How-To Implement a Social Media Marketing Strategy for Small Business Owners

how to begin a social media marketing strategy

Statistics show that there are billions of active users on social media platforms every day. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Pinterest, and more all generate unique content that connects business owners directly with their community. 

While other avenues of digital marketing are certainly lucrative — SEO, email marketing, PPC — the possibilities with social media marketing should not be overlooked. Freelancers, managers, ecommerce shop owners, and many others can benefit from connecting directly with their clientele via these platforms and utilizing ad functions, giveaways, shares, and more.

Just a few of the perks of social media marketing include

In Sight, In Mind

Clients are constantly reminded of you, your products, and your promotions; next time they go to make a purchase, they’ll be thinking of you

Instant Recommendations

Previous clients can tag your business when users on their friend’s list are in need; with just two clicks, someone can be viewing your website, sending you a call, or placing an order

Humanize the Brand

Customers care more and more about connecting with and buying from a human vs a company; social media is the place to showcase your origin story, your passion, and show true commitment to your community

Wide Audience Reach

The best thing about social media is how quickly your information, products, and services can be shared; with the right content, your audience can increase exponentially

4 Quick Tips to Help You Begin Social Media Marketing

Social media is certainly expansive and social media marketing can go down several different avenues. However you decide to pursue social media marketing, on whichever platforms, these first four tips will get you started and take you down the road to success.

Know Your Demographic and What Social Media Apps They Frequent

social media marketing demographicsSocial media marketing can be so successful because you’re putting your products and brand in front of your audience every day. Users are on social media almost constantly, so no matter when you post, you’re likely to show up in their feed among their families and friends, subtly encouraging them to purchase from you and connect with your business.

This can only work properly, however, if you’re posting on the right apps. It doesn’t do any good to focus your engagement entirely on one social platform if your main clientele isn’t active on there, nor does it do any good to sign up for every account and hope for a home run — if you’re not able to respond to comments, messages, and inquiries on every platform with the proper attention, you won’t be maximizing your social media presence. You have to know what apps your clients are using, not just what apps you want to use or are comfortable working with.

The best way to determine what apps you should optimize and focus your attention come down to your target audience’s main generations, and what services and products you provide. Although this is only a quick reference, it will help you begin in the right place and grown your reach.

Generations

Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Millennials and Gen Z: Instagram Stories, TikTok, Snapchat

Products and Services

Instagram
Fashion, Fitness, Accessories, Home and Lifestyle Services or Products

Facebook
Services, Travel to Clients, Community Focused

Twitter
Writing, News, Technology

Pinterest
Products, Clothing, Lifestyle, Home, Garden

LinkedIn
Business to Business, Promotion, Commercial Work

Be Genuine in Your Approach and Personalize Your Content

social media marketing brandingSocial media is different from other forms of marketing because it is much more personal. Users follow brands and companies on social media because they want to get to know the people behind the company and be a part of their mission. When posting on social media, keep personalization at the forefront of your topics and avoid sounding too much like an automated corporation.

Do not constantly be selling your services, promoting your products, or focusing on technical corporate jargon. Showcase the employees that make up your business, discuss your origin story, be strong in your mission, feature other users on social media who have used your products, and more. Be genuine, use real images over stock images, and really connect with your audience. This approach will get users invested in your brand, and then when you offer promotions they will be much more willing to buy your products or services.

Social Media Marketing is All About Content Scheduling

schedule your social media contentMany business owners or managers may be put off from social media because it’s assumed that you spend all of your time online, every day, posting, creating, and engaging. In truth, you should have one month of content (at least!) already prepped and ready to go. Not only does this greatly alleviate the daily time you spend on social media, it ensures you have enough content to continually engage and draw in your followers.

Whether you decide to post once a week or once a day, it’s important that whatever timeframe you select, you stick with it. Inconsistencies in posting can be the biggest way to lose followers — splurging on 4 posts a week for a month and then doing dark for 4 weeks may irritate your followers and they’ll remove you from their feed. When in doubt, start small and then ramp up your content as you feel comfortable.

Many apps have a desktop scheduler you can utilize, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Others, like LinkedIn, you’ll need to use a third-party program to schedule posts ahead of time. Take advantage of these tools so you can set your schedule and only need to worry about logging on for comments and messages.

Engagement is Vital to Social Media Marketing -- Don’t Just Leave It

engage on social mediaSocial media marketing is not a make it and leave it type of scenario. Although the dream is to create a great piece of content that goes viral overnight, the truth is that social media marketing takes engagement and involvement on your behalf.

If you have a larger company, you can hire someone to manage the comments and messages for you, so users are never left waiting. If this isn’t doable, check in at least twice a day — once in the morning, and once in the afternoon. Social media is all about connection, so respond to comments, like responses, and give messages replies.

Bonus Tips!

Social Media Marketing Takes Time

You will not see an overnight success with your social media marketing. In fact, it may take two to three months to see any substantial build at all. Don’t get caught up in how many shares, likes, comments, or followers you have off the bat. Focus on trying different approaches and getting a feel for the users you do engage with, and build from there.

Utilize the Professionals Around You

Your audience is going to be made up of a lot of different demographics, and you won’t always have the right approach to your content. Brainstorm with your employees, professional network, and similar businesses in your area. It’s okay to think outside the box and ask for help and try something new!

Flexibility is Key

Social media is always changing, so your approach to marketing will always be changing, too. It’s okay to do great one month and then notice a drop off the following month. Pay attention to trending topics, popular apps, what media consumers currently want to consume, and more. It’s important to always evolve on social media!

What Your First Month Should Look Like

Ready to get started? Here’s what your first month should look like. Remember, take it slow, get a backlog of content, and be ready to commit to checking the apps and responding to clients.

Week 1: Research your audience and make a plan to utilize 2 or 3 social profiles
Week 2: Build your profiles and optimize with photos, logos, contact info, and more
Week 3: Create a content schedule, create a backlog of posts, set a content calendar
Week 4: Begin posting!

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