Social Media Strategies Sized for Small Business
So you have a small business, with a smaller audience. That gives you a leading advantage against big brand competitors on the web, as long as you understand that you don’t have to be everywhere… as long as you’re doing it right wherever you have a presence online.
Social media is the default go-to for building an online presence for small businesses because it’s easy enough for the DIY-er and it’s free. In fact, some small businesses will use their Facebook page instead of having a “real” website. While that’s not recommended, it could be enough based on your goals and intentions.
The most important thing you should know, above all else, is that there are many different social networks out there and no you do not have to dive into each one! If your audience practically lives on Facebook then it really doesn’t matter if they are also on Twitter, Pinterest, Foursquare, G+, Instagram, etc. Focus on what you can handle, and focus on being awesome at one thing before you ever consider branching out to another network.
Actively participate in the social network(s) that actually matter for your brand… and use it to ignite conversations.
Decide on your social strategy. There are essentially 3 elements you need to cover in your social media strategy, and they are:
- How will you get people to follow you?
- How will you engage followers and keep them interested?
- How will you measure the value (ROI) of your social marketing strategy?
For those 3 elements, the plans vary from one brand to the next. There is never any one-sized-fits-all approach, so your best solution would be to hire an experienced social marketing strategist who can offer customized training based on your unique challenges and goals
You might do better on a specialized network.
If your industry is very technical and not interesting enough to the general public, look for the groups and forums where your best customers are actively engaged. So even though Facebook seems like the obvious place to start on, certain businesses find a better fit in a less populated network that attracts a very specific (targeted) audience.
Consider all 3 elements when choosing which network to use.
A cosmetics company may rely heavily on using pictures (such as a graphic based tutorial) to gain followers and keep their attention. In this case, Pinterest would be a better fit than Twitter because users rely on this network for visual inspiration and ideas.
Don’t be afraid to hire somebody.
You might think that social media managers are only appropriate for big brands, but that’s not true. A social media manager specializes in maintaining an effective presence on select networks, but it is very important that you don’t choose a random person who claims to offer these skills. Any student can use Facebook, but it takes skill to use Facebook to maintain an effective Facebook page. With that being said, it’s better to hire an expert as opposed to investing the time it takes to manage it yourself. With a clearly defined strategy and a social marketing expert on your side, you’ll need to spend your time on your business to keep up with the growth of your brand.