As a small business owner there are things you absolutely need to do.  Working social media is one of those things. As you begin or begin again, here are 4 tips to help you get started!

Identify your target market and their interests

When determining which social media sites would be most beneficial to your business, it is important to know your target market.  You likely identified this when you wrote your business plan but consider your audience again – especially if it has evolved over time.  You’ll want to identify demographics and interests.  For example, if you own a bridal boutique you’ll be targeting women ages 25-34.  These women will likely have interests in bridal gowns, engagement rings, local wedding venues, etc.  Knowing this information will help you decide which social media platform will connect most with this audience.

Choose Your Platform

As a small business owner, you don’t have time to be on EVERY social media site!  It is important to be strategic.  The infographic below from Likeable can help you narrow down which audiences frequent which sites along with some pros and cons for each one! Taking the example above, as a bridal boutique owner, you might consider Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.  Facebook because it is 60% female and a “virtual necessity for brands investing in social” but also because 79% of fans are more likely to make a purchase over the other social networks. You would also want to put your business on Instagram (sharing all the wonderful photos of ladies trying on your dresses) because 68% of the audience are women in your target age group! Lastly, you’ll want to be on Pinterest because the audience is 79% female and Pinterest generates “27% more revenue per click than Facebook!”  Sharing photos of your shop, pinning items like bridal gowns, engagement rings and local wedding venues will draw your customer in!

Social Media infographic

Identify Content Sources: Like, Follow, Share

Once you know your audience and have signed up for a social platform or two it’s important to find interesting content to share.  Who are the experts in your field?  If you are a local HVAC company you may find good content from HGTV or This Old House.  Larger companies like these have social media teams and are constantly pushing out seasonally relevant content.  They aren’t your competition but are authorities on home improvement to include HVAC maintenance for homeowners.  Once you identify these sources be sure to like or follow their page.  As they post real and engaging content you will be able to share it which increases your ability to post regularly and reach your audience with things they care about.  When you are sharing good content, they will like and share it as well.  That is how you will know you are doing it right!

Setup Tools

All of this may seem a bit overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be.  There are a plethora of resources out there to help you manage your posts across multiple platforms and follow folks who have good content to share.  Take some time to look at the following social media management resources, Hootsuite, (owned locally) or MeetEdgar. You’ll want to evaluate functionality and cost as each resource has their own unique system.

As you start to put together the pieces of the puzzle we’ve discussed above, you’ll notice that you will need some additional strategies on timing.  In our next blog post we will be talking about how to put together a marketing strategy so you can spend more time in your business and less time managing social media!

As always, if you just don’t have the time or don’t want to tackle this mountain, we can help! Here is more information on our Social Media Management.