Getting Started with Social Media Marketing

The social media world can be an intimidating and overwhelming place for any small businesses. And, like many small businesses, you’re likely short on time, funds and manpower. This means you need to start with a game plan and get the ball rolling strategically.

So where do you start? How do you know what to post?

You start just like with any other task, with planning and research.

Getting Started:

Social media, though daunting to many is a fairly simple concept. When making the case for yourself or one of your team members to get started with social media, here are some things the experts suggest you keep in mind.

  1. A lack of social presence makes customers question your legitimacy.

This day in age if your run a business you have to have a presence on social media or potential customers will definitely question your legitimacy. Don’t be intimidated, we all have to start somewhere!

  1. Content Content Content

Content is KING! Start compiling a large folder of content that is relevant to your business and audience. Having a healthy bunch of usable artwork and imagery will help your company get started and you can build from there.

  1. That said, you don’t have to be an every-man. In fact, it might be more effective if you’re not.

If you focus all of your efforts on reaching a broad audience watch out, it may be a lot of time lost. Finding a direct and niche audience can take your business a lot farther.

  1. Knowing your target audience can help develop a niche voice on social.

Developing your own specialized voice will help you stand out and attract a niche audience. Keep those customers close and speak directly to them.

  1. Don’t worry if you’re not on the latest craze.

Concentrate on your target audience. Try to find what social sites they are using to connect with their peers and company’s they love. Then put your energy into those sites. You don’t have to be on all of them but certainly be on the ones that count!

  1. Take your cues from the successes of others.

There’s nothing wrong with looking at other businesses for some inspiration. Follow your favorite companies and competitors to see what they post and use that to inspire your own unique content.

  1. Entertaining and useful content is better than promotional content.

People use social media sites to be entertained. When they feel they are being force fed promotional material they turn away. Use entertaining content to help draw more of an audience in.

  1. Images are key.

People are visual and a picture says a thousand words! Bring your posts to life with eye catching images and relevant visuals.

  1. Consider a posting plan, to start.

Social media can seem overwhelming when comparing your company’s social sites to others. Take it one step at a time and build a calendar for your posts. Set up a system on how you post and break it down by month, week and day.

  1. Invest in a scheduling tool.

Investing in a scheduling tool like Hootsuite to schedule your social posts on sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can save you tons of time and you’re your marketing life that much easier.

  1. Engagement is a two-way street.

When people engage with your company on social media, let them know you care and are listening. A simple reply or thank you goes a long way online.

  1. Look local for cross-promotion opportunities.

Check out your local neighboring business and see if there are any that you can pair up with to cross market your products or services. People love free promotion and finding a few non-competitors to help cross promote will certainly do your business wonders! 

  1. Take advantage of the built-in analytics tools.

Small businesses can take advantage of the information provided in the built-in and free analytics tools like Facebook Insights.

  1. Define what success looks like to you and your business.

Is your goal web traffic? Growing your audience? Determining this will help you know what direction you should take with your social posts and strategies.

  1. Test constantly

Testing out your social media content should be an ongoing process and should be a regular meeting discussion with your team. Discuss what kind of content is performing best and what content should be kicked to the curb.

  1. Be patient! It’s a learning experience.

Today is the Day

Today is the day. Today is the day I start something I have been dreaming of. Today is the day I start my own business.

This is the very thought that I and so many countless others have had on the morning they opened their first business, a feat only a certain type of person ever attempts. It’s daunting and terrifying yet quite honestly the most liberating and exciting thing I could ever imagine.

My passion in life has always been the small hard working entrepreneur; that person that takes the ultimate risk by leaving a secure job to try something completely on their own; the mom and pop shop that took their passion and turned it into a business. These are the people that inspire me, that make me feel that I too can try and take that leap.

The reality is that big business and over seas competition has been threatening the average American entrepreneur for years now and it’s only getting harder. This is the time we need to come together as a community and support our local small businesses. Yes we all love a bargain, myself included, however cutting out the local shopping completely is exactly what’s hurting our economy. Likewise, small business need to come in to the common era and learn to compete in todays marketplace.

Whether you recognize it or not, this is an exciting time in the world! The technology and connectivity that is available to us today is astonishing and people that learn to harness these tools can use it to take them further than ever dreamt before. Between social media, online advertising, Google Adwords, and the often forgotten traditional gorilla marketing, the countless avenues for a small business to market in can be vast and exciting, but also intimidating to say the least.

This is where I want to help all those people that inspire me on a daily basis. People generally start a business to do something they are truly passionate about. So what I say is, let them have that! Let them do what they love on a daily basis. The key is for them to find people to help do the countless other tasks that are vitally important to running their business but that they simply don’t want to do themselves.

This is my niche. This is where I want to be. In the thick of it. I want to help people realize the potential of their dream. Help them present their business in person and online in a way that they can only see in their minds. Let’s come together and make the vaguely imagined into true reality.