Sep 7, 2015

A Beginner’s Social Media Guide for Small Businesses

Social Media | 0 comments

Beginners Guide to Social Media for Small Businesses

For small businesses and startups, gaining some traction on social media may appear fraught with difficulties from the onset. This is mainly because there is usually a lot of marketing ground to be covered and goals to be achieved with very limited resources. Trying to cover this using traditional marketing techniques will not only be a drain on your finances but is also bound to be time consuming. Social media on the other hand does offer a low cost option as well as direct link to both current and prospective clients.

It is important to note though that even though the option offers dollar savings, it is quite demanding and time consuming as well. This demands that as a business owner, you will have to adopt efficient, smart and effective ways of managing available resources so as to achieve the required results. Here are some tips on how to make social media work for your small business. They include but are not limited to the following;

Do Some Research

Make no mistake, behind each and every successful social media campaign, there is a solid, well thought out and well executed strategy. The rule of thumb in the social media arena is to intimately understand your current and potential clients. You achieve this by accurately defining your audience and distinguishing their individual character profiles by other personal details such as gender, age, profession, interests etc. once this has been done, you have to crystallize the message basing it on the problems or concerns of your key target. Define and expand these key points under each character and write them down under the relevant profiles. Below it, write down 3 main marketing messages you want to directly communicate to the chosen audience. Once this has been done, take your time to investigate and find out the social networks your targets prefer and then proceed to interact with them there on an authentic level.

Manage and Coordinate All Your Social Channels

Irrespective of the number of social media platforms you decide to use, make sure you don’t treat each platform as a standalone effort because this will significantly limit your overall success. Make your website the focal point of your campaign; use it to coordinate your efforts to push customers to your site where they can make a purchase. Make sure you prominently display social media icons in your sidebar or header. Engage with your visitors and lead them through your sales journey. If you have a blog, use it to share valuable information and establish your brand’s voice as well. make sure you include a call to action at the end of your blog posts, integrate live social media feeds of platforms such as Twitter and Facebook and incorporate sharing buttons on your posts and pages so as to ensure that content in your blogs is share friendly.

Start Small

As mentioned earlier, social media is energy sapping and time consuming. To make it easier for you to succeed, start small with a manageable load. It is recommended that you start with one or two platforms at the onset. For the first month of two, make a point of dedicating anything between 15 to 30 minutes on social media activities and increase the time as you deem fit. Come up with an editorial calendar which helps you keep track of the content you are using and how you are using it. You can look for a social media management tool to help you out with these issues.

Monitor and Share

Conversations in the social media realm happen constantly and in real time. Make sure you are doing some social listening so as to monitor and hear what people are saying about your brand. It is important to respond to both positive and negative comments, feedback and mentions. Even though content is the fuel that runs the social marketing engine, organizing and aggregating valuable and high quality content that you can share can bog you down at times. It is therefore important to come up with a process that helps you organize and collate quality content. There are tools which can help you with this as well.

Come Up With A Daily Plan

Once you have a relatively steady stream of quality content coming through, it is important to come up with a daily plan which will help you post and productively engage your social media audience. You can do this by making a detailed and specific list of the activities you plan to do every day in the respective platforms. You can also join communities and groups so as to target certain demographics and then participate and initiate conversations by posing questions as well as posting comments to relevant updates from others as well.

Do Some Social Media Advertising

Paid advertising options are a plausible option if you are keen on accelerating your social media performance. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter(Promoted accounts and Promoted content), LinkedIn (sponsored updates) have several advertising solutions which one can use to cut through the social media noise and deliver content to your well tailored audience.

Finally, it is important to periodically measure and analyze your results. You can do this by tracking performance data so as to identify the tactics that are working and those that are not. Use tools such as Google Analytics to keep track of the channels or platforms which are driving the highest number of traffic to your site and make the necessary adjustments.

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