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Small Businesses & Social Media Marketing

Small businesses generally do not have the budget to run the kind of traditional marketing campaign that will give them a bang for their bucks. However, this does not mean that they should give up on running a successful marketing campaign. Enter the easily accessible, user friendly, lower cost social media marketing strategy.

Millions of people have Facebook accounts these days with large ‘Friends Lists.' Many people also have LinkedIn profiles with sizable networks and accessibility to others. These are just a couple of examples of popular social media platforms. However, although the majority of people are already familiar with and have personal and professional contacts on these networking sites, creating effective content for a social media campaign on a consistent, engaging, and result-producing basis can still be an intensive and intimidating process.

Here are 3 Steps to help you get you started on the right path:

The first step is to focus on the potential customer that you are trying to reach with your product or service. Do your due diligence—know your buyer persona; who exactly are they, where do they access information about their purchases, and what are they looking for? Tap into trends in your industry that are attracting attention right now. You can usually assess this by knowing what your competitors are doing and not doing. Identify the influencers in your industry, and mimic what works.

The second step is to determine the purpose of your social media marketing and what you want to communicate. Craft your message in a unique and interesting, but specific manner to reach your potential customers. Are you trying to attract millennials or boomers? What are your goals? Are you trying to drive traffic to your website, or are you trying to keep customers engaged and thereby impact retention rates? You can communicate the right message by sharing information, giving useful tips, and offering solutions to problems. Soon, you'll begin to grow your reputation as an expert.

The third step is to make a decision about continuity and consistency. It takes time to maintain your social media marketing strategy and even more time to start experiencing measurable benefits. But, results can be achieved with intentional and organized tactics. Decide what resources you can allocate to this job. Choose one or two of the main platforms that your potential customers prefer to start. Assign this responsibility to a team member, an independent contractor, or an agency. Of course, your decision will depend on your finances, the size of your team, and their capability. If you have to do this yourself, set aside a specific time, such as 20-30 minutes each day, and make this a part of your daily routine.

The benefits of social media marketing can be monitored and analyzed by tracking engagement, sharing, and growth with easy-to-use tools such as Google Analytics. Once you see what is working, you can easily make adjustments that will maximize usage of the channel driving the most traffic to your site. Remember to integrate your social media icons and links to accommodate ease of access to all your content output.

Additionally, paid advertising opportunities are available on most popular social media platforms. Using Facebook as one example; with as little as $5 per month a campaign that targets a designated demographic can further increase your company’s visibility. In the final analysis, social media marketing will continue to dominate marketing strategies as consumers turn to online shopping experiences more frequently.

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