Updated: Sep 20
Over the years, social media marketing has gone from a fresh new idea to an absolute must for any business. Yes, that includes small businesses, too.
After all, social media is the best way to connect with both loyal fans and potential new customers. Without it, you’re missing out on reaching an audience that’s willing to connect with your brand.
However, getting started on social media can be daunting for small business owners, especially if you don’t have any experience using it. Where to start? Which social media platforms to use? Does it take a lot of my time?
The good news is that you don’t need to have a slick marketing campaign or thousands of followers for social media to have a positive impact on your business. Social media doesn’t need to be scary, nor expensive!
To help get you started, here are five easy steps for you to kick-start a social media marketing strategy for your small business. You’re welcome.
1. Establish your online presence
Perhaps you haven’t yet created any social profiles for your small business. Or maybe you’re set up on just one. Let’s say Facebook, for example.
If you’re set up on one social media platform – great. You’re heading in the right direction. But using one social media platform alone isn’t enough to maximize your reach and draw in those customers.
Even small business owners need to establish a strong presence on social platforms to reach as much of their audience as possible.
These social media platforms include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Snapchat to name a few. But before you rush off to create a profile on every platform listed, you must understand your target audience. This will help you decide which platforms to focus on.
With a wide and varied audience, focusing on Facebook to start with is a safe bet as you can assume your target audience has a presence there. Facebook is still one of the fastest-growing social media platforms, so rest assured that it’s not going anywhere for the time being. After setting your business's Facebook Page, you can now start evaluating what other platforms are relevant for your customers.
Do you run a B2B company? Then LinkedIn is the social platform for you. That’s because 80% of leads generated by B2B companies come from LinkedIn.
Or is your primary audience Generation Z? If so, you might want to head to Snapchat or Instagram to find the right followers. This is because 71% of Generation Z uses Snapchat at least six times a day! But if you’re trying to create leads from baby boomers, for example, it wouldn’t make sense to prioritize Snapchat.
2. Create an editorial calendar
To help you stay focused on your social media marketing strategy, creating an editorial calendar helps a great deal. After all, scrambling to craft posts at the last minute can lead to irrelevant or low-quality content that your followers won’t appreciate.
Plus, a lack of organization can lead to all sorts of bloopers, such as repeated posts (oops!) or a forgotten presence on one or more of your social channels.
A social media calendar helps you avoid those mistakes and assists you in planning a strong, useful, and relevant content strategy. They can also help you reach goals for your social media strategy and track your progress toward them.
To craft a content calendar, use a regular calendar for each social media channel you use and plan your posts accordingly. There are plenty of templates available to download for free online, or you could simply create your own using Google spreadsheets.
For each post, you can include hashtags, links, images, and any other content you plan to include. That way your content is ready to post each day without any extra work.
When you feel more comfortable using social media, you may be interested in trying out a social media tool like Hookle. This enables you to easily schedule posts in months or weeks in advance.
Scheduling also allows you to dedicate one block of time per week to spend creating content so you can focus on the job at hand. This means you don’t need to plan daily which can often take you away from other important tasks.
3. Post content regularly
Once you have your social media profiles ready, you need to make sure those accounts are active and engaged. After all, if a potential customer stumbles upon one of your profiles and sees there’s been no activity for a month, they aren’t going to follow you.
Because why would someone follow a brand that doesn’t post regular or consistent content? Would you?
That’s why posting daily, or at least several times a week is recommended not only to draw in new followers but to keep current ones engaged and entertained. Think about it – the followers you do already have aren’t likely to search your brand just to see what you’re up to. They need a prompt – an exciting and informative piece of content that will appear on their timeline or homepage.