Some of the best small business marketing tips and strategies start with the opportunities to market your business online using social media.
Social media is the heart of online marketing for the small business owner. If you want to make your social media marketing plan as effective as possible, keep these top ten tips in the forefront of your mind.
1. Show Some Personality
Don’t think of social media marketing as advertising. Think of it as a way to communicate with your target market in a more personal manner. Show your personality. Make it feel like a real human is behind each post, comment, retweet, or blog post. Consider the attention and sales you win as icing on the cake. The time you spend actually interacting in a real way is the sugar and flour that makes the cake.
2. Prioritize Your Efforts
Know where your target market spends the majority of their time, and then spend your time there as well. You may not need to have a presence in every social media platform. Prioritize according to the hottest platforms for your target market. Your priorities may be very different from another business, so make your own priority list and stick with it.
3. Budget Your Time
Once you have your priorities worked out, budget the time you will spend on each one. Make a list of all the tasks that need to be completed on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, then schedule them in with other tasks on your marketing to-do list.
4. Use Analytics to Your Advantage
Your priority list and time budgeting will change over time, according to the results of your analytics. There are a lot of tools that can be used to measure the response you are getting on different social media platforms. Watch and make adjustments with time so your plan remains as effective as possible.
5. Make a Commitment
Once you decide to start a blog or join some type of social media website, fully commit to establishing an excellent presence on that platform. You can’t do this half-heartedly or you will lose more business than you generate. If you cannot fully commit to all the tasks needed to be successful on a website, blog or local search engine, then don’t even start an account.
6. Make an Effort with Replies
It isn’t enough to just make posts on your blogs and social media accounts. You also have to respond to some of the people who take the time to comment. Look for others talking about you and take a moment to talk back. Do some retweeting, linking and commenting on others who take the time to talk about and to you.
7. Professional Profile
Your profile must be professional, but it should also have a very personal, friendly feel. Consider this the first hello and welcome to your business. How would you greet someone walking into your business in real life? Give them the same reception online.
Create a complete profile of your target customer using these customer persona examples. Know their needs and craft a marketing strategy that speaks to them.
8. Use Images Wisely
You have to put up at least a couple images on your profile pages and local search pages. A picture of yourself, of your office, or other aspects of your business will go a long way to making consumers feel comfortable with you.
9. Be Approachable
Talk to your audience, rather than at them or over them. Make yourself a part of the group, but be a more knowledgeable member of that group. Don’t get caught up in online fights or bitter debates. Be the mature one and keep the smile in your words.
10. Give It Time
Nothing happens overnight with social media. Give it time before you give up.