Social Media Management For Your Small Business
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Is your startup or small business struggling to use social media to boost your brand awareness and connect with a wider audience?
Do you want to know the best ways to use social media to develop your brand awareness and to boost the sale of your goods or services?
If you’re new to social media management, it is possible that your small business will exceed your well-defined business goals starting with just one connection.
However, it is quite understandable that to some, social media marketing can be intimidating if not taken seriously.
In this article, you’ll discover the benefits of using social media and how you can use this awesome marketing strategy to catapult your marketing.
By using the table of contents below, you will be able to navigate through this guide effortlessly.
Let’s get started.
1. Why Your Small Business Needs Social Media Management.
2. Small Business Branding Using Social Media Management.
3. Optimize Your Website For Social Media.
4. Why Your Small Business Needs A Blog.
5. Start Social Media Management Small.
6. Listen And Share.
7. Create Your Daily Social Media Management Plan.
8. Boost Results With social Media Advertisement.
9. Measure And Analyze Your Social Media Results.
According to Statista, in 2019, it is estimated that there will be around 2.77 billion social media users around the globe, up from 2.46 billion in 2017.
That is a lot of eyeballs searching for services or products that you probably offer.
So, if you are not interacting with those people on the internet that could buy your products or services, your competitors are.
Another important fact is that social media helps you to build brand awareness, increase your customer base, and connect with current and prospective customers.
In fact, one study revealed that a whopping 90% of marketers say that social media is important to their business.
Another interesting part of that survey is that 82% of those surveyed worked in businesses that had less than 100 employees.
As a startup or small business owner, you already know that there are tons of business tasks to accomplish with your limited resources.
And you don’t want to go the traditional marketing route because it can be a drain on your limited funds.
On the other hand, social media marketing offers you a pretty low-cost marketing alternative.
In fact, it gives you a direct line to current and prospective customers.
Image source: iStockPhoto
This pretty low-cost marketing alternative comes with a ‘price.’
The money you save in dollars, you invest in time.
With social media marketing, you have to be creative, agile and efficient with the limited resources you have so as to achieve the HUGE results you envisioned.
Having said that, how do you go about doing it?
How does a startup small business owner with limited resources, establish and build her brand using social media?
What social media management services should you start with?
The first step in building a brand that rocks is to research your business goal.
What is it that you want your small business to achieve? In other words, what are your business goals?
After you’ve put in writing, your business goals, you will need to define your customers and potential ones.
Who Is Your Target Audience? (Persona)
As a startup or small business, it is very important that you know your buyer persona because without customers to buy your products or services, you’re not going to make any money.
In fact, almost every business decision that you make revolves around the buyer – your customer.
The whole idea is to bring in the maximum number of customers to your website and to optimize the likelihood that they’ll buy your products or services with time.
Since social media management is all about connecting with your audience on an authentic level, you have to intimately understand your current and potential customers.
How do you create a buyer persona?
Creating a persona doesn’t have to be intimidating. It leads to a better product or service, better marketing, and a better business.
In other words, it’s a small investment you make that pays off big time.
You start creating your buyer persona by defining your target audience.
Each individual character profile is distinguished by name, professional and personal background like age, gender, education, ethnicity, family status, interests etc.
As you define each persona, write down the details and find images that represent each of the personas in your target audience.
Next, solidify your message to fit your audience.
Based on what you know about your defined target audience, what are the key problems or concerns you can address or solve?
Amplify and make clear the pain points for each character and write it under each profile.
Below that, write down three key marketing messages you want to communicate to that audience.
After you’ve created the specific profiles for your target audience, you will be able to target your message to them appropriately.
Now that you’ve defined your personas and message, now is the appropriate time to find out which social networks they prefer.
Keep in mind though, that all the social media channels are not created equal.
As you examine the different social media channels, keep in mind that each one has a different primary audience and focus.
It’s equally important to understand their differences so that you can put your limited resources and efforts on the right channels.
Choose Your Social Channels
Here’s a look at the social media channels that small businesses use the most:
As you might have expected, Facebook is the dominant social media channel of choice for small businesses.
Choosing well-coordinated multiple social media channels where your audience is, can be the most effective way to harness the potent power of social media.
