As a small business owner you know there’s a lot of work that goes into marketing and advertising your business in what seems like little time to do so. What if we could break down social media into 5 easy steps specifically catered to people either looking to start a small business or people who already own one?
Breaking into social media marketing for the startup or small business owner doesn’t have to be so intimidating.
All it takes is strategizing, getting social, engaging, advertising, and analyzing. Sound simple? Good, because it is.
Now let’s get started!
RESEARCH: Find your niche! Research your competitors and get to know their strategies, but more importantly learn how to build your own. Running a successful social media campaign for a small business involves having an excellent strategy. Write down your goals; what you want your business to become, what you’re selling, who you’re selling to, and how you’re going to sell it. Now be realistic; where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? Write down all the details and take notes because operating a business is hard work and the initial steps to starting one are crucial. Over time expand each detail further and further until you feel that you have it all mapped out and then trust in it. Trust in your plan, trust in the process, and trust in the results. Sign up for social media marketing articles and tips from popular websites or blogs- these daily insights will motivate you to push on towards making your dreams a reality.
AUDIENCE: Knowing who your intended audience is can be more important than you think and it starts with understanding that your product/service isn’t for everyone. Once you know who your product/service is for, then you can better market to those individuals specifically. Learn which social media platforms your intended audience frequents and go to them! Learn how to use those social media sites, build a profile, and begin marketing. You won’t get customers unless you know where to reach them.
PLATFORMS: No two social media platforms are the same. Yes they all have profiles that allow you to update all of your information and yes they all allow you to have followers. But all social media platforms are built for different reasons and vary in who frequents them.
SCHEDULING: Posting on social media can be incredibly daunting and yes there is a right way and a wrong way to go about doing so. Make sure you always use visuals- clean, attention-grabbing images. Posts with images receive far more engagement than posts without images. People use social media to be entertained and can you honestly say that a post without images captures your attention? Probably not. Large companies know that both engaging and promoting on social media are the key to success and sales. Is scheduling not something that you think you can take on as an everyday task? If so, you’re in the right place, Social Media LV designs, writes, and posts to your social media platforms so you don’t have to!
CONSISTENCY: Now that you know what type of material to post about, it is important to remain consistent. Whether you post every day or three times a week, make sure that you are using the same pattern every single week. Your social media presence is all about just that- being present! Actively posting on social media gives your consumers the type of reliability that is expected out of any business. How do you presume it looks when people visit your social media accounts and you haven’t posted in a long period of time? It doesn’t look good. Lacking a social media presence is the same as lacking legitimacy. An active social media presence shows your audience that you are not only dedicated to them but you are dedicated to operating your business as well.
PARTICIPATE: Brand awareness begins once your business starts making an impression on social media. Formulating a brand identity and staying true to who you are says more to your consumers than you may think. So join other groups and communities that are similar to yours, introduce your business, and build connections! Gaining affiliates is another way to increase your social media presence and gain followers.
CONVERSE: Above we discussed the importance of understanding your intended audience but now you must understand the importance of engaging with them as well. Once you have found your followers, follow them back and converse with them! Look for opportunities to create an actual connection with your followers on a one-on-one basis; getting personal with your consumes allows them to get personal with you. Reach out to your customers often, ask them to fill out surveys, review your products, answer questions, and share photos of themselves with your product/service. Doing all of those things gives you the opportunity to retweet and share content that your followers will truly enjoy. Engaging with your audience on social media will help you to build a community that everyone will want to be a part of!
COORDINATE: Coordinate your social media platforms by including the URLs to all of your different social media profiles on each individual platform. Optimize your website or blog by adding the URL for those directly to your profiles as well! Doing so can truly entice your viewers to visit your other social media platforms and follow your business on those too.
LINKING: When you share links on social media you are promoting your business on a level that simply posting an image cannot compare to. Google search engine gathers information directly from linking through URL clicks and conversions when analyzing SEO! So link away! Link to your website consistently, link to your other social media platforms, link to articles related to the product/service that you offer, link to your blog, etc etc. Directing your audience to your other links is a great way to gain traffic to your website as well as boost your business’ SEO through your social media. It’s a double win!
PAID ADVERTISING: If you’re looking to accelerate your sales through social media, consider paid advertising through Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin. All three of these social media platforms offer advertising solutions to help you get brand exposure, sales, website traffic, and audience engagement. If this sounds appealing.. look into your budget and see if paid advertising is an option you can afford. Sometimes making the investment can produce great results.
MEASURE PROGRESS: Tracking your performance can easily be one of the most intimidating tasks for any small business, however it is also the best way to determine which parts of your strategy are working and which parts aren’t. Pay attention to your growth and engagement especially as these two are the most helpful in gaining more traffic to your social media accounts. Once you do so you can then begin making adjustments to things that don’t work and begin investing more into the things that do work.
PRACTICE PATIENCE: Over time you will come to see that your social media presence has helped you to build a stronger audience and increase sales like nothing else ever before. The worst thing you can do is compare your business to the success of anothers’. Understand that no two business are the same.. that doesn’t mean that yours is worse or that you’re failing.
Now that you know the 5 steps, the rests is simply rinsing, lathering, and repeating. Do you think you can handle that?