As a small business owner, you work in one of the most challenging and admirable places in the business world. You have the freedom of being your own boss, but you also have the responsibility of making your company a success. That may entail gaining skills you’ve never had before, like social media marketing.
There are no hard-and-fast rules about which social media sites you should use. While it’s true that certain platforms work best for particular types of businesses, there are innovators in every space. With creativity and practice, you can learn new ways to use social media to your advantage.
If you have to choose one social network to use for your business, is it Facebook or Instagram? You will get various opinions and advice. In my opinion, Facebook is the best choice particularly if are just starting out in your business, you need to get a website up and running. Facebook is a great cost-effective option for this and it will let you reach the widest possible range of potential customers.
Importance of Creating an Editorial Calendar
Most local businesses are inconsistent with their social media posts. It’s important to keep a schedule of posts that you’ll publish on a regular basis.
To get started, take an annual view to help map out the major items each month that affect your business. Such as Holidays, Events, and major campaigns. Once you have your annual view, you can start to look at each month and choose your topics and messaging. You may decide that three times a week is perfect for your business and to build your scheduled posts.
In addition to your regularly scheduled posts, there will always be timely and newsworthy items that pop up. You may have to bump something from the schedule or push it out a week in order to cover what’s most relevant to your audience.
How often should you post?
Striking the balance between quality and quantity is more art than science, but something you’ll master quickly. Content should always be relevant and engaging and should appear often enough to keep you top of mind without seeming overbearing or annoying to your customers. We recommend starting with weekly posts and feeling your way into supplemental interactions with your customer base.
Tracking and measuring performance
Social media activity needs to be tied to your overall marketing and communications strategy to be effective. Taking a scattered approach to content isn’t going to help build your brand or attract new customers. There are tools you can use to track your performance (more on that in a minute), but here are some of the metrics you should be thinking about using to monitor your social media performance:
Brand personality and customer engagement
In the days before the internet, businesses had to set up focus groups to find out what people thought about their brand. Social media can give you an on-the-ground feel for what people are saying about your brand and, more importantly, how they feel about your company. It can also help you to spot problem areas, including customer service issues or places where you can improve your customers’ experience.
One of the best uses of social media analytics is to optimize and refine your marketing campaigns. When you have a deep understanding of customer demographics and interests, you can put your advertising dollars to better use by targeting your campaigns to a specific audience.
Revenue and savings
Your ability to tie social media activity directly to sales will vary depending on your type of business. However, regardless of the type of business you run, there are ways to closely monitor your social media activities. Figure out which activities are having the biggest impact on your bottom line. In terms of savings, social media is a very low-cost form of marketing. In fact, to use the sites are absolutely free (outside of paid advertisement).
Finally, you can use social media to ask customers what they want and measure their engagement when you try new things. Thinking of social media as part of your Research & Development department can help you to come up with new product and service ideas effortlessly.
When it comes to growing your business and marketing your brand, it’s difficult to know all of the answers right away; especially in the case of online marketing. But have confidence that there are plenty of techniques and strategies available to take your business to new heights when implemented properly and consistency.
We help small businesses tackle the chore of getting started on social media and maintaining their efforts going forward.
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