Top Social-Media Marketing Essentials for Small Businesses

Here's how to establish growth-maximizing social-media plans for small companies.

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Creating a solid social-media strategy for small companies requires a lot of imagination and hard work. A small amount of planning goes a long way too. In the previous 10 years, the use of social media in the U.S. has grown from 7% to 65%. The swift acceptance of platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram means that companies can't ignore social media. There are so many possibilities to find potential customers. People spend, on average, 145 minutes a day on social media. That is a significant opportunity to attract potential buyers' attention.

When you are a startup or a small business, you do not have a marketing crew ready to deal with every platform; therefore, you have to use your time and ad revenue strategically. Don't be frightened. Social networking does not have to be complex for small-business owners; you only have to follow the basics to get started.

Make a plan and set goals

Many small-business owners know that they "must" use social media to develop their business, but have you stopped to wonder why? What are the aims of your social-media strategy? It is easier to establish a plan for achieving your goals if you are clear about it. SMART (specified, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound) helps you set goals because you know your precise aims and timeframes.

Related: Beginner's Guide to Social-Media Marketing

Don't overwhelm yourself

Some small-business owners are overwhelmed because they believe that they must become a media firm generating films, blogs and podcasts to keep the platforms up to date. They strive to execute all feasible tactics for social-media marketing for small businesses and eventually are spread too thinly. The outcome? You can dilute your efforts in marketing. Therefore, I recommend that you begin with a few essential platforms, understand them thoroughly and then grow into others.

Remember: It's about quality. It is not enough just to be visible on social-media channels  customers want attention from companies they love too.

Consider your audience's need

It is all about knowing your customers and posting what they like. Only talking about the company is a mistake companies make on social media. They promote their products, services and personnel, but forget to provide their clients with a service.

Your customers are not looking for you to produce advertisements. They want valuable content that will help them solve their problems, and your service is most likely the solution they need.

Related: 8 Ways to Grow Your Audience to a Million Followers

Engage, learn, share

The best way to grow your following is by sharing with others in the same field. Connecting on social media can help you reach a broader audience without having to share directly with competitors. Share valuable content that will be helpful to an industry, not just customers or followers of one company's page  make sure it helps everyone. 

Communication is key

Join the conversation and know what your audience wants to see and hear. Your writings should be informative, inspiring and promising, but strive for a call-to-action in every piece. Regardless of the business type — whether product- or service-related  always link emotions felt by the customer back into the brand's message. You can effectively connect with your audience by posting your definition of success and inviting them to share theirs.

When someone answers a question, you need to keep the discussion going. After all, he or she has taken the time to say "yes" to your brand. Are you aware that just 10% of messages and commentary made on company social-media pages get replies? Each social-media strategy should carve out the time to reply to comments and messages from customer groups. This engagement makes social media an enterprise sales funnel.

Use Instagram polls, Twitter threads, and live Facebook to communicate and build two-way communication with your customers. Social media offers brands the chance to receive honest and valuable client feedback like no other. It also helps you build brand loyalty by making your customers feel involved.

Related: How Social Media Is Changing Technology

Make a schedule

You operate a company, so every minute counts. But how can you remain consistent? By planning positions in advance, you can use technology to your advantage. You stay consistent and save more time. Your social-media marketing plan for SMBs should involve a day to sit down and schedule your social-media postings for the month. 

When to post?

Many business owners wonder how often they should publish when creating a social-media plan for small companies. Of course, it depends on the social-media channels that you utilize to communicate with your audience. Here are some guidelines for how often to post on social media:

  • Instagram: Everyday stories and periodic postings will increase connection and engagement.
  • Facebook: Your customers are engaged once a day if you publish.
  • Twitter: Plan numerous tweets each day when you know you have an online audience.
  • LinkedIn: Contribute relevant content several times a week. LinkedIn is effective.

Should you pay for posts?

As always, business owners become anxious about the organic extent of their algorithm. But why are we so interested in this number? Some businesses even try to push the system and increase their reach using SMM panels to give the impression of popularity.

In his book, social-media specialist Gary Vaynerchuk, an early investor in Twitter and Snapchat, says, "Strengthening your existing members offers a greater reward than reaching a cold audience in the first place."

It is probably preferable to pay a bit to reach a warm audience than to reach individuals who have never heard about your brand.

There are so many different ways to make your social media work; it's all about understanding what fits your customers. The only way to be sure is to begin. Try out various techniques. Healthy A/B testing should be included in every social-media plan for small enterprises.

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