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4 Expert Tips on Social Media Marketing for Small Business Owners

If there’s one place that your small business needs to have a solid presence, it should be social media. It’s a great venue for engaging with your existing and prospective customers, boost brand awareness, and increase your search engine ranking.

Here are some of the ways to leverage social media into your marketing efforts:

Be social

Let your target audience know that your business is a legit one and is being run by a real person. Interact and connect with your followers on social media—reply on tweets (and retweet posts), Facebook comments, and blog posts. This is an effective way to build relationships and trust with your audience on social media.

Create quality, informative content

A lot of businesses are competing for the social media users’ limited attention. How do you get ahead of the pack? Provide high-quality, valuable content that your target audience will find useful to their needs. It should not always be about promoting your products or services. You have greater chances of getting more likes and shares on social media if you offer informative content. Also, if your social media content can engage people on an emotional level, they can more easily identify with your brand.

Use keywords and measure their effectiveness

Using keywords is great for making your brand more visible online to your prospective clients. Just make sure to regularly evaluate and measure their performance so that you’ll know if they still work as expected.

Update your profile and cover photos

Images are powerful tools for conveying a message or emotion—which is why you must pick wisely the images you use for your social media channels. Make sure to update your cover photo and profile photos with professional ones to reflect the branding of your business.

Have you tried one of these strategies in social media marketing for your small business? Which ones worked the best? Share your thoughts here!

3 Foolproof B2C Digital Marketing Strategies that are Worth Your Money

Successfully managing a business isn’t actually about having more money to fund it. Rather, it’s more about putting your money where you can gain better returns. In digital marketing for B2C businesses, this couldn’t be truer. If you spend your money for marketing channels that aren’t profitable, then you’re just wasting money.

Better allocate your budget to marketing channels with high ROI. You can pick up one or two from these proven strategies for marketing a small business online:

Building solid relationships with micro-influencers.

Rather than seeking the endorsement of celebrities with bigger names, go for the social media influencers—they may not be as popular as celebrities, but they’re better at engaging the online audience and promoting brands. Reach out to and connect with influencers in your niche for a possible collaboration for marketing your brand. It can be someone with a huge following on Twitter or Instagram, a vlogger with a lot of YouTube subscribers, or a blogger whose blog has high audience engagement.

Offering freebies with purchases.

Customers love free stuff—you ca leverage on this fact by giving away a free item or service with customer orders. Studies have shown that this marketing tactic is effective at generating word-of-mouth referrals (which can spread like wildfire in this day and age of social media) and making customers come back for more.

Providing a better mobile shopping experience

A lot of people use their smartphones and tablets for online shopping. Thus you owe it to your target customers to provide them with a convenient, hassle-free mobile shopping experience. If your e-commerce site is hard to navigate or loads slowly on mobile devices, you can easily lose customers and sales.

These are just three smart ways to use your funds to promote your brand by increasing your customer engagement. You can come up with your own creative strategies, as long as you’re sure they will be effective at capturing the attention of your target market.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Applying for an SBA Loan for Your Small Business

One of the most practical and cost-effective ways to finance your startup business is to obtain a business loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA). Because this type of loan is offered with low interest rates and flexible payment terms, you can finance and grow your business without getting buried in debt.

However, getting an SBA loan can be very challenging because of its strict loan requirements and thorough application process. Despite that, it’s still worth applying for one. As long as you know what exactly are required and the correct application steps, you have a good chance of being approved for a loan.

Here are the four SBA loan application steps:

  1. Check if your business is eligible for the loan.

The SBA loan program is extended only to certain types of businesses. Businesses such as those involving life insurance, lending, or political activities are not accepted for the loan. Check the loan program eligibility requirements of the SBA.

You also need to meet the general requirements for the SBA loan such as 10%-20% down payment, proof that your business is profitable and has been operating for two years or more, collateral, and at least a 680 FICO score.

 

  1. Find an SBA lender.

Once you’ve confirmed that your business can qualify for an SBA loan, look for loan providers or banks that offer loans for small businesses through the SBA program. Specifically, choose a lender with specialization in SBA 7(a) loans and is fast and efficient in processing your loan application.

 

  1. Do your SBA loan paperwork.

Work with your chosen lender to determine all the required documents for an SBA loan application, organize your submission of documents, fast-track the approval process, and increase the likelihood of SBA loan approval for you.

 

  1. Complete the SBA forms.

The SBA requires small business loan applicants to fill out forms that ask for information about the business and the purpose of the loan. These forms can be downloaded from the SBA official website or requested from your lender.

As soon as you have completed all your paperwork and forms, finalize your SBA loan application with your lending company.