Andy Flynn
Pixel Kicks

Andrew Flynn - Digital Marketing Manager at Pixel Kicks – shows how social media can be a game-changer for SMEs

Social media has become an integral part of daily life with Instagram, Twitter and Facebook all becoming invaluable ways to communicate. Most people feel comfortable using it on a personal level to stay in touch with friends and family but many small businesses find taking the leap and embracing this kind of marketing a daunting prospect.

Some of the most common concerns we hear are: I’m scared of my business being criticised; I don’t know what to post; how do you know what’s interesting; it’s a big commitment; what happens if I don’t get followers. These are, of course, all valid points but the aim of this piece is to help SMEs in all sectors break-down these perceived barriers and realise that social media is the best tool they have to raise their profile and grow.

If you are consistently active, conversational and engaging you will see the results over time. Don’t be afraid – that’s the key!

Build a personality

  • Post content in a way that represents you and your brand;

  • Think about your tone of voice and how you want that to reflect on your business. Do you want to adopt a chatty or more formal style;

  • On a local business level, people are much more likely to engage when they can get a sense of the human behind the account (and it reflects on who will be behind the bar, or the counter, when they visit you).

Produce visual content

  • If you want to keep people interested then the content needs to be worth following for so think about what’s topical to your business and customers. It could be about trends, celebrities, the benefits you offer, new products, services or launches;

  • Maximise any opportunities and events that you organise and build up a bank of images and videos that you can use over time;

  • Obviously having a camera around would be fantastic but don’t be afraid to draw for the smartphone. iPhone shots have a rawness to them that works well for small local businesses. Professional camera shots can look forced and staged.

Engage with your local area - that’s where your customers are!

  • Identify the major social media accounts for your local area and piggy back on them;

  • Be part of the conversation surrounding your town and have an opinion;

  • Run localised competitions and encourage reviews from your regular customers.*

Experiment with paid advertising

  • Facebook allows you to target people based on a wide range of factors, one of those is location;

  • This allows you to put your message in front of the right people, who are interested in your services;

  • It’s a great way of building traction early and getting eyes on your page;

  • Start small and see how what kind of pick up you get.

Finally, be committed to it. Understand and respect that building a social audience takes time and commitment.

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