favorite influencers recommend. And that’s one of the sole reasons why influencer marketing is a massive success.
Another great thing about influencer marketing is that its efficacy increases as the number of followers of an influencer go down. Yes, down. That’s not a typo.
So, it is excellent for small businesses with a limited budget.
You see, a micro-influencer with 10,000 followers may have a smaller reach than Kim Kardashian with her millions of followers. But what the former has, and Kim doesn’t, is a tight-knit community of highly engaged followers.
Additionally, you can hire the smaller influencers with only a fraction of the amount needed to hire celebrities for marketing campaigns or creating TV ads.
Therefore, influencer marketing makes for an excellent channel for driving conversions and brand awareness, even if you have a reasonably limited marketing budget.
But does it work? Here’s a case study to help you find out.
Youfoodz, an Australian fresh food company, wanted to promote the launch of their winter menu. For this, they decided to give influencer marketing a go.
They teamed up with 81 influencers who created 167 content pieces. Their influencer marketing campaign generated:
- More than 70,000 direct engagements
- 500,000 impressions,
- and reached 1.5 million people.
Do you still doubt the efficacy of influencer marketing?
Leveraging human psychology for social media is a sure-fire way of success, and that’s what gamification does. It plays with minds and alters user behavior. That’s why 93% of marketers love it, and it has become a billion-dollar industry.
Now, why should you care? Because you are looking for driving social media success and gamification can help.
You don’t need to hire big gamification companies to leverage its potential. All you have to do is create opportunities for your audience to take action and give them rewards in return.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Ask your followers to share your brand in exchange for a chance to enter in a giveaway (people love free stuff. We are people.)
- Create a sense of urgency by putting a time limit on deals. Have you experienced stress at the last minute of a football game?
- Give your followers FOMO.
You can execute these ideas with a nicely written copy of social media posts and great social media graphics. Here are some tools you can use for creating stunning social graphics.
Dropbox, the cloud file storage platform, employs social media gamification to encourage its followers to join their social community. They ask their users to connect with them on Facebook and Twitter in exchange for extra storage space.You may not be as big as Dropbox, but you can think of a gamification strategy to give your customers something in exchange for a value-driving action.
Pay Attention to The Unpopular Platforms
Have you seen those movies where the unpopular kids turn out to be the coolest people to hang out with? That’s true in the case of social media platforms too.
There is a world of social media beyond Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and guess what? It is not as crowded and bursts with engagement and growth opportunities, minus the competition.
Here are some of the less-used social media platforms you can capitalize on and grow big:
With 52 million followers, Reddit brims with opportunities for you to engage with your target audience.
Reddit is unlike the conventional platforms. People come together in communities to discuss issues of interestRedditors are a bunch of helpful people, but they can turn vicious as soon as they spot marketers being all sales-y instead of being helpful.
Therefore, the best approach to making it big on Reddit is to prioritize value. Let helpful content take the driving seat and make your website take the back seat. Trust us. People will gravitate towards you once they start seeing you as a helpful authority figure.
Create a Reddit account and start engaging with relevant people. You can start an AMA post and incorporate links to your website or answer questions and subtly refer to your website.
Or do what Arielle Dyda did.
She created her personal account under the brand representative tag and started engaging with people on Reddit in a light-hearted and fun manner. She would post about deals, Uniqlo meetups, and product launches without being too sales-y.Her approach drove great results for Uniqlo. Of the 3% sales that the brand got from social media, 64% came from Reddit.
Medium has more than 60 million active users. It is an excellent platform for businesses with blogs because it has the potential to drive referral traffic.
It takes nothing more than time, effort, and maybe a paid medium membership to make it big on the platform.
If you think blogging can help your marketing strategy, join Medium and build a community. Interact with people and engage with their blog.
Then, dive into posting on Medium.
You don’t even have to create new content for this platform. Republish your existing and high-performing blog pieces on Medium, add a link to your original website and promote it to your followers. This way, you can easily open another channel for driving traffic to your website and drive brand awareness among a new bunch of people.
And no. Google won’t penalize you for duplicate content. Medium itself clarifies that they create canonical links to the original post. So, republishing on Medium only boosts your SEO efforts.
Brands as big as Buffer understand the potential of Medium and experienced a 1215% increase in their page views when they republished one of their old blogs on Medium.There is literally no investment here other than time, creativity, and effort. And to make it big as a small business, that’s the least you can do.
Over 1 million entrepreneurs use about.me. And with that many people using it, you should care about it too.
It allows you to create a niche profile on its platform and link it to your business site. This opens another point of contact between you and your prospects and gives you another channel through which you can gain web visitors.It is integrated with Google Analytics so that you can track the performance of your about.me profile and see how many visitors it is driving to your website.
You can start an about.me for free. But with a premium account, you can access better profile customization options.
Tumblr received 327 million visits in January 2021. Can you imagine what it could have meant for your business if you had a thriving Tumblr presence? It’s not too late, though. You can still leverage Tumblr’s potential because it is gaining traction. It now has more than 500 million blogs, which grew from 480 million in 2019.
So, if you want to grow your social media presence, and have more people visit your website, now is the right time to get on Tumblr.
But before you jump into Tumblr, perform an audience analysis, and see which kind of content would work best with them.
Additionally, Tumblr is populated with Gen Z and millennials, so it has a fun and quirky theme going on all year round. Therefore, go in only if you can “fit in.”
Creating an account on Tumblr is pretty straightforward. However, posting has a couple of best practices.
Tumblr SEO does not work like conventional SEO. Therefore, you have to optimize each post with Tumblr tags. Neil Patel recommends using 7-12 relevant tags per post so that your user can find it through search.
Additionally, you cannot ignore social timing for Tumblr. Given its young population, the best time to post on Tumblr appears to be late in the evening or early in the morning. But you will have to do a bit of experimentation to find your optimal time.
If you think Tumblr is dead or useless, the following fact will convince you that it is anything but.
Many big brands like Apple, Lexus, and Penguin Random House are using Tumblr to engage with their audience. But of course, Penguin Random House only hopped on Tumblr after they found it has many librarians as a part of its audience.So, make sure your audience is using Tumblr before going in. And go in only if you can commit to it in the long run.
You don’t need to have millions of dollars in your marketing budget to make it big on social media. Lots of creativity mixed with the right social media marketing strategy can set you up on a path towards social media success in no time.
The tactics we have shared in this article barely require any investment other than time, effort, and creativity. Therefore, you can shape your social media strategy using these tactics and grow your business.