5 ways to grow your small business through social media

And it works – they’re methods I use for all my clients.

I recently presented at the 10th Annual VA conference on the topic of social media. It’s an area that many VAs seem to struggle with a little. Not because they don’t understand it, but because they don’t know what they should be sharing with their audience.

We all know we need to be social – that’s rammed down our throats enough yeah?

But it’s how you can use social media to grow your business that remains the enigma.

And it’s not just VAs who struggle with social media. Many small businesses are flapping around in the wind, wondering if their efforts are worth it.

Today, I’d like to share 5 proven methods can be adapted for any business if you’re looking to grow your business through social media.

Here are the 5 top things I recommend to grow your business using social media

1. Know your audience

As with all marketing, it’s not going to be effective unless you know who you’re talking too. Once you know who they are, you need to know the social platforms where they’re hanging out. And then be present! If you’re not active on your social media platforms and growing your feeds, then you’re missing out on the opportunity for more clients to engage with you.

Sharing tips that are relevant to your audience will build credibility and trust and will make them come back for more. Eventually, when they need what you offer, you’ll be first in their mind and they’ll contact you for help.

Top tip – Instagram is so hot right now. A lot of people are engaging through Instagram (and Instagram stories) and finding clients – entrepreneur clients.

2. Don’t be shy when building your brand

The #humblebrag (courtesy of Suzanne Chadwick of The Connection Exchange) is what it’s all about online. Don’t be shy to do it. Have a story highlight that’s called ‘work with me’ (or similar) and tell your clients how they can work with you. People are following you for a reason, so go in for the sale when you see the chance. And be proud to share your success stories – ‘my clients Instagram account has grown by 20% since we started working together 4 months ago. I love watching them achieve online growth…’.

A few hints:

  • Find like-minded businesses that share a similar audience to you, and engage with them – their audience will start to notice you

  • Then, have a look at their followers and interact with them too

  • Be proactive – nothing comes to those who don’t make an effort

  • It’s an age of engagement and people want one-on-one connection

Top tip – When creating content, stick to what you know as it’s the best way to build your brand and position yourself as an expert.

3. Build content that positions your business and brand in front of others

Never be afraid to position yourself as the go-to person in an industry or for a niche. Try building your story and adding content by using hashtags that are specific to your business so people can easily follow or find you.

Create content that:

  • Educates your audience about what you do and how you help people

  • Shares your behind the scenes stories, personal stories or opinion pieces

  • Showcases your workplace and has testimonials from happy clients

I always recommend that you create a schedule for your content. Start by writing down 5 things you want to be known for, that you help your clients with, or that you find yourself talking about all the time. This will help you find topics for your posts. Then write posts for each section and mix them up when you post.

Top tip - be human, be connected and don’t be a robot!

4. Have a sales and service mindset

Every time you post, ask yourself, ‘How can I help my audience?’. Don’t be scared to give away free things (it’s doesn’t undervalue you) as it’s a way of showing that you freely share your knowledge, but if they want more, that’s when they must pay. Think of it like the samples you see in the supermarket – they’re cooking up the food with the yummy smell wafting through the isles tempting you to try it – and then hopefully buy!

If you’re stuck for what you can create as a giveaway, think like your ideal client. What questions do you constantly hear from them? What systems do they struggle to understand? What’s an easy process you can share that they need to know but don’t?

Try for example:

  • How to create a content calendar (and fill it for a month)

  • How to use Zoom meetings with your team

  • How to outsource your social media successfully

Top tip - Think about your services, your niche, and then create giveaways to tempt your audience to sign up to your database. And then follow up your leads to make more sales.

5. Funnel it

There’s a saying that goes, ‘Don’t build your home on rented land’. The same is true for social media. You don’t want to just have followers on social media in case it all disappears one day (not likely, but you never know). Your aim should be to get your followers off social media and onto your database. You need to start funnelling.

This is where the above point of creating a free giveaway comes into play. You advertise it through your social media, but you funnel them onto your website or database. Make sure you have a clear call to action on every social post, so it’s obvious what you want your audience to do. For example, if you’re using Instagram, set up Linktree so you can say, ‘click on the link in bio’ and have more than one clickable link.

You’ll need to have a database set up to create a funnel. MailChimp is fairly easy to use and one I recommend. Use your opt-in to get people into your funnel (an eBook a freebie, a template etc.) and then nurture them once they’re there. Follow up with them and see how you can help them further.

Top tip – Once you’ve funnelled your audience to your list, keep connecting and engaging with them on an ongoing basis.

And of course, social media is all about consistency

Consistency will always remain a crucial element in social media. Even if you’re posting one day a week, do it one day a week! Create posts that your audience will relate to and keep doing it — monitor what ones are getting more reactions and make more of those types of posts.

Need help planning your social media?

Social media will help you build trust with your audience. You’ll grow your business when you get people following you, entering your funnels as they need what you’re offering, and when you nurture those relationships.

If you need help creating consistent content that your audience will love, I’d be happy to have a chat with you. Please feel free to get in touch.