Filed Under Social Marketing
Social media marketing has taken a major role in businesses of every size. Large corporations often have an entire team dedicated to their social networking. This can be costly, and for small businesses, just isn’t an option. Instead, small business owners have to hire one person to work on the social media aspect of marketing or even have an employee (or themselves) put some part-time effort into it.
This can lead to poor results on your investment of time. So, let’s look at how you can make the best out of your efforts in social media marketing for your small business!
Talk to your customers. Find out where they spend the most time in social media. You don’t want to launch a wide scale effort in all social networks if the majority of your customers are only on Facebook. Start small and grow from there. Look at what your competitors are doing on social networks and give yourself an idea of what you should be doing too.
Learn what you can. You don’t have to be an expert to go social with your small business. There is a goldmine of information available out there, so do some research and soak up all that you can learn. Find out how to set up a Facebook page and Twitter account; the best ways to build up your fan base; how to engage through social media.
Make realistic goals. Figure out exactly what it is you want to accomplish right now. How will social networking help you get there? Don’t go in with your eyes closed and hope to reach a couple thousands new fans in a week. It takes time to reach great heights, so be patient and enjoy the climb.
Seek out a professional. If you can make it work with your budget, hire a social media expert to show you the ropes. These people can help mentor you and give you the knowledge and confidence you need to make the best of social networking. Don’t go with the first person you see who declares himself a “guru” of the industry. Get recommendations and read reviews. Find someone that has proven results.
Rework your advertising strategy. Newspaper advertising is on the decline, so if you’ve been using this as your main source for marketing your company and haven’t gotten the results you hoped for, it may be time to consider cutting down on that area in your budget. Look at all the areas where you spend money and see what funds can be moved around to your social marketing budget.
Embrace the opportunity. Social media can level the playing field between your small company and the big guys. At one time, the only way to reach such a broad audience was through national television ads. Not something many small businesses can afford even once. Now, you can reach people across the country and it costs you more time than money in many cases. All of your employees can take part in marketing the business. You can engage customers and encourage brand advocacy among your fans. This is a way to reach far more people quickly and easily.
Think “long-term” benefits. Using social networks will bring you more long-term results than short-term benefits. You will be building customer loyalty and broadening your reach. If you simply circulate coupons, that only gets you short lived results. Focus on the future of your company and what it will take to sustain it.
When you look at the big picture, your small business can gain the maximum benefits from social marketing. You don’t have to have the budget of a multi-million dollar company to get the most out of this strategy. With effort, patience and a plan, you can achieve epic results for your business.
Are you just getting started in social media? What steps are you taking to get social with your business? What do you need help with? Share with us!