So you’ve decided that you need to start using social media for your small businesses.The Small Business Social Media Guide is made for you.
If you have never used social media for your business then you’re in the right place.
Getting started isn’t hard so here are 7 steps you can take to start.
The Small Business Social Media Guide
As a small business owner, there are huge amounts to get done with limited resources.
If you have ever spent money on traditional marketing methods you know that it costs money. The good thing is, social media can be used as a completely free way to reach your customer with direct interactions.
Although the social route is free it comes with a trade-off, TIME. You will need to put in the time to use social media each and every single day to see real results.
Read on if you have limited resources but are willing to put in the time.
Before getting started with social you will need to do some research. You will need to be able to connect with you desired audience authentically and to be able to do that you need to understand them.
Start by defining who your customer exactly is, what their interests are, what they do for a living, and personal details like age and sex. Once you’ve got this either build that picture in your head or find a picture online and save it on your computer.
Do this for each type of customer that will use or buy your product or service.
Once you have this you can start to find out what social media channels they prefer.
Each channel has a different audience.
#2 Setup And Integrate
Now it’s time to set up your profiles on the channels you want to get started with.
If you are a bit stuck with how to do this there is a tutorial coming soon but read on!
The next thing you are going to want to do is to make sure that all the social channels are linked up to your website in the relevant places usually on the footer of the home page and attached to any blog related content. Haven’t got a website? Drop me a line by clicking the ‘Book a Free Chat’ link in the top right-hand corner or click here.
This will enable people who visit your website to discover your profiles and engage with your content. It’s like the start of a long distance relationship.
If you are currently sending out an email newsletter that is another good place to drop in the buttons. Most popular email products like MailChimp can handle this easily.
#3 Get Started
Now that you have got an idea of who your target audience is and how you are going to reach them we can start putting out some content.
The best bit of advice I can give anyone is, start small but be consistent.
Make sure what you are doing is manageable and doesn’t start to seem like a burden from day 1. Try and incorporate it into your daily routine and it will be second nature.
How you do this is up to you. Either book a slot in your day to get it done, do it first thing in the morning or when you’re eating your lunch but make sure you set the time aside. To get started it should take about 30 mins per day.
This time will obviously increase as you start to share more content but like I said, start small.
If you are someone who likes to plan, check out Hootsuite. It is a super useful tool for scheduling outgoing content!
#4 Listen For Chatter
Now that you are a bonified social media user you will want to be able to listen out for anyone who mentions your businesses so you can interact with them.
Try using a tool called Mention which will let you find anyone mentioning your name or predetermine keyword.
Here’s a tip, if you are struggling with content ideas then Feedly is an amazing tool which can aggregate content from multiple sources. Find interesting pieces and get them scheduled on Hootsuite. All for FREE.
#5 The Daily Routine
Incorporating social media as part of your day is the easiest way to stay consistent so make a plan.
For instance, if you are using 2 social networks to start with it may be that you want to post once on Facebook and post once on Instagram in the morning then once in the afternoon.
If Pinterest is the place where your users live then make sure you are repinning at least 2 images per day.
Each interaction is unique to the platform and will have different effects. I will dive into this in another post.
Once you are at the stage that you’ve got the basics down you can start to include some interacting with other content.
Also, a big win for when you are starting out is to message each new follower on the relevant platform to start building that relationship immediately. This is often overlooked but a huge source of value.
#6 Paid Advertising Options
If you have slightly deeper pockets, paid advertising is a quick way to grow your social channels.
Starting with the king, Facebook. It has a huge amount of solutions which you probably encounter every day. Tailor your paid offering to maximise reach, website clicks or app downloads.
Once you’ve cut your teeth on Facebook and you also want to spend some pounds on LinkedIn and Google.
This is not to say that if you have a small budget you can’t try it. Facebook posts can be ‘boosted’ for as little as £4.
More on this another day.
#7 Track and Measure
You are going to want to know how many people visited your website and which channels got the most results right?
Then tracking how your posts performed through the native analytics tools and Google Analytics will be your best friends.
Keep a spreadsheet of every post and measure how they performed.
Did one particular post do better than the other at driving people to the website? What was it about the post that made this happen?
Once you are armed with the data you can refine your content.
To Sum Up
Building a social following can seem like a slow process at the start but don’t be discouraged. It is a marathon so stick at it and be consistent.
There are lots of tools and strategies you can use to help you along the way but the main thing is to just get started.