Get this right:
If you choose to treat each social media platform as a stand-alone task, you will not achieve the kind of success you envisioned.
Therefore, your well-chosen multiple social networks should work collectively to help you achieve your well-stated business goals.
However, this a truism that is not challenged: Your website is your digital storefront - brand’s home base.
If you have a mobile-friendly and user-friendly website, you will be extremely successful in achieving your business goals if you coordinate your social media efforts.
The proven way to do this is to craft an epic content that would arrest and grab the attention of your target audience when they hit your website.
After you've arrested their attention, then feed them a quality dose of helpful, human and holistic solutions along their buying journey.
This one content marketing strategy helps you as you move closer to achieving your business goals.
So that you’re informed and empowered as you cut through the noise that is ever-present in the dynamic, evolving and challenging social media landscape.
Let’s get this right:
We’ve established that your website is your digital storefront where your social media activities take place.
But how do you get massive and dominant social media exposure that would drive insane traffic to your website?
Having gotten to this point in the article, as a small business owner, it is convenient to say that you want to know how to use social media to draw tons of traffic to your website.
Here we go:
If you don’t have a blog page on your website, please update your website.
Your competitors know the full positive impact of blogging in reaching their holistic business goals.
If your savvy competitors are telling their brand story using quality content in the form of text, images GIFs, infographics and videos, you should too.
So, if your website does not have a blog page, hurry to your website designer and have her incorporate blogging as part of your value offering in your website’s navigation.
A blog is your voice channel.
Your small business blog will be effective if your content reflects your overall social media business goal.
Not only is your blog an excellent tool for establishing your brand’s voice and for sharing information, but it is also valuable for engaging with your site visitors.
Such engagements can also lead them through your sales funnel.
There are a few easy design elements that you can add to your website or blog to optimize them.
For instance, Kim Garst displays her social icons on her front page to make easy for visitors to follow her.
One of the design elements that you can incorporate on your website is to display your multiple social media icons on your website.
This makes it easy for your site visitors to follow your various social profiles.
These social media icons that you display prominently on your website, should link directly to your profile so that your website visitors and those reading your blog can follow you immediately.
Many savvy small businesses include a call to action (CTA) at the end of their blog posts.
The call to action asks the reader to like you on Facebook, follow you on Twitter or whatever action you want.
It is also a good habit to show your live social media feeds on your website so that your visitors can see your most current activities.
When your audience can see what you’re sharing, they may be more likely to follow you.
You have probably noticed sharing buttons on different websites that you’ve visited.
By incorporating them on your blog pages and posts, you make your content ridiculously easy to be shared with others.
Share buttons help you improve customer experience.
They make it pretty quick and easy for your blog article reader to share your content on multiple platforms of their choosing.
Such sharing enhances your reach to a wider audience.
A share is as good as an endorsement, so make sure your content is worthy.
Are you using email newsletters as part of the overall marketing strategy?
If your small business is not using email newsletters, you need to start now.
Because an email marketing campaign is the most cost-effective marketing strategy that gives you the power to reach customers in a place that most people visit every day — their inbox.
Additionally, there’s plenty of data to help you appreciate the benefits of email marketing campaigns.
91 percent of US adults like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with (MarketingSherpa)
Email is almost 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined in helping your business acquire new customers. (McKinsey)
How do you increase your social media reach using email marketing?
By effectively combining your email marketing and social media efforts you experience exponential growth.
Make your email newsletter a more effective part of your overall marketing plan by integrating with social media - beyond the follow us or like us button.
An effective newsletter’s design displays social icons prominently and includes a CTA inviting your audience to join your social media communities.
The Social Tribe eNewsletter displays all of its social media icons prominently
ClicktoTweet makes it ridiculously easy to promote sound bites of your content.
Such an article could be on your website, blog or newsletter.
It auto-populates a tweet with your message and your article readers just click on the link and hit send!
At this stage, you’ve defined your target audience, you know which social media platforms they spend their time in, and you’ve optimized your other marketing contact points.
Great! We've done the 'media.'
Now is the time to get 'social.'
As you already know, there are multiple social media platforms to choose from.
