Small businesses have a special set of social media marketing needs. Since small businesses generally have more limited resources than large companies, it’s imperative that they achieve big results without breaking the bank. Fortunately, social media marketing is a great tool for this because, compared to traditional marketing tactics, it is cost-effective and provides companies with more direct access to customers. When done correctly, social media marketing can provide a huge payoff for a moderate effort. By following these 5 tips, small businesses can develop an effective social media marketing strategy.
Before you dive into social media marketing, it’s imperative to do your research. In order for social media marketing to be a success, you need to know who your current and projected customers are and how you’re going to connect with them.
The first step in this process is to develop your brand’s target persona(s). You should be able to define who you’re marketing to – how old they are, where they live, what they do, how much money they make annually and what their specific concerns, struggles or issues are.
Write these details down, give your target personas names, and devise the marketing messages you’re trying to send out to that audience. Doing this will give you a clear framework from which everything else in your social media marketing plan can grow.
2) Combine your social media channels
Social media is a powerful tool but it’s much more powerful when it is used in concert with other social media platforms. Right now, the average social media user has accounts through 5 different platforms, which means that diversifying your social media presence is a fantastic way to snag more readers and broaden your fan base.
In order to get the maximum effect from each of your social media channels, you should be making them all accessible from one home base. Your website, for example, should feature links and integrated feeds from each of your social media channels. Your Instagram feed should appear in a sidebar and each blog post you write should offer links to your Twitter and Facebook accounts. To take this a step further, employ compelling CTAs at the end of each post asking users to follow you on Facebook or Twitter. Finally, ensure that you’re adding sharing buttons to all of your content, everywhere (for an example, check out the below screenshot from one of Tim Ferriss’s recent blog posts.) This will help you expand your reach and interact with your fans on their social media platform of choice.
3) Focus your attention
If you’re a new brand that is just starting out, it can be a smart move to focus your attention on one or two social media platforms at first. The two platforms you choose should be the ones your target audience interact with the most. Because social media marketing requires a considerable amount of time and energy, starting small can help you avoid neglected accounts and master one platform before you branch out into others. Plus, once you have a huge following on Facebook and Twitter, for example, you’ll have no problem enticing your existing followers to pop over to your Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr pages, as well.
4) Participate in the conversation
Content is king in social media marketing and staying up to date on and participating in the relevant conversations in your industry can help you come up for ideas for topics as well as helping you communicate relevant ideas and developments to your readers. To stay in the know, frequent other social media sites that deal with the topics you’re interested in. Provide your readers with plenty of links back to the things that you’re reading and don’t be afraid to drop in and comment on the content directly – this starts a conversation and helps you build a community on social media.
5) Make a plan
A social media marketing plan is nothing without, well, a plan. Once you’ve developed your target audience and you know how and where to reach them, it’s time to start planning how to develop effective content that they will continue to enjoy. To do this, dedicate a certain amount of time each day to your social media pursuits (15-30 minutes is generally ideal for new businesses) and then lay out what you plan to do with that time.
If you’re using Facebook and Twitter, for example, you could spend that time commenting on 5-8 different Facebook pages and feeds before heading to Twitter to send out one original tweet and 5 retweets. This keeps you active, prevents the dreaded stale social media account and helps give your audience a constant stream of great content to look forward to. Plus, being intentional about how and where you spend your time on social media helps ensure that you’re getting the most out of each platform.
Although developing a social media marketing plan can often feel a little bit like climbing Everest, these tips can help you get it started quickly and easily, so the only thing that’s left to do is shine.
For more information about how to develop an effective social media presence, contact Bigfoot Media. Bigfoot Media is here for all of your digital marketing needs and would love to help your business create a game-winning strategy. Call us today for a FREE consultation or shoot us a quick email to learn more.
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