From record-keeping to storefronts, website maintenance to marketing, inventory to customer support, there’s no doubt that small- and medium-sized business (SMB) owners certainly wear many hats. With so much going on, it’s easy to let some things slip through the cracks, like social media. After all, it’s easy to ignore a part of your business that often isn’t even considered an expense.
Just because most aspects of social media are free doesn’t mean it isn’t costing you something indirectly. Every day that you let your social media efforts atrophy, there is countless unrealized business potential that you’re allowing to slip through your fingers.
Why Social Media is Important for Your Business
Social media is a powerful area of the online marketing landscape. It allows businesses in every industry to find clients. B2B enterprises can link up with potential partners and clients on LinkedIn. B2C companies can find customers by the millions on platforms like Facebook. Visually driven sites like Pinterest and Instagram can help even the smallest startups break through the white noise and find potential customers.
The powerful effects of social media don’t stop there. In addition to connecting with your customer base, social media can serve as a perfect complement to other areas of your marketing strategy as well. You can use social media platforms to do the following:
- Promote quality content and other marketing collateral from your website.
- Cultivate your brand image and public relations (PR) stance.
- Inform customers about promotions and sales.
- Enhance your customer service efforts through active listening and engagement on your social profiles.
When properly utilized, social media can have an energetic, synergistic effect on your company’s online and traditional marketing channels. This makes it something you want to treat with the same gravity and attention that you might invest in developing a content creation strategy or choosing an SEO company.
How to Avoid Letting Your Social Media Slip
Of course, understanding the importance of social media doesn’t change the fact that it’s easy to forget about it in the middle of the endless list of other things that your business demands. Here are a few suggestions for ways to structure, organize, and streamline your social media marketing campaigns. They will enable your business to enjoy the benefits of social media while helping you avoid being overwhelmed in the process.
It’s important to begin by minimizing your social media efforts. You can do this by researching your customer base and looking for what social media platforms they primarily congregate on. For instance, Facebook is popular with older demographics, while Generation Z tends to gravitate towards newer platforms like TikTok. Once you identify the platforms where your customers gather, focus your social efforts only in those places.
Once you’ve narrowed down your focus to a social platform or two, take some time to create a thought out social media strategy:
- Set social media goals and objectives.
- Identify what types of content you want to focus on.
- Consider the possible use of pay per click ads.
- Determine what tools (like Google Analytics or Facebook Pixel) you will use to track and measure your efforts. Consider tracking the click-through rate, reach, and engagement.
- Create guidelines to enable you and your staff to maintain a consistent brand profile (think your brand’s voice, tone, colour scheme) across your online marketing efforts.
Once you’ve created a strategy and organized yourself, it will be much easier to maintain consistency with your social media marketing, all with minimal effort from you and your team.
Delegate and Outsource
Speaking of your team, if you’re an SMB owner, there’s a good chance you don’t have much help as you set your social media ambitions in motion. However, if you want to see results, you must consider how you can build a team to back you up.
One option is to hire a social media manager. While this will certainly address the day-to-day concerns in your social media strategy, it can also come at a prohibitive cost for a small business. If you can’t afford to hire someone directly onto your staff, you can always look for an independent contractor to fill the role for you. Bringing a contractor in to address your social media concerns allows you to tap into professional help at a fraction of the cost.
Whether you’re hiring a full-time employee or bringing on a freelancer, it’s worth building a social media team to help ease the intensive burden that comes with maintaining social media daily.
Don’t Let Your Social Media Slip
Regardless of the specifics of your situation, your budget, your staff, or your strategy, you must take the time to find a way to provide quality social media marketing for your customers. When it comes to social media, putting in a partial effort is worse than doing nothing at all, as your posts won’t be seen and your customers will be less likely to engage with you.
Use the suggestions above to craft a plan that will help you stay on top of your social media marketing efforts. This will allow you to realize a bit of the infinite potential that the online social world has to offer.
Also published on Medium.