Why Patience is Key to Small Business Social Media Growth

by / Monday, 30 June 2014 / Published in Small Business Marketing

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Whether or not a small business is able to take social media and turn it into a productive channel for leads and exposure depends on a few factors. For one thing, whether or not businesses actually engage on their platforms of choice by putting out new content makes a fundamental difference, with the overall quality of this content also dictating the final results of a campaign. However, even with great content and a positive attitude, many small business owners still wind up turning their backs on social media after deciding that it is not a worthwhile use of their time. This is unfortunate since in point of fact, a business’s social media marketing may be working better than one would think, and to continue building a profile over time will usually yield better results than stopping and starting over multiple times, even with the best of intentions such as during a re-branding campaign.

Social media conversions may not come from direct social referral traffic. One of the factors that can make it more complicated to gauge how effective a social media campaign is is the fact that conversions from exposure to a social media presence may not happen immediately, thus not appearing to be caused by social media exposure when reviewing conversion data in analytics. A customer may be browsing their social media and see a branded post or a promoted ad, yet may not choose to click through, only opting to visit a landing page and make a purchase after some time. For this reason, attention should be paid to the percentage of direct traffic converting into leads that the business is getting. Additionally, many social media sites that have business page features will serve their own versions of analytics specifically for social pages. By reconciling both direct referrals as well as activity including impressions and clicks on a social media presence, the production of the social media profiles can be more accurately extrapolated.

Social media profiles can take some time to fully mature for small businesses. Like many processes involved in running a business, a certain tipping point can occur for businesses where they suddenly enter a new sphere of their social media marketing wherein they find the voice that they have been looking for. One of the common reasons for small businesses quitting their social media marketing is a sense of frustration that occurs when they post regularly for a few months with very minimal response, not willing to allow the time needed to become established and create influential connections. For a business page in particular, it can take some time to grow a healthy following on social media. Jump-starting growth through integrating business websites with social media accounts and cross-promoting social and physical media (for example, a “follow us” call to action on direct mailer material) is a good strategy for businesses that are ready to invest more time into building engagement around social media pages. Social media only promotions, such as a limited time coupon posted for followers can also create a sense of value and exclusivity around a social media page. These techniques can create spikes in page activity, so small business owners should be sure that they are ready to handle the response that may be created and engage with customers in order to create long term loyalty and return traffic.

Photo Credit to Sebastien Wiertz on Flickr

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