Simplifying Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business
Social media marketing is not a new thing anymore, and that means there’s no excuse to be doing it wrong. Whether you’re a startup or just one of the last to join in, take the time to learn from the mistakes others have made so you don’t repeat them.
Avoid overwhelming advice like “Which 13 Social Networks Should Your Small Business Be Using” because a small business doesn’t have the resources to effectively manage 13 different networks!
It’s better to be one person’s shot of whiskey than to try and be everyone’s cup of tea, so there are only 3 questions that matter:
Which social networks are your audience actively using?
Note that this isn’t a question of which social networks your core audience is on—it’s about which networks your best customers are most active on. The average 30 something woman may have accounts on Facebook and Twitter, but marketing to this demographic on Twitter may not earn the engagement you hope to accomplish. (Use Pinterest instead.)
Where are your competitors?
Take note of the social networks that are sparking the most engagement for industry leaders and related brands.
Most importantly, how much social media can you really handle?
Big brands can afford the investment to employ a dedicated social media manager. This can be riskier for smaller brands (and smaller budgets) because you are entrusting somebody to maintain the reputation and credibility of your brand.
Realistically, most small business owners will take the reins and manage their own social marketing campaigns… and that’s where the real trouble begins.
Simply having a Facebook page is not enough. You have to update it. Gaining followers is only part of the equation… engaging with your audience is really what social marketing is all about. The conversation is not one-sided, and you will benefit by learning how your best customers think and feel about your brand in ways that were never this clear until social marketing became a thing.
On the same hand, a stale account shows inactivity and lack of interest. It will hurt you more than it will help you, so the only thing worse than not taking advantage of social media marketing is not actively participating in it.
With all that being said, this is the most important question because you have to determine how much social media you have the resources to manage effectively… and from there you can choose how to invest those resources wisely.