Where to Begin: Social Media Tactics for the Small Business Owner
When you’re running a small (and growing) business, you wear many different hats. From HR director to CEO, you simultaneously function in more roles than your corporate counterparts could ever imagine. As you shift from owner to marketing coordinator, you are faced with one of the biggest question marks of all: how do I market my business?
Marketing is such a challenge for small business owners because the options are so vast and the data is so vague. There is no solid roadmap for navigating your way towards a successful marketing campaign. It takes trial and error, which is awfully challenging when limited resources are involved.
For this reason, many small business owners turn to social media to spread the word about their fantastic products and services. Social media marketing is great when done well, but it can harm a business when done poorly. Therefore, I’ve compiled some basic best practices to help guide the launch of your social media campaigns or the cleanup of a misguided start.
Don’t sign up for social media accounts just because. Consider your target audience. If you’re customers are older adults, it doesn’t make sense to waste your efforts with a Snap Chat account. If you sell a service that has little visual appeal, Instagram won’t be your sweet spot. Think about whom you are selling to and which channels they use, and then make a plan. Remember, your social media efforts shouldn’t be an afterthought or outsourced to an intern. Many times, potential customers will be interacting with your brand for the first time. You’ll never get a second chance for a first impression.
If anyone tells you to create accounts on all channels even if you don’t use them, run for the hills. While you may wish to own the account in case you branch out later on, setting up profiles for accounts that remain dormant will only hurt your brand. Instead of pushing leads to your website, it makes you look as though you went out of business.
There’s no way around the fact that you will have a faux pas here and there while you’re learning. You’re new to the social norms of the social media channel or channels you have chosen. But pay attention to how others are talking, and look for brands you admire. Two big tips to get you started – don’t talk about yourself constantly and don’t spam followers with sales messages.
Resist the temptation to schedule or automate your social media. The point of social media is to have two-way interaction, and for your brand to make a splash in the big social pond, your followers need to know you are listening. Respond to comments. Comment on other businesses posts. Be involved in your social media community.
Be Quality Conscious
The rule of thumb with social media is that quality trumps quantity. Your social media efforts should be focused on brand awareness and customer engagement. Putting out low-quality posts cheapens your brand and turns off your customers. There’s nothing worse than putting resources into a marketing campaign only to lose customers! So trust me on this one.
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About the Author
With more than three decades of experience in all facets of sales management, customer service, business growth, and staff coordination, Certified Business Coach Greg Emslie is a focused professional with the tools to help you grow and manage your business effectively.
Driven by his ability to implement proven business concepts and help improve teams, Greg affects all areas of the companies he works with, including sales, leadership, profitability, and decision-making. He focuses on improving efficiency and processes for his clients while helping them grow their revenue base.
Ready to begin finding other ways to make your company more productive? Let’s get the conversation started. Contact Greg Emslie for a business strategy discussion today!