Why Social Media Marketing is Critical for Solo Entrepreneurs
A solo entrepreneur, or solopreneur, has the unattractive challenge of wearing pretty much all the hats in business – from marketing and accounting to secretary and sales. You are the sum of all its parts because you are all its parts.
This can make it difficult to compete against incumbent brands in your market, especially when those larger brands have deep roots and even deeper pockets for HR and recruiting as well as marketing and advertising.
Those massive marketing budgets give brands an edge in paid advertising placement as well expansive content marketing campaigns and highly-optimized user experiences via custom websites and applications. Without that kind of budget what is a solo entrepreneur to do? The answer is simple: If you don’t have the budget for paid advertising then put the bulk of your effort into low-cost organic engagement like social media marketing.
Here are the key reasons why social media marketing is a solid investment, especially for solo entrepreneurs.
Even though you have to earn your organic reach and engagement with social media marketing, especially with the decrease in organic engagement in recent years, it’s still worth the effort.
Because that’s all you’re spending is effort.
Building a presence on the ideal social channels for your industry and executing a strategy requires little more than time. There’s no daily budgets or bidding to worry about. You just need to focus on creating and sharing the right content.
Because there’s no cost to social media marketing there’s no revenue lost from testing various types of posts or content to see what is most effective, or to find the best time for post engagement. Run as many tests as you want to uncover the ideal approach to getting the most engagement from social media marketing.
Increase Relevant Traffic Online
It doesn’t matter how great your website is, if your customers can’t find it then it’s not earning you any money.
You could invest in search optimization to increase your organic search rank, and you should. The primary problem with optimization is that it can take weeks or months to see results. This is why so many brands choose to supplement their organic efforts with paid search advertising.
Thankfully, social media marketing works a bit like paid advertising minus the costs. With the right approach to social media marketing you can drive highly targeted, relevant traffic to your site in real time. If you take the time to effectively optimize your social profiles and create/share high value content then each of your social channels becomes an opportunity for prospective customers to discover you.
The key to increasing relevant referral traffic is in the words “high value content.” The newsfeed is a busy and competitive place. The more value you push in your content the more likely they are to stop, pay attention, and engage. Link back to your website strategically amid your high value posts to see a consistent and lasting boost to your site traffic.
Building Brand Authority
A lot of businesses large and small use social media primarily to keep their brand front of mind with their target audience. To that effect, a well-managed social profile can maintain and even improve brand awareness as your customers interact with your content.
But visibility only takes you so far. Your fans need to know they can trust what you’re sharing. This is where a solopreneur has an advantage over a larger brand. Rather than a faceless corporation, you’re an individual with personality, style, character… you stand for something. Social media marketing is an opportunity to showcase your skill and desire to help on a very personal level with your followers.
If you create high quality content with a resonating personality and branded voice, then your followers will quickly spot the value you’re trying to provide. The more they recognize that value, the greater the rapport will be.
It won’t take long for your followers to place additional trust in you and see you as an authority in the industry always willing to help.
What you must remember is that you’re not on social media to sell. That’s an ideal outcome once the relationship is built but you need to focus on creating and boosting customer relationships.
Social Proof on Tap
It’s not easy for a startup or solopreneur to gain the trust of potential customers when entering a new market or trying to expand. Without the brand power of major companies, you have a hard climb to convince customers that you’re reputable.
Social proof can help. Engaging with your audience allows you to form tighter relationships where customers will be far more likely to share positive experiences and even provide reviews. According to Nielsen, some 92% of consumers trust the recommendations of peers over brand advertisements.
Social media marketing makes the acquisition of reviews far easier, giving you the social proof you need to acquire new customers and make them more comfortable with the idea of doing business with you.
Grow from The Data
Social channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram provide deep insights you can use to change up your social media marketing strategy and get to know your audience better.
There’s a wealth of data at your fingertips including:
Behaviors and psychographics
Which content types perform best with followers
Organic reach and influence per topic
Use that free data to laser-focus your social media marketing and other marketing efforts. Every decision you make, and every post you create, should be made based on that data. This way you can ensure you’re engaging with the right audience at the right time.
Trends Show Involvement Should Happen Now
For years marketers and business owners have been talking about the growth of social media marketing and how it’s the next “big thing” everyone should get involved with. Truthfully, it’s already the big thing. In fact, according to Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, social media content is the leading content marketing tactic of 2017 with over 93% of marketers employing it daily.
The effectiveness of social media marketing can be seen in the same report for CMI and MarketingProfs where they’ve found the average number of social media accounts used by brands is six.
The reason for its use goes back to saving money. Like social media marketing, content marketing can cost very little. In order for it to be effective though you have to promote your content. Social media gets content marketing into the hands and eyes of followers with very little cost involved. A review of the latest content marketing trends shows that business owners and marketers rely heavily on social media to spread their message.
Social media marketing isn’t the trend of tomorrow, it’s taking place right now.
For solo entrepreneurs looking to get results quickly while saving on expenses, organic marketing is always the best bet. SEO can take a while to have an impact on visibility but leveraging social media (when executed strategically) brings quick results and presents opportunities to get engaging and relationship-building content in front of customers immediately.
Win their trust with value and you won’t need paid advertising to drive relevant, ready-to-convert traffic to your website.