Small business marketing can be full of obstacles. Company owners are challenged with delicately balancing their resources and wearing many hats that corporate companies have whole departments for, including sales, production, HR, marketing and finance.
They often ponder how to create the best possible product and/or service, find the right methods to promote it, and how to stabilize their cash flow. Similar to startup social media agencies, winning and keeping new clients is fundamental to their success, and a good portion of new business can be found on social media.
Today, we sit down with Javier D. Martinez who founded his own digital agency in 2015 in Texas, and has been transforming how small businesses do marketing since.
1. Who are you and what does your company do?
Greetings, I am Javier D. Martinez, the Founder of JDM Solutions Group. Our digital agency solves small business marketing challenges by reinventing their strategies. The mission is simple: innovate traditional concepts and approaches to help small business owners launch their e-commerce empires.
2. How and why did you get started in social media?
I got started in social media about five years ago out of necessity. Back then, I was a college student with very limited resources and needed a way to advertise my side projects in order to pay for my expenses. Social media platforms are free and attract millions of people, so I thought some of them could be interested in what I have to offer. I then realized just how quickly I can reach my target audience in a cost-effective way.
3. What do you believe the benefits of using social media for business are?
Where to start? Marketing on social media has many benefits - for small businesses and building your personal brand alike. It’s a powerful tool for creating an online community, increasing brand awareness and finding customers (especially if you sell unique, niche products). People engage with your content and what you put out there, so it’s also a place where you can get a lot of feedback.
4. What are the common mistakes business owners make when building brand awareness through social media?
A common mistake we encounter a lot is when business owners (who use social media platforms) are creating irrelevant content to build brand awareness. Then they get discouraged and find it hard to believe that this marketing channel can work for their business.
In today’s marketplace, people don’t want to be sold to - they want to be entertained, well-informed and find solutions to their problems. When considering ‘building brand awareness’ as an objective in your social media strategy, you need to make sure you can create content that is easily digestible for your existing and potential customers.
People don’t want to be sold to - they want to be entertained, well-informed and find solutions to their problems.
5. What qualities do you think social media managers should have?
The best social media managers are crafty content creators - they write clever copy, take high-quality photos and in some cases, create videos. For our digital agency, it’s incredibly important to have someone who is willing to take risks and test new ways to build brand awareness for our clients. Social media managers should have a passion for educating people online as well, especially if that’s the main type of content their client wants to put out.
6. How do business owners know if their social media campaign is working?
For my team and I, it’s a numbers game. Coming from a business background, I’ve always been quite analytical and results driven. That’s why when we plan campaigns, our number one question is “what type of ROI this activity will have?”. This could be as simple as whether we should create a particular content type for the client, or invest more in paid advertising. We test ad variations in multiple ways until we see the ones that capture most traffic and conversions, then we dive in and capitalize our ROI.
The advice then is to always set SMART goals, e.g. increasing Twitter followers by 500 every quarter or increasing the engagement rate on Facebook by 50% in one month are both, measurable goals that contribute to brand awareness.
Before creating new content or investing more in paid ads, think - what type of ROI this activity will have?
7. How do you see social media evolving over the next five years...what do you hope to see?
The way businesses advertise their products and/or services will be completely different five years from now. The hottest trend I see evolving is vlogging and everything to do with live video. Many brands and influencers are creating a ton of buzz providing their unique views on products that seem almost as genuine as advice given by your closest friend.
8. What do you think are some of the consequences of not getting on board with social media?
Here’s a simple stat to put things in perspective: As of 2016, 78 percent of the United States population had a social networking profile and there are 2.34 billion social network users worldwide (source: Statista).
If your business is not on social media, you’re losing market share. So, I’d strongly recommend you start learning how to use social media for business or employ someone who can do it for you. As a marketing channel, social media can be the driving force for attracting new visitors and getting noticed by industry leaders and influencers. Now that’s exciting!
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9. What are your thoughts on social media versus more traditional marketing activities, and how does social media fit in the marketing mix?
All marketing channels can be effective, just not to all businesses at the same time. That’s why it’s important to know the in’s and out’s of your industry and customers to know how best to promote your services. We believe that people are increasingly moving towards the online world and a big part of small business marketing success will come from digital marketing and its employees.
People are increasingly moving towards the online world and a big part of small business marketing success will come from digital marketing and its employees.
10. Which one best practice would you recommend about using social media to grow a business?
We recommend vlogging and creating content that will empower your buyer! In order to reach new audiences, your business needs to have a unique voice and a mission. Invest time in documenting your journey and create valuable content that will be of benefit to its consumers.