Your social media channels play a key role with more than just appointment booking. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and the like are integral parts of service business these days. So using social media for new customer acquisition and taking care of your existing customers means identifying the channels that your target group is using, and then applying the right strategy. This means a lot more than just “Yeah, I’ll put something on Facebook or Instagram.” Check this out:
How many worldwide users are on…?
- Facebook: 2320 million
- Instagram: 1000 million
- LinkedIn: 575 million
- Twitter: 321 million
- Youtube: 1900 million
- Pinterest: 250 million
In the old days
The precursors to social media included classic marketing materials like flyers, not to mention some word-of-mouth. But like we said in Chapter 1, these materials don’t let you reach all of your potential new customers, because not everybody has access to them. The same goes for recommendations. With these, people are basically just letting their friends, family and maybe a few other people know about a service business they like. It’s pretty unlikely you’re going up to a total stranger on the street and saying “Hey, be sure to check out that massage place around the corner when you get a chance!”
This is what social media marketing for small businesses does
You might get a service business old-timer or two asking: “Tell me again why I need to upload some pictures onto Instagram?” And that’s an OK question, especially if your target group is made up of 70- and 80-year-olds. Social media won’t be the best idea here. Most of that crowd isn’t going to be all that into Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest. But the younger target group on the other hand is on social media all day, every day. Make it your aim to get active on these channels. Why? Well for starters, this will put an image of you and your business into the heads of new customers. And if they don’t find you on social media, they’ll probably never see you at all. Another thing that social media marketing for small businesses lets you do is build a relationship with your customers by taking them behind the scenes at your work. You can respond to their messages and comments. Social media is also an ideal opportunity to draw attention to your business, show what you can do, and get the word out about upcoming specials and events. When customers are into your work, it’s not unusual for them to tag you on Facebook or Instagram. That’s free advertising for you.
The first step for your small business social media marketing should be finding out which channels your target groups are using. Check out some studies or get a customer survey going. Some channels work well for certain service businesses, others don’t. Beauty businesses are in the right place on Instagram or Pinterest, but might not get the same mileage out of Twitter. The same goes for B2B services when it comes to LinkedIn. A motivational coach who does a lot of work for businesses will most likely develop a network on LinkedIn, but probably won’t have all that much to post on Instagram. Be sure to ask yourself the question: Which platform can help me best meet my business goals? And how can I measure success?
Make no mistake: Social media marketing for small businesses needs a lot of work and attention. Your Instagram or Facebook account might be the first thing a new customer experiences when they come in contact with your business. So make sure it’s carefully tended to and has a professional look. No fuzzy pictures, no spelling errors, and no wrong information. Can’t find the time to put high-quality content on your social media channel? No problem, but just be sure to spend some money to have a professional get your social media presence where it needs to be. Otherwise forget about it. A page that only releases boring information every once in a blue moon isn’t worth the trouble. Put the time in to make sure you’ve got professional content, community management, and the like. Stick with it day in and day out, and hey, try some stuff out too. Don’t let it get you down when an algorithm update temporarily takes your reach down a notch or two, or when a picture isn’t getting the amount of likes you were hoping for. Step up to the challenge, and figure out how to build on past success. The world of social media takes place in the fast lane, so stay up to date and informed. That’ll help you find new inspiration, and use social media to take your service business to the next level.