Small Business Marketing: Social Media Basics

18 May

There is no doubt that Social Media is an important marketing tool for any small and medium sized business.  It can be a key component in branding and even deliver leads and customer conversions.  Social Media is still growing and it’s just starting to hit its potential for providing real value to SMBs.  As this aspect of marketing continues to change and adapt, below is a list of social media basics that small to medium size business owners can use for the foreseeable future.

Optimize your Social Media Accounts:

First, keep in mind that nothing should be set on default.  It’s best to treat your social media page like you would your business website by clearly identifying your brand and what you offer.  Anybody who sees your social media profile page should easily be able to identify who you are and what you do.  Further, when filling out a social media profile, you want to fill out ALL the information.

  • Heading. Use an image that fits the dimensions. (see dimension sizes for social media networks at the bottom of this post) Use an image that appropriately represents the business. Tip:  A header image can also be an excellent place to present an offer.
  • Profile Image. Use an image that fits the dimensions. (see dimension sizes for social media networks at bottom of this post) Using an brand or logo image is a common and good practice here.
  • Description. Briefly but clearly, describe your business. Include services too as these can be seen and found as keywords.
  • Links. Obviously… have a link to your business website.

Post REAL Content:

The most optimal way to post your content is to keep it as a social intention.  Even for a business profile, you want to come off as a human. If you’re too promotional, you will lose engagement.  Yet, if your posts are interesting and/or provide VALUE, then you are more likely to engage your audience and build a following.  There is a time to post offers and deals, however if that’s ALL you do then, your audience will lose interest.

  • Creative. Spend time looking for interesting content that fits your audience. Again, try to provide value and don’t always try to just sell your stuff.
  • Frequency. Being consistent is probably the most important component of using a social media account.  This takes discipline, so use social media accounts that suit you or interest you.
  • Repeat? Repeating content to your audience is OK but you don’t repeat often.  If your audience recognizes that you are duplicating your posts, it can be a turn off.
  • Tools. If you are managing several social media accounts, you might consider a social media management tool.
  • Promote. Promoting can still work, but you really want to provide free value as much as possible.  Of course, a company’s goal is to sell.  Yet if your content is TOO salesy, you will turn people off.

Be Social:

Being active if with your business social media account is important with building an audience.  Other than posting, you should be actively reaching out others you may be interested in your business.  Friend, Follow, Connect, Pin, etc. is a great way to build relationships.

  • Respond. If somebody takes the time to comment to your post. Always reply. Try to build a conversation off your post.  Others might join in!
  • Share. Share other people’s content that is relevant to your audience.  Perhaps, they will return the favor.
  • Build Relationships. Social media is a great way to build relationships with others.  Don’t be afraid to reach out to those you don’t know but have a similar interest.  Joining or creating Facebook & LinkedIn Groups or Twitter Lists, is a great way to do this.

Buy Advertising:

If you strictly want to promote your content, then buying adverting is the best way to do this.  Social media platforms are great for paid advertising because they have excellent targeting abilities.  Paid ads on social media are becoming the norm.  With recent changes, you have to buy advertising to get a significant amount of non friends/followers to see your content.  Putting money behind your posts allows a larger reach to your extended audience.  This already holds true with Facebook, and other Social Media platforms are soon to follow.

Extra:

Multiple Platforms:   Don’t get stuck on just Facebook.  Some social media platforms work better for certain industries.  It might take some experimenting to find the best one for your business.
SEO:  There is a real and growing relationship with Social Media and SEO.   Social integration is an important SEO strategy.
Website Links:  Do you have social integration on your business website?   Are your social media icons in an obvious location?
Image:  When it comes to creating posts, engagement is your goal.  Spicing up your content with an image is a must.  But be creative.
Video:  Same as Image.

 

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