If you’re ambitious, as most startups are, you may be tempted to be on many of those social media channels.
In reality, you should not create your social presence on each of these platforms overnight. You have to start small.
Crawl before you walk.
Starting out, be selective at first.
Then choose one or two social media platforms that are the best fit for your business goals.
After you've understood how the channels you selected work, and you have enough time and money to commit, begin to scale your efforts and social footprint.
Hootsuite has compiled demographics information for all of the major social networks that can help you gauge where your audience spends their time online.
The main reason why we recommend that you start small is that social media management takes energy and a long learning curve.
And because of the energy, learning curve and the cost of hiring and training a social media manager, many companies outsource their social media management.
Whether you keep your social media management in-house or you outsource, you have to be consistent in the social media landscape.
The best way to guarantee consistency is to create valuable content unfailingly.
And then share your epic content consistently and massively across your chosen social media channels.
It takes an average of six hours a week to cover just basic social media posting.
If you run a small business, you already know how hard it is to spare an hour let alone six hours out of your busy week schedule.
It might be worth your money to have an outsourced social media management agency to manage your social media accounts.
Alternatively, you might decide to manage your social media in-house.
If that is your choice, then find a social media manager that would cost you far less per hour to handle your online marketing than it costs for you to do it yourself.
Whether you manage your social media accounts in-house or you have them outsourced, there are tons of social media management tools that can enhance your marketing success.
HootSuite makes finding, scheduling, managing, and reporting on social media content easier.
Sprout Social is another cost-effective social media management tool.
According to their website, “Sprout Social’s social media management software and solutions help you find, form and deepen real connections with the people who love your brand.”
What is social media listening?
Hubspot – “Social listening is the monitoring of your brand's social media channels for any customer feedback and direct mentions of your brand or discussions regarding specific keywords, topics, competitors, or industries, followed by an analysis to gain insights and act on those opportunities.”
Social listening tools help you to monitor what people are saying about your brand.
Respond to comments, mentions and feedback even if they’re negative.
You want to turn that negative into a positive!
With all the different hats you wear as a small business owner, creating epic content consistently is a tough job on its own.
So it might not be easy to crank out top content all the time.
To add variety and consistency to your content, set up a process for organizing and aggregating quality content that provides value to your audience.
Add the content to your editorial calendar and you can share it when you’re ready.
Many social media management agencies or social media managers use Feedly to curate relevant quality content.
Feedly is a magazine-style newsreader that aggregates content from different sources and organizes it for you.
It’s a big time-saver when you’re looking for timely, relevant content to share!
With a steady stream of evergreen or curated content in the pipeline, you’re ready to post and engage on social media.
Being a social media manager is not for the faint at heart and can mean a seriously busy day of work.
To prove just how packed it can be, Curalate put together an inside look at Mario Moreno’s daily schedule.
Mario is the Global Social Media Manager for one of the world’s largest retailers.
Is Mario’s daily social media management schedule similar to yours?
Using Mario's template, go ahead and write down the list of your daily social media tasks.
As you go through your daily list of social media management tasks, you notice pretty quickly that you have to be organized.
First and foremost, reply to everyone who engages with your brand on social media.
In fact, if you can reply to everyone who engages with you on social media, you’re doing better than 75% of brands on social media.
According to a report from Sprout Social, 5 in 6 messages that need responses are not answered by brands.
Inversely, only 1 in 6 messages get an answer—that’s just 17%!
According to AdWeek, “Ignoring customers on social media is similar to ignoring the phone ringing when they call your help centers.”
That is why it is critically important that you check your mentions on your social media platforms.
As you check your mentions, take time to reply to everyone especially those that reach out directly to you on social media for specific pain points.
There are a few quick and easy spots to visit to find these:
Here’s where to look on Twitter.
Here’s where to look on Facebook—you can replace the “anacondamarket” here with your page name: https://www.facebook.com/anacondamarket/notifications/
Here’s where to look on LinkedIn—you can replace “anacondamarketer” with your company
Here’s where to look on Google+
After you’re done with replying to your social media audience and checking on your mentions, you can follow and unfollow your connections on your social media channels.
It is now time to continue with the scheduling of your social media content.
