Small Business

Five ways to help your small business become a social media standout

The Internet is a crowded space populated by millions of search results, hashtags, status updates, online reviews, blogs, bookmarks and the like. For a small business seeking to stand out from the crowd, it can sometimes be an uphill battle to get the consumer’s attention in an online landscape teeming with, well, just about everything. Here are ways your business can become a social media standout!

1. Give social media advertising a try. It’s easy to try your hand at advertising on popular social media networks like Facebook and Twitter. You can spend as little or as much as you want, so you’re in control of the budget. To start, try advertising on just one social network. Keep in mind that the cost of advertising on Twitter is almost six times as much as it is on Facebook in terms of the Cost Per Mille (CPM), or what you will shell out for every 1,000 impressions. But the Clickthrough Rate (CTR) for Twitter ads is anywhere from 8 to 24 times higher than on Facebook, according to the Smart Insights marketing blog written by digital marketing expert Dave Chaffey.

2. Cater your content to a specific demographic. It’s not just teenagers who frequent social media. You might be surprised to learn that the fastest growing age group on Twitter is aged 55 to 64 years old — up 79 percent since 2012, according to Fast Company. On Facebook and Google+, it’s the 45-54 age demographic that’s growing quickly. It’s important that you research your demographic and target the content that you distribute on social media to achieve success. And don’t forget the millennials. By the end of 2014, millennials will make up 27 percent of the U.S. population and 25 percent of the labor force, according to gamification blog Badgeville. By 2025, they will comprise 75 percent of the U.S. labor force. Millennials also spend money. In fact, by the year 2018, their collective buying power will exceed that of Baby Boomers. The female demographic is also important and should not be overlooked. In 2012, nearly one-half of the U.S adult female population visited social media sites at least three times a day compared to one-third of men, according to research compiled by Burst Media, an online advertising firm headquartered in Massachusetts. That number continues to grow each year.

3. It’s about quality content, not quantity. You may think you need to post social media updates frequently throughout the day. But when it comes to getting consumers to interact with your content, quality trumps quantity. It’s better to post quality content less frequently that makes consumers feel good about your brand than to post so much that customers find it annoying. Remember, that what your post will evoke is an emotion or reaction from your target audience, so make your customer feel good because 60 percent of consumers will look at a brand in a positive light after consuming content that resonates with them, according to the marketing blog iMedia Connection.

4. Don’t overlook Tumblr and Pinterest. You might feel like you don’t need yet another social media network to add to your marketing mix, but you should know that people spend an average of four times more time on Tumblr and Pinterest than they do on Twitter, according to Statista, a New York-based research firm. Consider creating a Tumblr page or Pinterest page for your brand.

5. Give Google+ another look. Still haven’t gotten around to using Google+ to build your brand? You’re not alone. For many small business owners, Google+ isn’t on their radar screen. But now is the time to take notice. Google+ averages more visits per month than Facebook. While Facebook gets approximately 809 million visits per month, Google+ averages over 1.2 billion, according to Wix, a software development company specializing in cloud-based platforms for websites and apps.

Tasha Cunningham is a principal in the Cunningham Group, an award-winning communications firm with offices in Miami and Orlando. She writes about how small business owners can leverage social media and other online tools to grow their companies.