• Guest Blogger

Social Media Tips for Small Business Owners in India.

In this week's episode of our podcast When We Met, we talk to Rapti Gupta who is Content Marketing Head at Instamojo to know about how can small business owners use social media to scale their business on the internet. You can listen to When We Met podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Hubhopper, Gaana, Anchor or any other podcast app or even watch it on Platform For Artists's YouTube channel

This piece is written by Deepannita Kundu, you can also read this blog written by her about UNSEEN 4.0, an online flea market by Platform For Artists and Instamojo featuring 50 artists. According to data from July 2020, more than half of all the people on earth use social media. An average of 1 million new users join social media every day!

This data signifies that social media is a gold mine waiting to be tapped by small businesses that are otherwise restricted by the boundaries of geography and demography. It is time to hop on the digitisation train and start navigating through the world of social media.

Following the economic stagnation brought down by COVID-19, businesses were quick to recognise the importance of adapting to the digital world. More than 20,000 online stores were created on Instamojo in the last 6 months. This is really commendable. But is creating an online store or a page enough? In a world of changing algorithms and content overload, how can these businesses thrive and expand?

In this week’s episode of When We Met, Pawan Rochwani was in conversation with Rapti Gupta, Content Marketing Head at Instamojo, India’s top-rated payment gateway, and e-commerce platform. The discussion kicked off with the question that plagues all small business owners-

How to manage time and be consistent on social media?

"Scheduling and creating a content calendar" can help small businesses make the most of limited time. This would help creators to plan out their social media presence in advance and be consistent without being overwhelmed by everyday tasks. Repurposing old content is also very efficient and can prove quite handy when done wisely. Which platform is more suitable for your business?

"Every channel has a specific purpose to it, for example, Instagram has a very visual element and it allows you to share pictures. But when it comes to linkedIn, you would probably want to talk about behind the scenes or your entrepreneurial journey", says Rapti. It is important to keep in mind what your business is and who it caters to?

Facebook has a massive user base with 1 billion daily and over 2 billion monthly active users. Facebook is also more diverse in terms of demography and thus helps you reach out to a variety of people. If you are a service-based business, getting your store on google maps is also very crucial for organic reach. How to maintain a balance between promotion content and organic content?

“People don’t buy your products, they are buying your stories”. I couldn’t agree more! Everyone is looking for a connection, a point of convergence. The biggest advantage a small business has over multi-million dollar companies is the touch of intimacy and community. It is important to represent this humane aspect of your business through the content you put out.

You must create content that is relevant to the product or service you offer but at the same time adds value to the consumer’s life. People will invest their attention in your content only when it appeals to them and they find it worthy.

The content you put out becomes the image of your brand. The visuals, tag lines, captions, and campaigns: these are what people remember not the specific features of your products or your free shipping policy!

How these businesses can compete with big established brands?

Rapti believes that in reality there is no competition at all. She says small businesses should remember that “you are not Flipkart or an Amazon, you are you for a reason”. You should keep a track of what your contemporaries are doing but you should never try to imitate them, rather focus on grabbing the opportunity that they missed out and bring something new to the table. How to turn your followers into potential customers?

Social Media is saturated with advertisements and promotions, so while you can opt for paid channels like Facebook ads, there are also organic ways that can prove to be very effective.

First, it is important to build a niche audience and help them make informed decisions about why they should consider buying from you. It is also cost-effective and yields a better result than targeting a large audience.

Rapti also recommends collecting your buyer’s information such as their email address and keeping in touch with them. She believes, “passion is infectious, if you can inspire someone, you can also convert them" How do you manage and plan content for such a big organisation? And how can small businesses imbibe some of these techniques in their work?

“One thing that really helps me, is that we are very goal and data-oriented people at Instamojo”

The rule of thumb that she follows is to- Set up a Yearly Goal, and then break it down into quarterly goals, and further into monthly and weekly goals.

The simple logic behind this is to plan for the long term. You must have a vision of where you want your business to reach in a year, in 5 years, or 10 years, and then plan accordingly. Don’t be consumed by short term routine tasks, this will restrict your growth and slow you down. A set goal gives you a lot of direction and a sense of fulfilment.

It is also important to set up smart, realistic goals. If you exaggerate or over emphasise your abilities you are setting yourself up for failure. Be rooted in reality in terms of your capacity but that being said don’t hesitate to aspire big.

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”

This is the only mantra you must keep in mind whether it is social media or anything else in life.

The conversation ended on a very unique note! Rapti told us about the importance of ‘Doing Nothing’, which is “how your brain needs to be at rest to actually function better”. Pawan as usual was very elated when this topic came up because this is his philosophy in life! This is also his way of avoiding creative burnout problem.

According to the 2020 Global Entrepreneurship Survey by GoDaddy, 53 % of small businesses are hoping to expand their digital presence and online selling capabilities, and this number is likely to increase. It is impressive that businesses are embracing social media in such high numbers. Social media can be very empowering and can help them scale their business manifold. With the right tools and information at their disposal, social media can prove to be the biggest blessing in their artistic journeys. To listen to the full conversation with Rapti Gupta, please head to the latest episode of When We Met Podcast by Platform For Artists. You can also listen to When We Met podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Hubhopper, Gaana, Anchor or any other podcast app or even watch it on Platform For Artists's YouTube channel.