Article | July 6, 2021
With the emergence of COVID-19, social media became a powerful platform for small businesses to connect directly with an audience and thus, build brand awareness, direct sales, reaching the target audience, and cultivate customer relationships. As a result, social media strategy for small businesses is in high demand.
According to the most recent data, there will be 4.33 billion social media users worldwide at the start of 2021, accounting for more than 55% of the total global population. With more than 70% of the US population having a social media account, these platforms and services have risen to prominence as some of the most popular online activities in recent decades. As a result, the number of social network users in the United States will reach 243 million by 2025. Furthermore, the world spends more than 10 billion hours per day on social media platforms, equating nearly 1.2 million years of human existence.
The statistics states that maximum people spend most of their time on social media apps; thus it is a powerful platform of marketing for small businesses.
What is a social media strategy for small businesses?
A social media strategy enlists everything you want to do and achieve on your preferred social media platform. It contains information about your goals, what you intend to post, and how you intend to measure the success of your goals. Social media strategy requires setting social media goals and objectives.
A smart social media strategy helps you build brand awareness, connect directly with customers, increase revenue, and build relationships with your audience. The more detailed your social media plan, the more effective it will be.
The primary goal of social media strategy is to create a systematic plan for maximizing engagement and interactions across social media platforms to achieve a company's goals.
Why do you need a social media strategy for your small business?
Trying to build a strong brand on social media is not a piece of cake. It demands a well-defined strategy that will help you to build a strong and organic presence online. Having a well-built social media strategy helps you save time. Social media is a crucial part of an inbound marketing strategy and requires a lot of effort. At one point in time, social media was just an option for small businesses, but 2020 has made it essential. Social media strategy enables targeting your audience more effectively and will also help you stay ahead of the competition.
To taste success, small businesses should have a social media strategy in place. According to the study, 53% of customers who follow a company on social media are more likely to be loyal to them specifically.
There are several social media channels available such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc. From a social media marketing perspective, Facebook is the most used social platform and can be one of the best social media channels for small businesses. However, having a dynamic social media strategy for small businesses is extremely beneficial for its success.
Set social SMART goals
It is easy to start using social media for business, but before that, it is important to create a social media plan that ensures all social efforts support specific business goals. Be clear on your goals for making social media plan. Hence, create smart goals with a SMART framework.
A SMART goal is defined as specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. You can keep your efforts focused and effective by setting these goals for social media marketing tips.
Specific: Be specific with your goals and objectives to set your strategies and determine which channel will assist you in achieving them. The goals of each business owner differ; some want to connect with customers, while others want to increase conversations or traffic to their website.
Measurable: Your goals need to be measurable to determine the effectiveness of your strategies. Each social media network has a set of metrics that businesses can use to gauge their efforts. However, few tools like Google Analytics help to track engagement and conversion metrics.
Achievable: Your goals need to be achievable by your business.
Relevant: Your goals need to be relevant to the objectives of your business.
Time-bound: Your objective must be time-bound. But determining the best time frame can be difficult. Set a quarterly goal to ensure you don't waste time on ineffective strategies for too long. Evaluation will be simpler and more frequent.
Setting a SMART goal is an essential social media strategy for small businesses. For 2021 and beyond, SMART goals are the most popular and long-lasting goal-setting frameworks in the industry.
Hand-pick the right social media platforms
Choosing the right social media platforms among over 100 platforms available is a bit tricky. How do you know which is the right one for your business? If you try to use multiple channels at the same time, your chances of success will decrease, and it will be difficult to deliver a consistent experience across all platforms, especially for small businesses with limited resources.
All social media platforms have advantages and disadvantages; you must be cautious when choosing the right network, keeping in mind your target audience and where your current customers are most active. Choose the platforms that make the most sense for the nature of your business.
Pay attention to trends of social media
It is a good practice to pay attention to trends in social media because they change all the time, so you will be aware of what people are looking for in social media platforms when they are active. As a result, you will be able to create content that is relevant to the search. It is critical to monitor social media trends and keep your social media strategy up to date to achieve your business goals.
