Is now the right time to set up a social media marketing business?

The last 15 months have been a challenge for us all. Some businesses and freelancers have thrived and others have found it tough, or maybe not even made it through. One industry that has done well is the world of online marketing. Although initially some businesses cut back on their marketing, worried about cash flow, they very quickly realised that they needed to be investing in improving their online presence in order to continue trading. With the UK going in to lockdown and having restrictions imposed at different times throughout the year, it was vital that businesses could communicate and trade with their customers online. If they didn’t have a website then they would either need to have one built or use one of the other marketing platforms such as social media. The social media sites have proved vital to thousands of businesses as with them, they may not of been able to do any business at all. Even when restrictions are lifted, it will be a good idea to continue with this sort of online marketing as the world of online retail is ever growing and unlikely to stop.

An online marketing company or freelancer will be able to advise you on where to invest your budget to get the best return on your investment.

Has your social media presence taken a dive?

Social media marketing is a great way to promote your business. Unless you are doing paid for ads, it is all free to use and you can build up an online following very quickly. Sometimes what can happen with on the social media site, Facebook for example, is that you will do something which gains you a massive number of followers but then over time they start to dwindle off and before you know it you have a fraction of people following you that you did before. This often happens if you have run a competition and asked people to follow you to be put into the draw. After the competition a large percentage of this people will then leave unless you give them a reason to stay. Ideally you should try and run competitions often to keep people interested. You could do one small one every couple of weeks and then a bigger one every couple of months. Holding on to your followers is vital but you have to keep them engaged in order to do so. Also with many of the social media sites, if you do not interact with a profile that much you often will not see all their posts in your feed.

Social Media marketing during lockdown

With the UK now in a second national lockdown many businesses are worrying how they are going to survive. Unless you are lucky enough to be working in an industry that is still able to trade as normal such as a super market, then you are most likely losing out on customers which in turn means your profits start to drop. It is vital that you find a way to continue trading as much as possibly whilst adhering to the lockdown rules.

Many shops and businesses are looking to promote their business more online. If you do not previously have much of an online presence then this can be quite daunting. You may not have the money to invest in a website at the moment in which case social media sites may be the answer for you. Even if you do have a website then you should not dismiss the importance social media marketing can have on your site. Often much of the marketing that you can do on these types of sites is free so you do not have to worry about investing a lot of money in to them, it is mostly just your time. It can also be done from the comfort of your home.

Using social media to publicise local events

The vast majority of people under the age of sixty have access to social media and even if they do not consistently post on their page, they will be able to be part of groups in the local community and follow posts about local events. Although the idea of using a parish noticeboard situated in a prominent position has been used for years this is becoming a much less effective way of communication largely due to the fact that fewer people are walking to the local shops than in previous times and therefore they are not seeing the notices placed there.

If you want to publicise an event a better way of reaching the community is through a social media community page. Some of the members act as administrators on the page and monitor the posts and comments before allowing them to be uploaded removing any that break the page rules. People can request to join the group and, in some groups, have to wait to be accepted before they can begin posting. This method of communication is useful as it can convey new information quickly for instance in the case of roadworks or a postponed event. If you can offer a service to your local community it can be advertised on the local community page too.

Can Social Media business pages replace a Website?

Promoting your small business is essential to making it a success but you may ask yourself whether the plus points of having a website are cost effective as employing a web designer and developer to build a business website can cost anything from a few hundred pounds upwards. If you are able to set up a business page on a social media platform yourself this is usually free and quite easy to do.

Most social media platforms such as Facebook have good marketing capabilities allowing you to advertise and sell products, receive and comment on reviews and make money from advertising revenue. Tracking of visits to the pages can be scrutinised giving an insight into what is working well and what is not bringing in any business.

Many businesses prefer however to have their own website so that they can control the content and any changes are made by them or their web designer but if you have a web presence on a social media platform, it is possible that they can make changes which may have an impact on your business. For instance, advertising links may be inappropriate for the audience you are targeting, or negative customer reviews may be posted without giving your business the opportunity to resolve issues.