Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube are the most trafficked social media websites. You don’t have to use all of these websites, but it’s helpful to at least set up a profile on all of them. Don’t get overwhelmed! Research and register on one at a time, then focus on the one website that has the highest return on investment for your business.
Preschedule your status updates and use tools that can update multiple social media websites at one time. My favorite free tool for doing this is HootSuite.com. Beware of terminology that’s specific to one particular social media website. For example, it can be confusing to post a status update that uses “mentions” or “hashtags”, which is terminology specific to Twitter, on Facebook. So when you’re posting across multiple social media websites, make sure your message works across all of them.
The social media website that most of your prospective customers use is the best one for you. In the beginning, you will need to experiment with multiple websites. The great thing about social media is that you can track exactly where your clicks are coming from and which website is sending you the highest-converting traffic. It really takes the guesswork out of determining which website is most effective for you.
It’s important to know that you have to be realistic about the time you have. Social media is fast-moving and it’s better to be active frequently and in quick bursts than it is to only check in an hour once a week.
In Summary, Social Media is...
• “Social Media” is a term that encompasses new ways of talking to prospective customers online, and talking to people is always an effective way to market your business!
• The tools are free, so social media marketing is largely an investment of time. As a small business owner, time is a valuable resource and you likely don’t have the capital to hire a department solely dedicated to managing your social media outreach. Overall, social media is a MUCH more cost-effective strategy than any traditional form of display advertising. Social media marketing continues to build your reputation and bring in leads even when you’re not actively building it out. Ads are gone completely once you stop paying for them.
I recommend that you have someone on your own team conduct your day-to-day social media marketing activities and here’s why.
At its core, social media marketing is a way to leverage conversations with your clients. If you have someone interfacing with your clients and prospective customers, then they need to know your business well enough to be able to have an informed discussion regarding your products and services. That being said, it’s wise to bring in outside or professional help to establish a social media marketing strategy that you or your team can carry out and implement.
As a small business, you don’t want to be ahead of the trends, you want to be right on them. That’s because you don’t want to waste time with a tool until it reaches critical mass – what good is spending your valuable time on a website so cutting edge and new that none of your customers know about it yet? Don’t worry about every little update, this is an area where you want to be “mainstream”.
Finally, just jump in and give it a try !
The great thing about social media is that there’s very little upfront cost and the time involved in getting it up and running. If it doesn’t work for you, you can always delete your accounts. Just remember to first give it time – social media feels strange and foreign to everybody that’s never used it before. Give it a chance to work and give yourself the chance to understand it before you give it up.
If you have questions or want to learn more about leveraging the power of the internet to improve your business,
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