Kickstart Your Social Media: A Recipe for Small Businesses

Social media can be intimidating – especially as a small business owner with limited time. We’ve put together a series of steps – a recipe – to get you started! Let’s get cooking!

PREP
Strategies are the bread and butter of a social media campaign. How do you develop one? Start with your target audience.

  • Interview your current & potential customers. Find out their age, gender, interests, profession, etc.
  • After defining the audience, develop your message. What are key problems and concerns of your ideal audience that you can address in your message?
  • Based on your target audience, develop the key marketing message you want to communicate.
  • Find out which social networks your target audience is using and start there.

ORGANIZE

  • Coordinate your message on all your marketing outlets. You want your message to be consistent.
  • Pushing people to your website is beneficial. It allows you to display your message on your website and push people from various outlets to one place. It also helps to automate coordination of your message – saving you time!

USE
Start using social media – but start small and build.

  • Limit your time. Spend 15-30 minutes per day on social media for your business. Schedule this time so you don’t forget – set reminders on your phone or calendar. This will help you incorporate social media into your daily schedule so it doesn’t get neglected.
  • Choose 1-2 outlets to get started. Don’t pressure yourself to be on EVERY outlet. That’s why in step one we found the outlets best suited for your target audience. Start with those, and then eventually you can expand – when you feel you’re ready.
  • Create a content calendar (here’s a free example!) to manage your posts and plan ahead. These calendars make social media easier to manage. But, be careful, over automating can be bad – spontaneity is vital to your success. So use content calendars wisely.

RELATE
Listen to your followers. Comment and respond – even to negative, especially to negative, feedback. Be relatable. This helps build relationships – which is the essence of social media. Share others posts. Just like you communicate with people on your personal page – communicate with them via your business page (just keep it tasteful and professional – remember this creates an image for your business!).

EXPERIMENT
Track and analyze your posts. Experiment with different times and days to find the best time to post that will elicit responses from your customers. Find out what types of content get the best results. Social media is constantly evolving, so your content should be too!

BONUS

  • Be authentic. Just relax and be yourself. Be personable. Try to avoid sounding like a textbook – people want to connect with a PERSON not a book. If technical jargon is imperative to your post – explain what it means in a non-condescending way.
  • Enjoy yourself! Remember you’re competing with real world activities! You’re competing with puppies and babies! Think about how you can phrase and post things so that they are compelling.
  • Be visual. Use pictures, graphics and video. They draw a much higher response than text only posts.
  • Positivity is always best. But, negativity is better than neutrality. Being neutral is boring, and boring posts will lead to failure.
  • Don’t forget a call to action. Tell your followers what you want them to do. Your response will almost always be higher.

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