After you’ve become comfortable with those daily activities, join to target specific demographics.
Take an active part in more conversations by asking questions and posting comments to updates by others.
Persist in your efforts to personalize your brand by welcoming new followers.
Take time out of your busy schedule and thank them for sharing your content or offering a compliment.
Above everything else that you do, be intentional about your social media activities.
Remember that social media success isn’t about chance, it’s about strategy, tactics and execution.
With hundreds of different marketing strategies, only social media advertising can bring in consistent sales from day one.
Therefore if you want to speed up the social media performance of your startup small business, we recommend that you explore paid advertising options.
Social media advertising, or social media targeting, are advertisements served to users on social media platforms.
Social media platforms take advantage of the information provided by their users to serve highly relevant advertisements based on interactions within their platform.
Paid advertising platforms choose a target market and align the advertisement with the user demographics of the social media platform.
If the strategy is executed effectively, social advertising can provide huge increases in conversions and sales with a lower cost of acquisition.
In today’s social media landscape, brands that don’t advertise on social media risk falling behind.
Small business owners understand this truism.
In fact, according to a recent survey, 92% of small businesses will increase their investment in social media in 2018.
Facebook offers a powerful number of advertising solutions to your small business.
These paid advertisements help you accumulate more sales, website traffic, brand awareness and audience engagement.
If Twitter is your platform of choice, you can use Twitter ads to get your message in front of the users who are most likely to be interested in your products, and your brand.
Twitter’s own data shows that ad engagements increased 69 percent over the last year, with a 28 percent drop in cost per ad engagement.
Twitter has two advertising solutions: promoted content and promoted accounts.
Promoted content helps you cut through the noise and serve your content to tailored audiences.
Promoted accounts help increase the size of your Twitter following.
LinkedIn is the place to go if you want to reach B2B audience online.
It’s also the #1 social network for lead generation.
Importantly, it is the social media platform where 74% of B2B buyers go to research purchasing decisions.
As you would expect, LinkedIn also offers advertising opportunities for small businesses to reach specific audiences.
Your small business can use LinkedIn sponsored updatefeature to increase your brand’s visibility.
As you have seen, social media paid advertising can boost brand awareness and sales pretty quickly.
Even if you’re on a tight budget, don’t dismiss social advertising.
That’s because, if you use social paid advertisement strategically it can produce great results for your brand.
Measuring and analyzing the social media results of your small business is the critical last step of your social media management.
Metrics can be thought of as The What.
For instance, what did this social post do for the business?
How many people saw it or engaged with it?
If metrics are The What, analytics is the So What?
There are different social media analytics tools that can provide you with your social media metrics or performance.
Though each social media platform has its own built-in analytics tool, the metrics they provide differs from channel to channel.
For the most part, the metrics can all fall into one of three categories:
Reach includes impressions, the number of people who saw your post, the number of times your brand was mentioned and the number of followers.
Engagement includes likes, shares/retweets, comments/replies, clicks and video plays.
Conversions, on the other hand, includes downloads, sign-ups, sales and new followers.
Tracking performance data of your social media efforts is the best way to identify which tactics are working and which aren’t.
Though most social media networks have native tools you can use to track and measure your performance, there are other third-party tools.
Google Analytics easily helps you identify which social media platforms drive the maximum, targeted traffic to your site.
With this tool, it’s also possible to find out how these social media users interact with your website.
In addition, setting up a Google Analytics dashboard to monitor and analyze your social media efforts helps you determine your social media ROI.
Keep track of which social media channels are driving the most traffic to your site.
With relevant quantitative data, Google Analytics
When using social media for your startup or small business, the most important thing to remember is that social media is a marathon, not a sprint.
Use the information in this social media article to start your social marketing efforts.
Write down your social media goals.
Who is your target audience?
Define them and create their different profile personas and choose the best social media platform to reach them.
Then integrate your social media icons and links, share your epic content as well as top-notch curated content using your relevant social media management tool.
Hire a social media manager or outsource your social media management tasks to a capable agency.
Then track and measure your success.
Follow those steps and you’ll be positioned for success!
At Anaconda Marketing, we're ready and eager to start your social media management with you.
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