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A Beginner’s Social Media Guide for Small Businesses

Social-MediaAre you ready to ready to take your small business to the next level? If the answer is yes, then it’s time to truly master the art of social media. Here are seven things you can do to boost your social media marketing and bring in new customers.

Why Social Media Marketing?

The reason social media marketing is so important for small businesses is that it is cheap and highly effective when performed correctly. Of course, it’s going to take some time to get things rolling, but when it does, you’ll be able to enjoy a much higher rate of return than with other, more traditional methods of marketing.

Do Your Homework

In order to create an effective social media strategy, you have to understand the people you are connecting with. Take a few minutes to begin to define who your customers are. You need to know if your primary customer base is male or female as well as how old they are and what their interests are.

Next, begin to formulate a message to them that is based on the challenges that your target audience experiences as well as how your business can solve it.

And lastly, do some research to determine which social media platforms your target audience will be using most often and start profiles on those platforms.

Coordinate Your Social Channels

You need to create a cohesive social media strategy. This means that you have to coordinate your efforts across all platforms in order to maximize your exposure. This means creating a centralized location for all of your activity: your website. The key to remember is that your social media efforts should be focused towards directing your customers to your website.

On your website, you should include a blog that you can use to begin to develop your brand and engage with site visitors. It is also important to optimize your website for social media, meaning that you should prominently display your social media icons so that visitors can follow you. Add a call to action statement encouraging readers to follow you and letting them know where your icons are. Add a social media feed so that visitors can see your social media activity and lastly, add “share” buttons to your content so that others can help you spread the word.

Get Started, but Start Small

Start contributing content to your social media platforms. You don’t have to be on social media all day, but you do need to make regular, daily, updates. Set aside about 30 minutes per day for the first few months and then increase the time you spend to whatever is necessary to effectively engage with everyone.

Your content can be either curated or original and doesn’t even have to be about your business. As long as whatever you share is interesting to your previously identified target audience and is relocatable, they’ll read and share it. Make sure to carefully choose your content because you want to create value for your readers in order to establish credibility and to keep them coming back.

Listen and Share

Experts will tell you that the key to social media marketing is interaction, not marketing. You want to engage with your customers. Listen to them, respond to comments and questions with a genuine interest, both to positive and negative posts, and engage with your customers so that your business is more accessible. The content that you share is simply a way to break the ice and encourage interaction.

Boost Results With Social Advertising

Now is the time to explore paid advertising options. Facebook is king when it comes to paid advertising options, however they are far from the only platform that offers it. Paid advertising helps to promote your brand to people who aren’t currently following you and encourage them to check out your business online.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

Lastly, track your results. This will allow you to see what works and what doesn’t. Continue doing the things that are working and stop doing the things that don’t.