Did you know that the number of active social media users is expected to reach 3.02 billion monthly users worldwide by 2021? That is around a third of our planet’s entire population!!
Looking at the United States 81% had at least one social account in 2017.
No matter if you love or hate social media these statistics should be a strong indication of its importance and marketing power for businesses.
But how do you get started with social media marketing for your small business?
Well, I’m glad you ask because this article will guide you through the whole shabang on how to make social media marketing for small businesses easy (or at least easier 😉 ).
Lets get right to it, shall we?
Define Goals And Social Media Strategy
First things first! What are your overall business goals and what it is that you want to achieve with your social media marketing?
Do you want to raise awareness, build an engaged community, create a source of traffic, gain thought leadership, engage with your customers, offer another channel for support, etc.? Whatever it might be that you are trying to achieve be sure to clearly define your social media goals and align them with your business goals.
To create your social media strategy you will also need to specify your ideal customer (here is a great tool to help you define your buyer persona), what and how you want to communicate, and map out who will be in charge of the new tasks.
Pick Your Social Media Platforms
Now that you have a bulletproof strategy in place you are probably super excited and just want to get started with your social media. But hold your horses!
Before jumping right onto every single platform there is, think about the goals you defined above and the audience you are trying to reach. Do your research! There are dozens of social platforms out there but not all of them are for you and your business.
For example, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest are used by a much younger audience than LinkedIn and Facebook. LinkedIn is perfect for Business To Business (B2B) and industries like finance, information technology or staffing solutions. If you are in retail, fashion, beauty or entertainment, for example, you don’t want to miss out on Pinterest, Snapchat and Instagram. Facebook has 2.23 billion active monthly users – almost any business will definitely want to be on Facebook!
Create A Content Calendar
If content is king then consistency is queen – one does not do well without the other. To dominate social media as a small business it is necessary that you create and publish content on a regular basis. The best way to guarantee consistency is by creating a content calendar where you map out what content you post on which platform at what times.
Most efficient is a monthly or even weekly calendar to ensure your content is up-to-date and relevant to your audience. This will not only create consistency but also support your planning and relieve you from the burden of having to create content every day.
Measuring the return on investment (ROI) of social media marketing can be difficult. But when resources are scarce (and they often are in small businesses) then the executive team will probably want to see measurable results. Adapt your key performance indicators (KPIs) according to your goals. This could be, for instance, followers, reach, website traffic from social media, or engagement. Most social media platforms have analytics where you can find these numbers. Create a simple spreadsheet to keep track of your KPIs. Ideally you compare them regularly and keep optimizing your work accordingly.
Successful social media marketing for small businesses is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Allow yourself time to test, analyze and optimize until you find the right potion for your company. Done right, social media marketing can not only benefit your brand awareness but also increase your sales and support the growth of your business.
About the author:
Tanja Falkner is an independent social media manager & strategist. She works with small businesses to grow their online presence and to support their goals through social media marketing.