In the early days of the world wide web, it was said that the internet was the business equalizer. No matter the size of an organization (or its budget) a website is a website. The internet doesn’t give a website a brighter, bolder URL based on how much it cost, how many products are featured or how many pages it has.
Because of this, small businesses have been able to enjoy equal footing. Their websites may not have all the bells and whistles, but the opportunity to be online and found, is the same.
Similarly, social media, email marketing, content creation and other forms of digital marketing are available to all businesses equally, regardless of size or budget. The difference that comes with budget, however, is how many employees are making use of these digital channels for the promotion of a business. This is how budget makes a difference. More people doing the work often means more digital traction.
The Tools that Help Battle Big Budgets
There are ways that a small business can battle the big budgets of its competitors on social media platforms. With the following 5 tips, a much smaller budget can make a beneficial difference to a digital presence.
1. Establish a budget
Yes, your small business’s budget will be smaller than an enterprise-level organization, but you do need to set a budget. This money will primarily go towards paying either staff or contractors to help with your social media presence.
2. Obtain the necessary knowledge
Either take some digital marketing courses online or ensure the person you hire has the expertise you need. Social media, like all aspects of digital marketing, changes rapidly. Remember, not that long ago, when no one had even heard of TikTok? And now, Michael Bublé is pretty much the king of the platform. He’s featured in a traditional media push encouraging everyone to watch the videos he talks about.
A digital marketing certificate program like the one offered by Ashton College has a strong emphasis on social media. It also features instructors who have experience combined with day-to-day work in the field, so they can bring stories of successes, and failures, to students while also keeping them aware of the ongoing changes.
3. Create a plan
With a smaller budget, a plan becomes even more essential than it is for companies willing to throw thousands — even hundreds of thousands — at their digital activities. A good plan must include the desired objective: grow sales, create awareness, develop followers, etc. and ways to get there. Make sure you are clear about your social media objectives with the person or people creating the plan.
With the right background and information, these individuals can work with you to create a plan that works towards the established targets without throwing money away.
4. Be consistent
Social media is a game of consistency. You need to be consistent in the presentation of your company’s brand and messaging and you also need to be consistent in posting. With social media, trust is built up over time, so you must be willing to have limited results for the short-term in order to have long-term gains.
Pick the right platforms and stick with them. Resist the urge to jump around or try them all at one time.
5. Don’t scream about sales or self
Approach social media as a way to provide value to your followers. You want to give valuable, interesting information. This is not the place to yell “me, me, me!” or “look at what I’m selling!” people will quickly lose interest in you. Strive for the age-old 80/20 rule where 80% of what you talk about is NOT the business specifically, but instead are things your customers are interested in.
You don’t need a massive budget for your small business to succeed on social media. Look for the right people to help you who have a proven background and expertise and be willing to invest both money and time for the best results.