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Presentation Slides for Social Media for Small Business Presentation.

How to Build Your Small Business’s Brand Using Social Media in 2021

Social media offers companies a relatively cheap medium of advertising. With close to 57% of the world owning a social media account, online advertising has become an attractive method of gaining customers. It is relatively cheap, it accesses a large population, so how is it used?

A company’s online presence is at least half of its image.

How do businesses use social media?

True, brick-and-mortar locations still make up the face of a company, but the internet is where that business’s look comes to life. Moreover, the type of connection a person can get with a brand in the store doesn’t even compare with the personal interaction someone can get online.

In many ways, a small business can use its online presence to establish a conversation with consumers through direct interaction with posts, creating relative and engaging content, or acting in the traditional online marketing role through announcing sales and special deals.

The Social Barrier

There is a looming issue with social media and small businesses; branded content is much harder to get onto a regular person’s feed. Even so, getting onto the feed is only half of the battle. Getting your content read is much harder. 

It is estimated that branded content is 16 times less likely to be read than content posted by a Facebook friend. So, not only do small businesses have to fight the social media algorithms, but they also have to fight for attention.

The Social Dilemma

Before the internet, businesses and media were the mediums through which popular spread trends and information. Now all this can be done from user to user without the need of a corporate middle-man. 

As a result, small businesses and regular social media users are now on the same footing, technically less, since branded content is much less likely to be read.

Solutions to this issue are limited by creativity and crowd culture. As of now, standard advertising methods oversaturate the market, making one business indistinguishable from the other. Selling then becomes a numbers game as advertisers aim to get their brand in front of individuals as many times as possible.

If it devolves into a numbers game, how can small businesses stand a chance? The key, again, is creativity and crowd culture. Social media users are often seeking entertainment. So having an ad or sponsored post appear on their newsfeed is annoying more often than not.

Don’t play the numbers game; play to the algorithm.

Cheating the System

Because businesses are no longer the means of distributing information and starting trends, they have to jump on the bandwagon of current fads. As a result, companies have successfully branded their content through creative capitalization on crowd culture crazes.

The distinct advantage of social media is that branding can be done as an incorporating experience. Text, photos, and videos can work together to create an immersive experience for branding. 

Using crowd culture is as simple as hopping on social trends. Small businesses can do this in various ways: jumping on political trends, engaging in meaningful causes, interacting with people and other businesses in novel or comical ways. Utilizing crowd culture is limited by creativity. 

Creating Calculated Content

Facebook and other social media companies are prioritizing relevant and engaging content. Branded content that doesn’t create conversation, inspire, or come across as useful, will fail to make it very far in anyone’s feed. Dumping money into advertising might then be necessary.

To avoid this, focus efforts on engagement, on getting likes, comments, and shares. If half of a small business’s content is positively engaging, the other half can focus on advertising and selling. This way, small businesses can still cash in on social media.

Using the entertaining posts, content is seen as relevant, and so all content gets pushed and shared across platforms, beating the numbers game. 

 

What comes next?

What is positively engaging? That is the million-dollar question. You can post inspiring quotes, hilarious memes, or nerd out about upcoming entertainment hypes. Try anything that can get engagement. Of course, you’ll want to maintain a certain voice online to be consistent with your small business’s brand.

Once this has been accomplished, the algorithm may start to work in your favor. This process can take months to show tangible results.

If you reach a wide audience, you can try subtle advertising related to the content you create, consistent with your engagement.

After reaching a wide audience with your less-than-serious posts, your more serious, money-oriented posts have a higher chance of being read and distributed by algorithms. 

Playing the Game

Marketing is all a huge game of cat and mouse. Small businesses may choose to use Facebook as a way to get free advertising in front of potential customers.

Because of the nature of social media, these types of posts probably aren’t going to get as much engagement as a looser, less traditional post. 

Companies that choose to use free social media, social media without the ads, may have a hard time beating the algorithm. Choosing to use social media to create meaningful engagement may help your brand get its message across to a wider audience.

The New Way Forward

Using a feed to reach customers doesn’t always have to be about building relationships. Subtle advertisements can be worked into the feed every once in a while to capitalize on the engagement gained from other posts.

However a small business chooses to use its social media, creativity is the limit. The world belongs to those who can find a better way forward.