Keep in mind your current audience’s needs so that you can change your strategy accordingly. Customer’s tastes, behavior, and likings are dynamic, and you will know it only when you keep track of social media trends. If small business owners want to take advantage of social media platforms, they will have to pay attention to the social media trends.
Track and measure your social media goals
Tracking and measuring the performance and progress of your social media goals is important once you implement your social media strategies. Consistency is essential for the success of social media strategy for small businesses.
There are analytic tools such as Google Analytics that give you information about the metrics. Social media goals determine your metrics. Social media metrics give you a clear picture of how well your social media strategy is performing.
Once you know how your strategy is working, you can find ways to improve it further. When you have determined your goals and social media metrics, you can choose the right social media tools to help you manage your accounts, monitor engagement, and advertise on social platforms. To track and measure your social media goals is one of the important social media marketing tips.
Schedule social media calendar for small business
A small business owner needs to be consistent in their presence on social media. Now the question is, how do you do this? When you have a long list of things-to-do, you can schedule posts in advance by making use of technology and tools. By using tools, schedule a social media calendar for small businesses to post them automatically at the right time.
This will give you consistency as well as save time. It is of utmost importance that your social media plan for small businesses include certain fixed days every month or a fixed few hours every week to schedule your social posts. It gives you ample time to concentrate on other aspects on different platforms for real-time engagement when you plan it well. This is an effortless social media strategy for small businesses.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Which social media is best for small businesses?
The most common social media platforms used by small businesses include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Social media is easy for small business owners because it is cost-effective. Among all these, LinkedIn is considered best for small businesses to connect with other businesses and professionals.
Why is social media good for small businesses?
Social media helps you build brand awareness, connect with current customers, and increases your customer base. Social media platform gives you a better understanding of your customers.
What are the five benefits of social media?
The benefits of using social media are endless. A few benefits to pen down are it helps to build relationships, increases visibility, helps connect with wider audiences anytime, anywhere, reduces marketing costs, and provides better search engine rankings.
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"name": "Why is social media good for small businesses?",
"text": "Social media helps you build brand awareness, connect with current customers, and increases your customer base. Social media platform gives you a better understanding of your customers."
"name": "What are the five benefits of social media?",
"text": "The benefits of using social media are endless. A few benefits to pen down are it helps to build relationships, increases visibility, helps connect with wider audiences anytime, anywhere, reduces marketing costs, and provides better search engine rankings."
Article | April 15, 2020
Accounting professionals throughout the Americas are operating in unprecedented times with the impacts of COVID-19. With information changing daily on government stimulus packages, many of our accounting and bookkeeping partners are quickly adapting and helping their clients navigate through these tough times. Technology (especially the cloud) has enabled firms to seamlessly work-from-home and collaborate across the country. As well as find new ways to help their clients. Here are three reasons why moving your practice online allows you to better operate and support your small business clients during this time.
Article | May 19, 2021
Entrepreneurs who plan to go into business with one or more other individuals may not realize there are several variations of partnerships to consider. In this article, I’ll describe the different types of partnerships and what needs to be done to start and maintain them.
Business owners should keep in mind that there are legal and tax-related issues to consider when choosing a business entity type. So before deciding, it's wise to consult an attorney and accountant or tax advisor for guidance.
Article | July 23, 2021
Are you set with the business idea? So now is the real mammoth-sized challenge that is how to get startup finance? As the adage goes, "never put all your eggs in one basket," and this is especially true when it comes to startup financing options for your business. Entrepreneurs ought to understand the importance of diversifying financial sources and the available options. It is crucial to select the appropriate startup financing for small businesses.
According to a 2020 Federal Reserve report, new company small businesses are the primary source of job growth in the United States. Still, they are much more likely than larger firms to face financial difficulties in accessing borrowed capital.
