Social media today is transforming the way most companies traditionally carry out their business. In a 2010 study at the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business it was found that one out of every five small businesses had integrated social media into their business model, showing that technology adoption rates within the United States had doubled and that nearly 80% of consumers were more inclined to buy more often in the future due to a brand’s presence on social media.
With small-scale expenditure and lesser employees, it is essential that small businesses have a strategy in place in order to be successful at social media marketing.
Did you know that a small business can be just as much effective in social media marketing as a fortune 500 corporation?
They can, however in order to do so, that small business must have to have a plan in place and stick to it.
When it comes to creating an effective marketing strategy, social media is an organization’s most valuable asset and influential tool for strengthening relationships exactly when you want your customers to remember you most.
Its true that you may oftentimes become overwhelmed by social media, I know I have. Nonetheless I want you to sit back relax and take some time to read through this article as I share with you how to become successful in social media for your small business. Moreover don’t be too concerned about being a perfect blogger, as the only thing you’ll need to focus on is learning how to take your time to create great posts.
If you have already been working on your social media activities, then you should have a built-in following which you may be able to leverage on. If not then don’t worry about it. Even if you haven’t gotten off to a great start, you can still use the information I am about to share with you to increase your social media activities.
Even if your small business doesn’t have the brand recognition of a multibillion dollar corporation, once you remain focussed and have set realistic goals, the return on your investment is sure to follow.
Have a Plan
The first thing you’ll need to do is to recognize what it is you would like to accomplish and begin forming a strategy on how you will get there. Many small businesses are too often taking the plunge into social media because they are forced to and most times without having a workable plan before they get involved. So the first thing I’d like you to do is to take a few minutes to make a list of the things you would like to accomplish before you get started.
Learn How to Prioritize
Now that we’ve made our plan the next step is to prioritize. When introducing social media for the success of your small business it is critical that you understand the importance of time management. Having said that, if you have a marketing staff which includes two or more persons like I do, you will need to ensure that you remain on top of your social media strategy by prioritizing your goals and objectives on a daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly basis. Now as an operator of a small business you will likely lose track of what is important to your business. Don’t worry its perfectly normal. If you’ve lost sight of your business goals and where you want to go, simply take some time to reacquaint yourself with those tasks which are fundamental to the success of your small business and make them a priority.
Generate Content which is Meaningful
There’s an old saying you might have heard before, “Content is King”. The key to the success of your small business with social media is to create the right kind of content that connects and has a lasting impression on your followers. Think about sharing something inspirational or even funny, and even some pictures which will likely be shared by others in effect getting your name and message out there to their friends on the social media. You might notice in the social media that not many small businesses have been in the habit of creating viral content. Don’t worry about that. Even if all your posts are just updates on discounted offers, services or a new product line, if your followers and customers are interested rest assured it will catch their attention.
Here are a few tips you should keep in mind when making your posts:
- Be concise and to the point.
- Use active language.
- Invite questions such as: “Do you have this on your wish list?”
- Promote sharing with wording like “Share this with a friend!”
- Include a link to a page on your website.
Scientific research has shown that pictures can significantly increase the interaction among users on just about every form of social media. Try to include photos and even some videos to accompany your posts, whether its on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin or Instagram. You can even take the pictures yourself with your smart phone or camera as well as purchasing and downloading them from any one of the available websites offering stock photos.
Always remember that you time is valuable, and even more so during the holidays. To ensure the success of your small business with social media you might want to consider using a tool for social media such as Hootsuite which will allow you to schedule and to pre-post all of the activities of your social media for not only Twitter and Facebook, but WordPress, Google+ and many other websites.
Choose the Best Platform to which will offer the desired results
You can become quite easily overwhelmed with the vast number of social media platforms available today. So what you will need to do is to choose one which offers the best results for your business, which I might add is not necessarily the most popular one out there. Identify your target market by asking the question, “Where are my clients, customers, or prospects?” Arguably most people will tell you that the majority of business-to-customer organizations use Facebook. Well, it’s no secret that Facebook has become one of the most powerful social media platforms out there today for targeting exactly the right kind of customers you need for your business, however if you’re looking to reach a more business oriented clientele then Linkedin may be your best option.
Don’t Hesitate to Pay
Facebook for some time has been recognized as a sort of pay-for-plat social media platform. You’ll be surprised at just how much of an impact this can have on the success of your small business with social media and increase your overall visibility to your target customers as well as an affordable marketing alternative to other forms of digital advertising.
Post at the Right Time
Make your posts at the right time and in the right amounts. Remember; “Be Concise and to the Point.” How much you should post on social media should be a reflection of your small business and your target audience. You’ll find that its always best to post during the midday on weekdays three to five times per week if you’re using Facebook, once for Linkedin and five to ten times per day on Twitter.
The last tip I would like to leave with you is to Be Patience. Rome was not built in a day and believe me when I tell you that nothing worthwhile happens overnight. To be successful in social media with your small business takes time to develop the right relationships and establish your credibility with your brand to your target market. Over time with patience and persistence you will achieve your goals and reap the rewards of your hard work – Success.