These days, it feels like everyone is on social media.
And that feeling isn’t far off. As of 2021, there were over four billion people on social media — and that number is expected to increase to almost six billion by 2027.
Where there’s a large audience, there’s an excellent opportunity to market your business. Unlike billboards, social media advertising isn’t limited to a single geographic location. You can reach just about anyone, anywhere in the world. Isn’t that something?
If you’re a coach who runs their own practice (or a small business owner of any kind), you should market online. Sign up for Twitter, hop on Instagram, and check out Facebook. This is where you will likely connect with the most potential clients.
Of course, not every entrepreneur is a marketer. But don’t sweat it — we’re here to lend a helping hand. Read on to learn everything you need to know about social media marketing for small businesses.
The benefits of social media marketing
Yes, social media is for posting selfies, creating memes, and uploading witty one-liners. But it’s also an incredibly powerful tool for increasing your business’ exposure and engaging with potential customers. Here’s what can happen when small businesses and social media channels combine forces:
- Increasing brand awareness: As your business grows, you want current and potential customers to recognize your operation as an industry authority. To generate trust in your brand, you can create a distinct and reputable online presence — and that includes social media. Your future self will thank you when your audience turns to your profiles for guidance and your social media accounts take off.
- Facilitating leads: Potential clients scrolling through their socials just might spot your page, especially if you have great marketing and content. If their interest is piqued, they can learn more and get in touch in just a few clicks by sending a direct message, tapping on a link in bio, or quickly grabbing contact information. These people are all leads — and they could translate into booming business.
- Building relationships and a reputation: Yes, you can connect with clients using social media. But did you know these platforms are also excellent for networking? A social media marketing campaign could help you connect with colleagues, build an online community, and find exciting collaborations. And as word gets out about how great your business is, your positive reputation will lead to even more professional relationships and leads.
Finding the right platform for your business
Instagram, Mastodon, TikTok, LinkedIn — at this point, there are so many social media sites that it’s tough to keep track of them all.
Choosing the best platform to promote your small business can feel overwhelming. Unfortunately, there’s no single right answer. The right spot to promote your practice depends on you and your customers. Here are some key factors to consider when weighing your options:
- Target audience: The best place to market your services is in front of a receptive audience. Before launching a social campaign, research where your target demographic spends their time online. For example, a business coach might advertise on LinkedIn, while a wellness coach could have better luck on Instagram.
You can also turn to others for guidance. Look up professionals in your industry and niche to see which social media platforms these coaches use and how they use them. If they’re finding a lot of engagement on Facebook, this is a good indication the site will be a good fit for your brand of content.
- Type of content: Not all social media sites are created equal — and that’s the point. The type of content you intend to post will inform the platform that works best for your business. If you plan to post nutrition-focused clips, narrow your options to apps that support video content well, like TikTok and Instagram. On the other hand, if you want to post long-form written content, try LinkedIn or Facebook.
- Advertising tools: Social media platforms offer in-app marketing tools that allow advertisers to choose their target audience and set a budget that fits their business needs. Familiarize yourself with the offerings on each app before deciding where to launch your first paid campaign. Consider what features best suit your intentions and which sites are within your budget.
6 small business social media tips
As a small business owner, you already have a lot on your plate. Creating a successful social media marketing strategy on top of other tasks sounds like a lot of extra work — but with a well-informed approach, you can successfully work these platforms into your business operations in no time.
Here are some tips to boost your advertising knowledge and improve workflow:
- Vary your content: Don’t post the same, formulaic content every week — your audience may become bored. Instead, use content pillars to define the type of information you want to disseminate in unique ways. These pillars are content categories, like Friday factoids or monthly giveaways. Set yourself up with at least 2–3 pillars to keep your feed fresh and interesting.
- Make a content calendar: Your professional life will be much easier if you schedule content ahead of time. With a comprehensive content calendar, you won’t be scrambling to brainstorm and create content hours before it needs to go live. Decide how often you’ll post and mark those times on a monthly calendar. Pick a day each week to draft that content in advance so when the time comes, all you need to do is hit “post.”
- Use analytics: Many social media apps have built-in analytics tools. Track your metrics and see what content has the highest engagement rates, such as views, likes, and shares. Lean into what your audience wants to see and the times they’re most active online — with these data points, you can create content that resonates with your audience and schedule your posts to go out at the right time. This will take your marketing strategy to the next level and cut back on wasted resources in the form of unsuccessful posts.
- Stay up on trends and tools: Study what your target audience is talking about on social media. Is there a trending meme or hashtag you could put to good use? When in doubt, look to your peers — they may offer insight into popular content in your space. Maybe they’re having a lot of engagement with Q and A videos, and you can hop on the trend, too.
And don’t forget to stay up to date on new social media features. Instagram, for example, didn’t always have the Story feature, but now this content style is a great space for marketers. Twitter, which formerly only allowed short blurbs, now enables users to add multimedia content to Tweets. Don’t let a useful update slip by you — always use the latest version of the apps and follow the platforms’ official accounts to see announcements about exciting changes.
- Be true to your brand: Consistent brands inspire trust. Use similar profile photos, identical logos, hues, and fonts, and a voice that sounds like your company across every profile. To keep posts looking on-brand, use a free design resource like Canva to create content templates that look professional and polished. This level of care shows social media users that you take their work seriously.
- Include calls to action (CTAs): One of the best social media strategies for small businesses is using CTAs. This tactic gets your audience engaged with your content and work. For example, you could host a free product or coaching session giveaway and encourage people to enter by sharing your post on their Story. Not only does this spread the word about your practice, but it also means they’re thinking about your offerings.
Manage new leads with Practice
Your marketing efforts are an investment in new leads. When these leads translate into clients, having a safe place to store customer data and communications is important.
As you work to create a professional image on social media, back it up with a user-friendly administrative tool that helps your business run smoothly and leaves clients feeling like they’re in good hands. Practice’s customer relationship management (CRM) tool was made with coaches and small businesses in mind. It allows you to securely save client information, send messages and documents, and manage bookings and payments — all in one place.