Running a small business can be complicated and time-consuming and this often means that some tasks get overlooked. Take a look at our points to see if you need to re-focus on any of these important – but often neglected areas.

Are you Spending Enough Time on Social Media Marketing?

How much time do you spend sharing content or connecting on your social media accounts? If you are running a business for local clients or customers, how long do you spend actually meeting people at networking meetings and community events?

A recent survey conducted by Constant Contact suggested the average small business spends up to 20 hours per week on social media marketing and other forms of face to face marketing. How does this compare to your experience?

It may be difficult to juggle so many tasks, especially if you would rather spend your time improving your product or service, or making sure that customer orders are completed and sent out in good time. However, you need to spend at least some of your time each week connecting with people and spreading the word about your company.

A thankless task it may be at times, but once you have a handful of happy customers, they will be doing a lot of the work for you by spreading the word on your behalf. There is no better marketing medium than word of mouth and personal recommendation, so make sure you don’t neglect your best marketing tool.

customer-experienceDo you know the difference between Customer Experience and User Experience?

Yes, there is a difference! It would help your business greatly if you understand how they affect your business.

User experience is more to do with the product or service that you offer. It is how the user experiences using your product or service, so how your sandwich toaster performs, or the results of having a set of nail extensions at your nail bar, or the experience someone has using your web app or software etc. Yes, you should work hard on making your product or service goal orientated and delivers what you promise.

Customer experience, on the other hand, is to do with the ongoing experience that they have whenever they interact with your company. It is to do with your conversations, your swift response to customer queries and how quickly you get their issues resolved. This includes every channel of communication from the ease of navigation of your website and understanding the information that you provide on it, to the tone and responsiveness of your social media threads, email communication, and phone conversations.

Many small business owners tend to put a lot of focus into providing good user experience, but this can often be at the expense of the customer experience. You can have a successful business with great products and services, but without the backup of good customer experience, the chances of increasing sales and returning customers can be severely diminished.

How can a small business improve their customer experience?

First of all, it can really help to generate a picture in your mind of your perfect customer. When you understand their wants and needs it can make it easier for you to tailor your social media posts to appeal to your ideal customer. You also have to create your own social media persona because when you post regularly you need what you send out to be consistent.

Many small businesses will simply post without much thought, but having a persona established will really help with the consistency of your posts. It will also help with retention numbers because a lot of people like to follow brands because of what it represents. Not every follower will be interested in what deals or offers to give them, but will become loyal and read your posts for your sense of humour or your different take on the world – in other words, your human side.

Take a look at other brands

You can get some good examples of how a company uses a persona by looking at how they post on social media. For example, Innocent Drinks post amusing things to make people smile, but the posts are not necessarily to do with pushing their drinks. Lots of their posts come from silly things around the offices at ‘Innocent Towers’ and feature everything from the exploits of their office cats to bowls of sweets for people who wash their hands after visiting the toilet.

No matter what persona you adopt for your company social media posts, doing so will help you in numerous ways, such as making your content writing easier, gives you a recognisable brand and will help you stand out from the crowd in your same business niche.