Social media can be a cost-effective way to reach your target audience, but as a small business owner, it can be daunting and time consuming. It takes consistent effort to build awareness and gain the trust of your audience.
Don’t be pressured to join the newest and shiniest platforms. Understand where your prospects are likely to get product information and focus your marketing campaigns there.
Here are a few tips and tricks to stay on top of your social media marketing efforts.
Without any written marketing plan, your posts will be inconsistent and haphazard. It will also be difficult to track and assess results if your goals aren’t clear from the outset. Your objectives can include increasing website traffic, getting more newsletter subscribers, or growing your community of followers and fans. You should keep in mind these goals with every social media post.
Choose 4-5 themes or topics that you want your posts to revolve around on and decide how often content will be posted. Create a simple spreadsheet to keep your content calendar organized. Aim for a good balance of content from your own website or blog and relevant third-party content.
In the beginning you may have to rely on intelligent guess as to the best time to schedule your posts. It may be in the morning during the daily commute, at lunchtime or after office hours. Most social media platforms are now data driven so when you have been using them for a while, patterns will start to emerge. You will begin to notice which time slots get the most engagement and adjust your timing accordingly.
Keeping your timeline fresh with original content may be difficult especially if you don’t have a content development team. Inconsistent posting especially with huge gaps in between can leave a bad impression on your audience leading them to think that your business may be struggling or about to close shop. Sharing relevant content from trustworthy sources helps avoid this problem.
If you are struggling to find content to share, a great place to start is Buzzsumo. Just enter a topic and it will show a rundown of the most shared articles broken down into the different platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest. Another great tool is Feedly. It is an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed website that lets you organize your favorite blogs in one place. Simply “subscribe” to these sites and the newest content will automatically be sent to you. It has a clean user-friendly interface perfect for skimming news. It also integrates well with most social media apps, so sharing is easy. Twitter can also be a good source of shareable content but looking for specific information using hashtags can be a pain. Not to worry, you can build Twitter Lists and browse streams on relevant and timely posts in one go.
Having to sign in each time you post on your social media accounts is inefficient and a waste of time. Luckily, several social media management sites can help. These offer tools for scheduling your posts well in advance. A great option is Hootsuite. The interface of HootSuite is very organized and you can assign each social media platform its own tab. You can also set-up streams to monitor Twitter mentions, direct messages or retweets. If you want to stay on top of trends in your industry, you can also create a stream to follow accounts of influencers or experts which you can also share later. Hootsuite can determine the best time to post depending on the platform helping you optimize engagement. Other social media management tools you can try are Buffer and Sprout Social.
Social media marketing doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With the right strategies and tools, you can spend less time managing social media and more time growing your business.
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