Beginning Guide to Social Media for Small Businesses

If you are ready to connect to a bigger clientele, then utilizing social media for your small business is a must. It’s not hard to get started and begin leveraging social media channels for your business.

In this article, you will learn 7 steps to make your social media marketing services work for you brand.

Do I Really Need Social Media for My Small Businesses?

When your business in small, often your resources are small too. Your marketing expenses can get drained pretty quickly with traditional marketing. Social Media is a very low cost tool that can give you a direct line to your current clients as well as potential customers.

It is a kind of trade off as what you don’t have to invest in your money, you do need to invest in your time to make your campaign most effective.

Step 1) Do Your Research

If you want an effective social media campaign, then you want a great strategy. It’s all about connecting with your target audience on a genuine level. This means that you need to truly understand your current customers and your potential ones.

Begin by defining your target audience. Determine their character profiles, gender, ages, professions, hobbies & interests; and write all of it down. Find pictures that represent your target clientele.

Then, craft your message. Looking at the details of your targeted audience, find out what concerns or problems they might have that your business can address. Write these things down, expanding on each main point for every character. Now, create three main marketing messages you would want to communicate to that targeted audience.

You will draw your audience in when they realize that you can solve a problem for them, or be provide the answer they need.

Learn which social networks can best communicate your message in a genuine way. You don’t want to just be advertising on Social Media, but showing an answer to a problem for your audience to “discover”. Different channels attract different kinds of people, so you want to find out which channels your target viewers will use the most.

Step 2) Organize Your Social Channels

Your goal is to coordinate your social media channels to work together to reach your goals. You don’t want to treat each channel as if it’s a stand-alone tool.

Your brand website is your business’s home base. Organize your social media strategy to point your audience to y our website where they can purchase your services or product.

BLOG – You can utilize your blog to set up the “voice” of your brand and share valuable information to your viewers. Your blog is also great to help engage visitors of your website and guide them through to conversion. You may want to include a call to action at the end of your posts, inviting readers to follow you on Twitter or like you on Facebook (whichever channel is best for your target audience).

ICONS – Displaying your social media icons towards the top of your home page (in header or sidebar) will allow your visitors to connect with you quickly. Make sure these icons link directly with your social media channel profile so that visitors can begin following you quickly without having to search for it.

LIVE FEEDS – You may want to integrate a live social media feed on your website’s home page. Viewers may be more likely to follow you when they see what you are sharing.

SHARE BUTTONS – Establish sharing button on your blog posts and website pages to make sure that your content is accessible for viewers to share. When a viewer reads your blog posts and loves what they read, they may want to share it with a friend. If you do not have a share button, you may lose out on the opportunity to reach a wider audience.

EMAIL – Begin an email newsletter from your brand to your clients. This keeps you in touch with them and lets them see that you continue to have valuable information for what they want. Design your email newsletters to have social media sharing icons and call to action verbiage to invite your viewers to join your social media communities. Highlighting a community, specific clients, or having a give-a-ways can be quite effective.

Step 3) Start Small – But Get Started

It takes time and energy to learn social media, so begin with a load that you can manage. You may want to select only one or two channels to begin with. Try to incorporate social media work into your daily routine. Schedule the time in your planner and dedicate that time to managing your social media platforms.

Go back to the target profiles you created with the sample marketing message your wrote and use them to craft original content as well as finding third party content to share. You may want to have an editorial calendar to keep track of all your content going out.

Your goal should be to help your viewers. Give your readers tips and information which they can use themselves and also share with others. You want to show them that you can sold a problem or address and issue they have, or even just make them laugh. If your information is relevant and helpful; your target audience will come to see your brand as an expert in that field.

Step 4) Listen and Also Share

Conversation in social media are occurring in real time all around. This makes it a great too to monitor what others are saying about your business. Make sure you respond to any comments, feedback, or mentions that come up, even if they are not always positive. You have the opportunity to make it positive by your response. This is a huge advantage of social media.

Good content is KEY to effective social media marketing. Scouring through the internet for good and relatable content to share can be time-consuming, but it is well worth the effort and research. There are tools set up to help you in your searching, and newsreaders that can aggregate content from various sources and even organize it for you.

Step 5) Craft a Daily Plan

When you have your consistent stream of content ready, you are primed to begin posting and engaging with your target audience on your social media channels.

To keep you on task, make a list every day of what you plan to do. An example could be to comment on four different Facebook pages, or share/link content on different pages. For Twitter it might be to tweet and retweet 4-6 times each day. These can even be scheduled out. For Pinterest, it might be to pin and repin 2-6 pictures each day; or for LinkedIn to like someone’s links or share a relevant link.

After you become more comfortable with your daily tasks you’ve set up, then begin to join groups and communities targeting specific demographics. Participate and even start conversations by posting comments or asking questions and responding to updates. Be sure and welcome new followers to your channels and thank them for sharing links.

It’s important to realize that you MUST be intentional with your social activities. Success is not about chance, it is about strategy and follow-through.

Step 6) Give Results a Boost with Social Advertising

You can accelerate your social media performance by looking into your paid advertising options.

Facebook provides post boosting where you can pay a certain amount for your post to reach a specifically targeting audience over a period of a few days. They also offer other advertising solutions to help you ramp up your leads and traffic.

Twitter has advertising solutions to promote either your content or accounts. Promoted content can help you reach a specific audience and promoted accounts can help you build your Twitter following.

LinkedIn has opportunities for you to reach targeted audiences and advertising you can purchase to increase the visibility of your brand.

Even with a small advertising budget, if you use it strategically, you can still get some pretty good results

Step 7) Measure and Analyze Results

This last step is the most important. You want to track your performance data. This can help you identify what tactics are being effective and which ones are not. Be sure and watch for engagement, sharing and growth. Most social media channels have tools you can use to track and measure these things.

Google Analytics is a great option for monitoring your traffic and engagement on your blog and webpage. You will want to keep track of which channels are driving the most traffic to your website.

Keep on top of your whole plan by reviewing your metric reports on a regular basis, at least 1-2 times week. Then each quarter, re-evaluate the big picture and make any needed adjustments for things that are not working and boosting the things that are.

And Finally…

Most of all, remember that using social media is more like a endurance marathon than a fast sprint.

Let these steps be your guide to get started. Define your target audience, choose your platforms, do your homework, create amazing content, and track and measure your results. Follow these steps and you are destined for success. If you get stumped, give us a call here at ZooSEO and we can help mentor you through it or even provide your whole social media marketing service for you.

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