As a small business owner, it can feel overwhelming or even daunting to fathom taking on one more task. We get it, you’re used to running the show and you have a never-ending list of deliverables that you need to get out the door so you can keep your small business running smoothly. When things start to get hectic, you may want to push things to the backburner but we’re here to tell you that social media marketing is an essential that can’t be dismissed when you start to get busy.
Social media is a powerful tool that opens your small business up to an entire community of potential customers and loyal followers. Posting consistent, quality content on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook helps you connect directly with your audience meaning you can generate brand awareness, brand loyalty, and potential leads just by sharing a little bit about your small business on social media.
Aren’t sure where to start? Here are 6 things you can do to kick your social media efforts off on the right foot:
Start with the Basics
Before you start posting on social media, it’s important to perform a social media audit. Conducting a thorough social media audit will help you create a solid plan that adequately reflects where your business is today. During this process, you will extract and compile key information about each one of your social media accounts in one document. Now is the time to step back and evaluate your existing efforts.
Conducting a social media audit is quick, easy, and painless. Simply start out by making a list of the social media platforms that you currently use to promote your business and do a quick analysis of how each one is performing. When you’re finished, you should have a clear understanding of your current social media efforts. This information can then be used to create an effective social media strategy for each one of your chosen platforms.
If you aren’t currently active on social media, you can take this time to review similar businesses to your own and make a list of things that you like or dislike on their social media platforms. Take this time to brainstorm and get a feel for what you like.
Research your Competition
Researching your competitors and analyzing what they’re doing on social media will help you formulate an opinion of what you like and dislike. Gaining a clear understanding of how your competition is using social media will also help point you in the right direction when it comes to creating your very own strategy.
Being creative and unique is key when it comes to creating social media content so it’s important to only look to your competition for inspiration! If you see a piece of content that you like you can innovate and build upon it to make it your own.
Pick your Platforms
Picking your platforms is an essential step in creating a social media strategy for your small business. Narrowing down your search and determining what platforms your ideal customers frequent will help you determine which platforms you should create content on. Different social media platforms speak to different audiences so it’s important to choose the platforms that appeal to your customers.
Taking some time to create a target persona for your business will help you determine key factors about your target’s personality, online habits, and communication efforts that you can then use to make informed decisions about your platform choices. The process of choosing your platforms is completely fluid. You can use different platforms to reach different audiences or work towards different business goals and adjust as your customers' wants and needs evolve.
Choose a Target Persona
One of the major benefits of using social media as a small business owner is the ability to be hyper focused on your ideal customer. When you identify your target persona, you can begin to understand your audience on a level that allows you to micro-target your audience.
When identifying your audience, it’s important to dive into the minds of the people that will be purchasing your product or service. How old are they? What do they like to do in their spare time? Where do they reside? How do they spend their time online? What are the best platforms to reach them on? When you start the exercise, you may even realize that you already have all the information you need. All you need to do now is put it into practice.
After you’ve identified your audience, you can begin to create target personas that will help you understand the best ways to communicate with your ideal customer so you can begin to grow your audience and reach more people.
Create a Calendar
After you’ve identified your audience and determined which platforms are best suited for communication, you can get to work on creating content that resonates and represents your small business. Creating a social media content calendar will help you stay on track by making sure you’re posting the right content on the right platform at the right time.
A classic rule to live by when creating social media content for your small business is the 80/20 rule meaning 80% of your content should be to inform, educate, or entertain your audience, and the remaining 20% should be promotional content that serves as a promotional tool for your brand, products, or services. It’s important to not focus on sales with every piece of content you publish. You want to make sure your audience is enjoying your content and finding value in what you post.
Leverage Automation or Scheduling Tools
Being a busy business owner may mean that you won’t always have the time to give your social media platforms the attention they deserve. Instead of manually posting content every single day, you can allocate a block of time every week or at the beginning of each month that is strictly dedicated to content. During this time, you can create your social media content calendar and schedule your content.
Scheduling tools like Hootsuite make sure your posts are scheduled and published at the right time. You can also use these tools to gather insights and engage with your audience. Leveraging tools that help you automate your processes like scheduling software for content will help you free up your time so you can focus on the other aspects of running your small business.
Work with a Team of Experts
If you need marketing help but aren’t sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place. The Co. Lab has small business marketing down to a science and our team would be happy to help you define and structure your online presence through content creation and social media marketing.
Are you interested in learning more about how we can support your small business through marketing? Click here to fill out a click contact form and we’ll be in touch within 24-business hours! Alternatively, you can check out our marketing services here. We look forward to hearing from you soon!