No matter how amazing your product and business model are, they won’t lead you down a path to success if your target audience isn’t aware you exist or doesn’t know what all you have to offer.

Today, consumers turn to the Internet when they have questions, searching through various channels to find the information they need to make informed choices.

As a small business owner, the challenge of allocating your limited marketing resources (or personal time) to the right medium can be overwhelming.

Digital marketing offers countless opportunities to promote your company and engage with potential customers and social media is emerging as a sustainable venue.

Why Do Businesses Use Social Media?
Ten years ago, social media marketing was considered a fad that would never have a credible place in business.
Today, most business owners know that social media is a powerful word-of-mouth marketing tactic, and an integral business communication tool. But they’re frustrated by the lack of traction.
Small business owners tend to be attracted to social media for the following reasons:
1. It leverages their existing social and business networks.
2. It’s easier to update and offers more interactive immediacy than a traditional website.
3. It keeps them engaged in their communities, whether local or online.
Unfortunately, like most business owners, you’re probably struggling to find opportunities to really build your brand and drive awareness in a meaningful way.

How Can You Effectively Use Social Media Marketing To Help Your Business?
Here are a few tips on how you can use social media to achieve and maintain effective word-of-mouth.

Reach Your Target Audience On Social Media
1. Maximize an advertising budget with better organic social strategies
2. Focus on quality social media followers instead of the masses
3. Stay original to keep your audience engaged
4. Augment social media content with visuals
Now let’s discuss each of these steps:

1. Don’t Pay for Advertising, Yet
Paid advertising certainly serves a purpose, but it does not provide the only way to advertise to your target audience on social.

If you employ effective social media marketing strategies, you shouldn’t need to invest as much of your budget in paid ads as you might think. By utilizing social media in a useful and organic way, you can reach your intended demographic without exhausting your resources.

Ways to Extend Your Organic Reach on Social: use hashtags, run contests, and create partnerships with other related businesses.

The key is in providing content that matters to your followers and keeps them engaged. If you do this, they’ll spread the word by mentioning or tagging friends and family who might be interested.

Of course, social media advertising has its place within a marketing strategy. But master the basics first, so you know which free tactics will expand your reach and what kind of exposure is worth paying for.

2. Focus On Attracting Quality Followers
We live in a world that often seems to place a premium on the “more is better” philosophy. But this does not necessarily apply when building a fan base online.

Your business could have a million followers on social media, but that fact won’t hold much value if very few of those followers actually buy what you’re selling.

Instead of trying to appeal to as broad an audience as possible (a classic mistake that many of us may be tempted to make), focus on reaching those who will give you a return on your social media investment.

Quality followers can sustain your business.

While this may seem initially counter intuitive, you may increase your overall appeal if you market your business to a niche following on social media.

3. Be Original And Creative To Get Noticed
You probably know as well as I do that as consumers, we are bombarded with images of products and descriptions of services everywhere we look.

In order to be memorable and make a real impact on prospective customers, your social media marketing strategy must be creative.

If you’re just mimicking the tactics that others have implemented, social media users will quickly grow bored with your campaign.

Infuse your distinct voice and throw-out predictable templates.

Don’t focus daily posts on your business, but instead, conversations and issues related to your industry. By joining the conversation, you might be able to show a unique perspective or solution that only your business can provide.

Being distinct in your approach helps you find the best customers suited to what your business does better than anyone else. It makes the sales process that much easier!

4. Use Mobile-Friendly Visual Content
In 2017, 95% of Facebook users accessed their accounts via a mobile device. You can safely assume that such individuals may not have the time to read lengthy blog posts when they’re on the go.

Visual content provides you with a unique way of capturing the attention of mobile users in a fast and powerful way.

By augmenting your posts with video, infographics, and other types of visual content, you can deliver what matters quickly.

Parting Advice
Take a step back and evaluate where you currently are with your social media platforms.

Don’t try to be everything to everyone.

Know where you stand and provide real value to your audience. Working smarter, not harder, is how you’ll see your social media marketing efforts pay off, plus, you might even enjoy it!