When it comes to getting started with social media, you should start small and work your way up. You don’t want to bite off more than you can chew. Small business owners are busy, very busy. We get this! There is no such thing as a marketing department and likely no such thing as an intern to do the work. With that in mind we have created these simple steps so you can tackle social media in a way that drives value to your business.
Get Started with Social Media
SOCIAL MEDIA FOR SMALL BUSINESS SERIES #2
1. Set your goal for being on social media
This might seem obvious but it is actually very important to consider before you get started. You need to set expectations and understand why you are engaging in social media. Deciding your ultimate goal also helps determine where and how you engage with your customers. So, is your goal to get more customers in your shop? Drive leads? Build customer loyalty? Keep up with market or consumer trends? Choose your most important goal and move to step two.
2. Decide which social sites you’d like to start with
You know your target customer best, so hopefully you know which social sites they are using most. If not, just ask which social platforms they prefer. If you own a hair salon, perhaps LinkedIn is not the social platform for you. However, for a one-man consultancy firm, LinkedIn would probably be the best way to go. So identify the social platforms that fit your business best. Then, in the spirit of getting started, just choose one. Later, when you get the hang of it, you can consider moving to more platforms if it is relevant for you and your customers. At the end of this post we’ve listed the biggest social networks that you could consider.
3. Figure out a commitment that works for you
As a small business owner you’ll always be tight on time. For social media to work you have to be realistic but you also likely need to find and dedicate some time. Maybe start by dedicating 10 minutes every morning or every other morning, for example. But also leave space to take things as they come. It only takes 30 seconds upload a photo to share something special with your followers.
4. Don’t over think it, just do it
Just like in your personal life, when you have done something really cool or have something to offer, share it! Photos or images do well in social media and it helps people visualize your brand in a more-human way. You don’t need to be a professional photographer, don’t worry! As you start to receive comments and feedback you’ll likely start to see how easy it is and feel that it’s worth dedicating the time.
TIP! Increase Traffic with Plugins
When followers share your content on social media it affects your traffic positively. Sharing on social media should therefore always be an option on your website to easily improve your business! Use plugins on your website for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or other relevant platforms, to drive traffic between your sites. Remember to consider which social media outlets your target audience uses to focus your resources best.
Social networks to consider
- Facebook - Probably the most known social network of them all with more than 1 billion users and 50 million fan pages. Facebook has become a must for local businesses.
- Twitter - 500 million users tweet daily about personal updates, general life observations, news and more. Twitter is great if you want to be very close to your individual customers. More Twitter stats.
- Instagram - Has 130 million active monthly users and is all about sharing pictures of experiences. Instagram is well integrated with Twitter and Facebook and is a great supplement to those channels.
- Pinterest - Pinterest is all about visual inspiration and building identity. People use it to find items they want to buy and it is the fastest growing social network. 80% of users are women. More Pinterest stats.
- LinkedIn - With more than 225 million users, LinkedIn is the biggest social network for professionals globally. You can either create a LinkedIn group or a company page to reach and engage your customers.
- Youtube - Has more than 1 billion monthly unique visitors and is considered the second biggest search engine in the world after Google. It also has a very positive influence on your SEO.
Let us know what you think!
We hope this has inspired you to get started! If you’re not convinced why social media is important for small business, be sure to check out our other post The Value of Social Media for Small Business.
Let us know if you have more tips or feel free to share your experiences with social media! We'd love to hear from you!