Social Media 101 for Small Business
With so many social media sites, how do you know where to start? Which ones are the best for small businesses? The first question you need to ask is: where is your ideal client, customer, and audience most likely to be?
If you’re concerned with SEO, then I would recommend Goggle+, Facebook, & Twitter engagement. The more people are liking commenting and sharing your content the better. You want your efforts to drive traffic back to your site and ultimately into your doors or inboxes.
Social media has allow for the erosion of the ‘professional persona.’ Personal is the new professional, especially when trying to attract like-minded millennials. That being said, there needs to be boundaries; personal social media accounts are great, but you need to decide if they are strictly for business or if you’re going to be using this for business. If you’re planning on using it for business, you need to set guidelines for your brand that help attract your target market, but do not send the wrong message. Always use caution when posting online. It you post it, someone will likely see it, even if you delete it.
When creating accounts, try to be consistent. Your brand should use the same name over and over! Handles and branding colors are an important part of your brand recognition. Keeping things looking similar throughout your social media accounts will help built trust and showcase your dedication to the client experience.
Not sure where to start when it comes to names and handles? Check out Name Check List.
While your goal for running a business should ultimately be to make money, there needs to be a defined oal when it comes to using social media platforms for marketing. Set finite goals that you can measure! Can you see a correlation between your likes on Facebook and your bottom line? Your ROI might be difficult to measure, but think in terms of it being a long-term investment in your brand. You may not see results over night, but paying for advertising services might just be the best way to kick-start your social media marketing campaign.
There are services that allow you to schedule your social media posts, many of these have free options. Latergramme, Hootsuite, and Simply Measured just to name a few!
Establishing your goals and actions steps will be the hardest part of your social media marketing. You set the standards by which you measure success. Don’t be afraid to mix things up if you’re not getting the results you’re looking for. Stay consistent in your voice and be real! They want to know the real you or at the very least the version you have consistently shown of yourself on the web.
Set a timeline for your posts. How often do you want to be creating original content? This is different for everyone. Staying consistent is hard. Creating a monthly marketing calendar is the best way to insure that you’re staying a month ahead of the content you need to create. Schedule your posts and then don’t forget to engage with your audience. It is a conversation.
Don’t forget to use HASHTAGS #. These are searchable labels that people can look for across a social network relating to a specific theme. Create your own unique hastags and then use them for various campaigns. Make them memorable and short. I would stick to three hastags per post and don’t’ forget to link to your website!
We all know how information and the Internet can be a time-suck. Set limits on when and for how long you will be on social media. Check the various insight tools offered by Facebook and Twitter to see when most people are engaging with your content. Maybe the noon hour is not the best time to post photos. I find that 9:00pm is when I have the most interaction with my content.
If you find any of this overwhelming, you’re not alone. Marketing your small business needs to be a system that you enhance over time, but you first must have a why and a who. Setting the foundation is what should take the most time; moving ahead with confidence having done your research and implanted a strategy that will yield the best results for your brand.