Millions of Americans start their businesses each year. According to the Census Bureau, there would be over 4.3 million new business applications in 2020 alone.
It is vital to choose the suitable funding options as per your business requirements. Because every business's needs and circumstances are unique, no financial solution is one-size-fits-all.
Some choose to finance their startups with their years saved capital or get “love money” from family, spouse or friends, or any other funding options. How you choose to fund your business determines the structure and operation of your business. Hence, finding appropriate funding for startups is a bit tricky.
In this blog, explore few options of startup financing for small businesses and grow your business.
What is startup financing for small businesses?
Startup capital is a large sum of money raised to help with the financial needs of new businesses. Small business startup loan covers all the major company’s initial costs, such as purchasing equipment, working capital, machinery inventory, supplies, licenses, office space, furniture, product development, purchase of construction equipment or real estate.
Funding for startups can be provided by venture capitalists, angel investors, banks, or other financial institutions. It is pretty common that a new business might require more than one round of startup capital investment. In addition, many investors ask for a solid business plan in exchange for their money due to the risk involved in investing in the young company.
Advantages and disadvantages of startup financing for small businesses
• You will have enough money to start your own business.
• Personal wealth can be safeguarded.
• You have the option to retain ownership.
• You can establish business credit.
• It isn't easy to get startup business loans approved.
• High-interest rates.
• These loans may limit cash flow.
• Your personal credit may be jeopardized.
• You might not get all the money you asked for.
Where can I get a small business startup loan?
Small Business Credit Cards
Business credit cards are the most preferred option of startup financing for small businesses. As a result, small businesses are highly targeted by business credit card issuers providing them multiple offers, unique benefits, and applications.
Small business credit cards give small business owners easy access to a changing line of credit and a set of credit limits for making purchases and withdrawing cash. Business credit cards are safe, convenient, and a great alternative to startup business loans.
Applying for small business credit cards can be quickly done online or through banks. The criteria to qualify for a small business credit card depends on the business owner’s credit score and combined income (personal and business). Small business credit cards are convenient startup financing options.
Choose a credit card with a 0% APR to save money on interest. You will be able to pay off your debts in full each month once you start generating revenue. According to a recent Federal Reserve Small Business Credit Survey, 53% of small businesses use credit cards to help fund their operations.
The most significant advantage of a small business credit card is that you can access the funds immediately for short-term needs, potentially increasing your company's purchasing power.
Venture capital funding is a good choice of startup financing for small businesses. Venture capital is a type of equity and financing provided by investors to start-ups and small businesses with the potential for long-term growth. Venture capitalists are a type of investor who typically invests in a business against equity and holds a small portion of the company's ownership in exchange for capital.
When investing, venture capitalists consider a few criteria, such as specific industry sectors, company stage, and geography. In addition, venture capitalists frequently seek entrepreneurs with a robust business model that has the potential for higher returns.
Venture capital financing is difficult to obtain because, as a business owner, you must ensure that their focus matches your company's and its stage of development.
Venture capital is a time-consuming process that looks for more considerable opportunities that are stable, have a strong team, and have good traction. However, because venture capitalists provide a lot of mentorship and ownership, this may not be the best option for you if mentorship and compromising do not fit in your books.
Crowdfunding is a new trending option of startup financing for small businesses and has increased over the past few years due to its low risk for business owners. Crowdfunding is a way to raise startup capital through small contributions or investments from many individuals via crowdfunding websites or crowdfunding platforms.
To raise funds for startups through crowdfunding is not very difficult; it just requires setting up your company profile on the popular crowdfunding websites or crowdfunding platforms available. The profile needs to describe your company, its business, the products or services you deal in, and the amount of money you wish to raise.
Interested people can contribute to your campaign in exchange for a reward for their contribution. In addition, setting up a crowdfunding campaign gives exposure to your young company seeking money for the startup.
