5 Steps to an Effective Social Media Strategy for Your Small Business
Marketing has greatly evolved over the years. Businesses used to rely on door-to-door marketing to find customers. Then print, radio, and TV advertising came into play. The new game in town is social media marketing, and it seems like it’s here to stay.
Over 60% of adults worldwide utilize social media in some form. Over a billion people use Facebook each month. Twitter draws 500,000 users each month. Therefore, every business might want to consider taking advantage of social media marketing.
Follow this simple plan to get started with social media marketing:
1. Define your goals and target customers. Goals are always important because they make you think about where you are and where you eventually want to be.
· What are your goals? Are you trying to drive more customers to your website? Do you want to boost the presence of your brand? Are you trying to share coupons and special offers? Do you want to communicate more with your customers? Are you trying to market and sell products directly?
Once you set some specific, measurable goals, decide on how you want to prioritize them. The most important goal comes first! Remember to set deadlines for each goal.
Know your audience. Your marketing will be different if your typical customer is a 23 year-old single male than it would be for a 35 year-old mother.
Remember to use a platform that’s suitable to your target demographic. For example, Facebook is popular with women and young adults. Men over 30 are not an active group on Facebook.
2. Know the different media platforms. Become an expert and learn about the available platforms. Figure out which platforms will reach the audience you are seeking. Choose wisely to maximize the use of your time and money.
Facebook. As mentioned, Facebook is big with women and young adults. A Facebook profile is free and easy to set up. However, the ad space can be expensive.
LinkedIn. You’ll mostly find business professionals and entrepreneurs here. Again, it’s free to join. This is a great place to do some networking.
Twitter. Although originally targeted at everyone, Twitter tends to draw celebrities or those with a big following. However, the audience is expanding. Twitter users are mostly educated, young adults, and there are slightly more female users than males.
Everything else. The point is to become aware of the many platforms and the groups who use them. Do some research!
3. Get your content figured out. Develop a plan for your content. Figure out the type of content you’ll use and how frequently you’ll post it.
What type of content will you post? What format will you use to share your content? Written posts? Videos? Audio files?
Determine the frequency. Then be reliable and consistent. The more frequently you post content the better, provided the information is relevant to your customers. Set a schedule and stick to it. Random posting can make you look unprofessional.
4. Create your actual presence. After choosing your platforms and creating your content plan, it’s time to get busy building your online presence.
Only create profiles that you will use. Maximize your time by only choosing platforms where you’ll regularly add content.
Create a full, complete profile on each platform. Take the time to make your company look professional and remember to include links to your website!
Get out there, follow, and connect with others. Avoid setting up accounts and then forgetting about them. Participate in the online communities. If you want people to follow you, follow them first.
Be reactive. If someone makes a comment or asks a question, respond!
5. Maintain, maintain, maintain. It’s important to stay on top of social media. Spending a few minutes to log on each day is a great idea. Follow a few new people or make a post on someone else’s profile each day. Also, ensure your content is posted on schedule.
Creating a social media presence isn’t difficult, but it takes some time and planning. Complete the necessary research before you begin building your presence. Your time will be well spent, and the results can be significant.
It’s important to be consistent. Followers cast dead profiles aside. Give them meaningful content on a regular basis. Use social media to your advantage and watch your business grow.