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Megan Rutherford: Sales and Marketing Column

Megan Rutherford: Sales and Marketing Column
Megan Rutherford has a diverse background in sales, marketing, and public relations. She has 15+ years of experience in helping small businesses grow their unique markets. Certified as an inbound marketer, Megan specializes in internet & email marketing, search engine optimization, social media, and more. Offline activities include direct mail marketing, public relations, and event planning.

10 Strategies to Quickly Master Social Media for Small Businesses

10 Strategies to Quickly Master Social Media for Small Businesses

Let’s face it social media can be overwhelming. Not only for just having a personal profile, but for a business (no matter the size) it can be downright scary. Whether you have social media profiles already established or are just starting out here are ten strategies to quickly master social media for small businesses.

  1. Set aside time. It feels like managing a business’s social media accounts can be extremely time intensive, whereas it is what can set your business apart. While each post, interaction, and following does take time it can be worth it in the end to stay top of mind with your customer base and reach new customers.
  2. Have a strategy. Don’t put all your eggs into one social media platform basket, but also don’t lose focus on what channels work the best for your business. Set goals and reassess them periodically. Everything from engagement, sharing, and growth should all be critical factors considered and reviewed over time. Also make sure to identify and relate with the target customer/ audience.
  3. Interact, don’t just promote. We’ve all visited a company’s Facebook page only to be disappointed in the lackluster posts that don’t elicit any interaction or emotion. In everything done on social media, a business should look at ways to connect and engage, rather than just posting something to have it published. Think outside the box and put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What do they want to see? Perhaps a behind the scenes moment. A personal video recapping a testimonial or product. Craft unique content and always listen to what the customer is saying.
  4. Use video. Video marketing is dominating social media today, and for very good reason. It’s much more interactive and engaging than just a static image and can hold the consumers attention longer. Short videos are an excellent way to convey a message and allow for captions since the clear majority of mobile device users watch a video with the sound off.
  5. Spend a little to get a lot. It doesn’t take much of a budget to boost a post to get it broadcasted out to a larger audience. When done correctly, social media advertising can be extremely effective and affordable.
  6. Coordinate everything. What is put on one social media channel, doesn’t necessarily need to be posted onto another. Make sure your messaging is crafted well for each channel and verify that the channels complement one another. Everything done on social media should have a primary goal of taking the audience to the company’s website or getting the customer to engage via phone, text, email, and liking or commenting on the post.
  7. Automate. There are a broad range of automation platforms available today to help in scheduling social media posts across a variety of channels. For a minimal investment it can save time and allow for a better consistency in posting activity. Many social media automation platforms offer free or trial subscriptions to test out an automation posting solution for your small business.
  8. Get in the know. There are so many great resources online today that will keep you up-to-date with the ever-changing social media landscape. These companies typically allow for free sign-ups to gain access to emails alerting you to new Facebook algorithm changes and other hot social media marketing topics that are relevant to your small business social media marketing.
  9. Choose the right channels. Unfortunately, all social media channels won’t work for every business, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Research where your customers are and position your social media channels to align well with the target audience. The last thing you want to do is put the time and effort into a channel and get nothing in return.
  10. Develop great content. The internet is amazing, and it’s a great place to find inspiration for your posts. There’s no need to be a graphic designer as there are many royalty free photo sites to gain great images from and countless free to low-cost solutions to create personalized graphics and videos. Check out sites such as Canva, Animoto, and Promo for some great ideas to set your small business social media marketing apart.

Social media takes a significant commitment, but it will more than likely pay off when done correctly. A lack of social presence can lead to prospects and customers questioning the legitimacy of your business. Social media is vital to a small business. There’s a good reason why 94 percent of small businesses utilize social media, it works! Try utilizing some (or all) of the outlined strategies to set your small business apart in the marketplace.

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