Crowdfunding for startups is accomplished by gathering donations from diverse people in exchange for a special reward. This incentive could take the form of free products, exclusive discounts, first access to new products, premium merchandise, the opportunity to join the team, or even becoming a significant capital investor.
Some of the popular crowdfunding platforms in the US include Kickstarter, Indiegogo, RocketHub, Onevest, SeedInvest, and many more. Each crowdfunding platform charges a fee to list your campaign, a flat fee or a percentage of the funds raised.
Because each crowdfunding platform is unique, make sure to read the fine print and fully understand your financial and legal obligations.
Love money from family and friends
Love money is nothing more than approaching your spouse, friends, and family for a loan to start your business. This is the most common type of financing option used by many companies, and it is one of the most essential sources of startup financing for small businesses at early-stage businesses.
Regardless of whether you have a personal and healthy relationship with your family and friends, never approach them solely for financial assistance. The mature move is to present them with a well-prepared business plan, financials, and other necessary documents. Then, request their valuable feedback on your business plan, as well as their advice based on their business experience, if any. This approach demonstrates your regard for their knowledge and expertise.
Despite all the benefits listed above, a business relationship with family or friends should not be taken lightly. Never assume that your close family or friends will lend you money. Do not take their financial assistance for granted.
Angel investors are another excellent source of startup financing for small businesses. Unfortunately, many people believe that venture capital and angel investors are the same things, but this is not the case.
Venture capital is the companies that invest in your business. In contrast, angel investors are wealthy individuals or successful retired business executives who invest directly in small firms and take an equity stake in the new venture.
Angel investors are one of the few startup financing options sought out during the early stages of a new business's growth.
Along with funds, angel investors offer advice based on their experience, technical and management knowledge, and network of contacts. As a result, Angel investors frequently have a low profile and invest less than venture capitalists.
Personal loans for business
A personal loan for business may be worth considering for entrepreneurs with excellent personal credit and a new business idea worth putting your own money on the line for. The benefit of this option is that there are no hidden fees; it is simply a personal loan.
Personal loans have lower interest rates and easier repayment terms than business loans. This is an effective startup funding option because it can be used for almost any purpose.
The most significant disadvantage of a personal loan is that you are the sole accountable if your business fails and is responsible for the repayment of the outstanding balance. However, this can be a viable option as a startup financing for small businesses if you need a relatively small startup capital.
Small business administration (SBA) loans
The SBA does not lend directly to small businesses; instead, it offers various loan guarantee programs to qualifying banks, non-profit lenders, and credit unions. For example, some banks offer low-interest loans to small businesses that are backed and guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA). They target underserved companies and make loans to start-ups.
The loan application process is time-consuming, with stringent requirements for qualified small businesses. As a result, the Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a few startup programs such as micro-loans and Community Advantage.
Equipment financing is the top option if you need startup financing to purchase equipment and machinery. Because the equipment you will buy will serve as collateral for the loan, lending standards for equipment financing may be less stringent. However, if you do not return the money, the bank may seize your equipment to cover the cost of their lost money.
Dealerships, banks, and online equipment finance providers all offer equipment financing.
The main advantage of equipment financing is that you gain ownership of an asset, the payments for which are spread out over time, which is generally one to five years.
Frequently Asked Question:
What do you mean by startup funding?
Startup funding is money raised to help a new business meet its initial costs. To raise startup capital, entrepreneurs must create a compelling business plan to sell their concept to potential investors.
Where can I find startup financing?
Angel financing, crowdfunding, small business credit cards, venture capital, equipment financing are few popular options to find startup financing.
What are the types of funding?
Crowdfunding, venture capital, angel financing, small business administration loan, small business loans are few types of startup financing to businesses.
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"text": "Startup funding is money raised to help a new business meet its initial costs. To raise startup capital, entrepreneurs must create a compelling business plan to sell their concept to potential investors."
"name": "Where can I find startup financing?",
"text": "Angel financing, crowdfunding, small business credit cards, venture capital, equipment financing are few popular options to find startup financing."
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