Six Steps To Leveraging Social Media for Small Business

dreamstime_xxl_28624968You’re a small business with an even smaller advertising budget. You know you have to be on social media. But how. Why? When? Yes indeed: where and definitely who.

What follows are six things to consider when delving into social media.

1) Know Your Customers

What’s your product and who buys it? Does it have visual appeal?

Targeting your audience and how they engage with social media is crucial to your strategy. If it looks great or interesting, get on Pinterest, especially if you’re looking to engage those with XX chromosomes: 80 per cent of Pinterest users are women. And as those users already know, the interface is gloriously visual and inviting. Your product in that mix of images is your end goal.

If your biz is a service, take to Twitter and hashtag it wisely: use locales and organizations your potential customers engage with to get eyeballs on your service.

Are your customers B2C or B2B? Twitter is great for B2B and so is LinkedIn.

2) Have Something To Say

Waving your digital arms, yelling ‘look at me’ is not only ineffective but also a way of showing one and all that you’re still stuck in old media.

Whatever you post, make certain it’s something that your audience will enjoy or appreciate. Link to a good article on the line of business you’re in or retweet something intriguing that another person (not business) has said. Remember, your goal is luring eyeballs not hard-selling your widgets. Get people to follow you on Twitter, like your page on Facebook and everything but make certain to engage them in such a way that they come to appreciate that you always post something interesting. Become an expert or go-to editor of good info so that you become identified as a leading voice in your area of expertise.

3) Don’t Tease

There are few social media tricks more transparently false than the misleading tweet or Facebook post that attempts to give the reader the idea that not clicking could mean them missing out on ‘The Most Fascinating Thing You’ll Read All Year!!!’.

Yes, they will click. At first. And then they will stop cold. They’re onto you. And they remember that the ‘most fascinating’ thing they read last week was a story about the meaning of the word ‘fascinating’. Not cute, not funny and no, not effective. Don’t. Just don’t.

4) Your Website Should Be A Joy

Your end goal is to drive them to your website, the ground zero of all things Your Business. So make sure there’s something there for them to do, and explore. You linked a tweet to a good story highlighted in your blog. Great. After they read what’s there, make sure you’ve got a site that makes them want to stay, explore and take action.

5) Take Time To Do It

You’d set aside time to meet a client, so make time to work on your social media initiatives.

Yes, social media can be an entertaining way to fritter away some time, but in the context of  your business, it’s work. So treat it that way. Schedule time every day to work on it. If it makes it easier for you or if you have multiple accounts, consider using a social media management tool like Hootsuite, Buffer or Tweetdeck. Many are free, with a few limitations, but worth it to streamline your efforts and save some time.

6) Set A Goal

Getting a read on the effectiveness of your social media efforts can be maddeningly difficult to quantify. Some take hits on a website as an indicator but that’s only part of the story. The real story is engagement: what are the calls to action when someone clicks their way to your site? How far do they make it down the conversion funnel? Do they make it all the way? If not, why not?

If you don’t have the time or expertise to track the journey of those clicks, then just set a goal for yourself. Let’s say it’s to raise the visits to your site and the number of clients that contact you to explore your service or customers that buy your product. If you do have the time, using a tool like Google Analytics can go a long way towards seeing what people do when they go to your site. And what they don’t do, for that matter.

As the Associate Client Manager in charge of content creation at Short Circuit Media Bob Klanac takes raw content from notes or books and turns them into highly effective blogs – which in turn become our clients' monthly newsletters. He’s also profiled hundreds of musicians over his long career as a writer. Check out his blog!


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