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Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses

A phone resting on a table, open to the facebook app login screen. Scrabble letters next to the phone on the table spell out "Social Media."

You’ve probably heard peers or even employees tell you that you should be on social media. It’s great for “getting your name out there” or “establishing your brand.” It’s a way to interact with customers, and give last-minute updates about your location. While it’s great to be on social media as a small business, your approach should be different from larger companies. While a big company can afford to spend thousands of dollars to “get their name out there,” you can’t as a small business. With that in mind, it’s important to approach social media marketing in the same way as you would regular marketing as a small business: with a purpose. Below, we’ve gone over some things to keep in mind as a small business getting started with social media marketing.

Your Message on Social Media

Before you get started as a business on social media, consider what your message is.  This includes determining who your message is addressed to, what it is, and how you’re going to convey it. You may think it’s a good idea to appeal to everyone, but the fact is that it’s not. In fact, there’s a great segment about that in The 1-Page Marketing Plan by Allan Dib.  You want to narrowly define your audience so that it’s clear who your message is for. This will result in more engagement overall.

Next, you need to determine what your message actually is. This may be “We’re a fun place for moms to hang out locally” or “We have knowledgeable mixologists on staff so that you have incredible drinks” or “We’re a place where you’ll get Instagram worthy pictures while drinking wine.” Make sure your message is defined; if you have a broad message, it’s less likely to be “heard” amidst the rest of the clutter on social media. Once you have your message for social media marketing, you need to think of a good way to convey it. This may be through various reels, posts, or occasional graphics.

Respond and Engage

If the Internet is a city, then social media is a cocktail party. This is where people go to socialize, mingle, and catch up on what everyone is doing. With that in mind, you don’t want to continually talk about yourself; we all know that person at a party who constantly tells everyone how great they are. Normally, we can only take so much of that before leaving them to talk with someone else. Instead, focus on your audience; give them valuable information, something interesting to look at, or respond to their comments.

Instead of giving platitudes such as “great!,” think of how you can continue the conversation and put the ball in their court. By doing this, you’ll have a lot more engagement on social media, and will have customers that are more likely to respond positively. Every morning (or evening), set aside 30 minutes to respond to comments on your posts, and engage with your audience.

Person Holding White Android Smartphone to comment on social media post

Be Genuine with Social Media Marketing

Your customers can tell the difference between stock images and images from your business. They can also tell when you’re using templates from free graphics services found online. When focusing on social media marketing, be genuine. This means using images that are actually from your business, and creating copy that is genuine and real. This doesn’t mean you should put every picture that you take on Facebook, however. Instead, choose the one that is the most engaging and post that online. While you may have tons of great photos and videos, spread them out rather than constantly bombarding your audience with them.

Schedule Your Posts

One of the things you should do as a small business owner is schedule your posts. This means that no matter what happens during your day, your posts will continue to go up. By scheduling, you can prevent erratic social media posting, which can hurt your reach in the long run. There are tons of services available to schedule out posts, or you can simply go into the social media app itself and schedule things that way.

Of course, you may realize that you don’t have time for social media marketing as a small or medium-sized business. If you don’t, then there are many companies out there who can handle it for you. Just keep in mind that you should look for companies who do genuine work, respond to comments, and don’t simply post for the sake of posting. If you don’t know where to start, feel free to reach out to us. We’re happy to chat about how we can help, and what you can do to begin on social media.

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