Starting in social media as a small business can be daunting. Where should you begin? What channels to be on?
There is so much stuff you need to know, that sometimes it paralyzes small business owners and they take zero action.
In this post I look at some of the most important things a small business owner should know when launching in the social media world.
Disclaimer: You need to do the work! If you’re looking for a quick fix, stop reading, this post is not for you!
This article is for those committed to become a social business, willing to put in the time and effort it takes to build an engaged audience, a loyal community. And these by all means cannot be achieved with quick fixes.
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s begin:
Define Your Goals
Before you even read about social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat, write down why you want to be on social media.
What do you plan to achieve?
Before you say 1,000,000 followers, stop right there!
This is not about vanity metrics such as likes and number of followers. You will have to do better than that and think hard about your goals, business goals.
Identify Where Your Consumers Hang Out
Yes, I know you heard that before. But you still have to do it.
Picture this: You launch a Facebook page, start posting, paying some ads, only to find out your audience likes Snapchat or Instagram. This is money and time thrown out of the window.
Before launching in social media, spend time investigating where your consumers like to hang out. Hire a professional who can do the research for you, if you don’t have the time and knowledge.
Only then, create the social media pages and profiles for your business.
Create a Social Media Calendar
As much as you love tweeting in real time, or commenting on a Facebook page, the reality is, after two weeks, you’ll feel overwhelmed. It will take most of your time and other areas of your business will remain unattended.
Of course, the easiest solution is to hire someone to help you.
However, if you have budget constraints, here is what you need to do: Create a weekly social media calendar. It can be as simple as a spreadsheet, and curate content to share on your channels.
Organize it per days and hours with 3-4 posts for Facebook, 7-8 tweets on Twitter, 1-2 post on LinkedIn, etc.
This is to get you started.
As you get more used to the social channels and you learn your audience, you can publish more or less content.
Choose a scheduling app such as Buffer (my favorite), Hootsuite, etc, schedule your content for the week ahead. Also make sure to check your channels several times per day to see if people responded or commented on your content.
Schedule time in your day to engage with people in real time, to follow and read them.
You have your goals laid out, you’ve identified where your consumer likes to spend time, you have the social media calendar ready and scheduled, now let the fun begin.
Spend time during the day commenting, liking, following other people and businesses on social media. Interact with them, be human.
What to Expect When Joining Social Media
It takes time!
If you want to build a relationship with your consumers you need to spend time knowing them, commenting and interacting with them.
Bad practice: Sell, sell, sell.
At first, no one will come to your pages or profiles (well, maybe your mom). But as you invest time on talking to people, your brand awareness will slowly grow.
People will check your business’ social media channels and they’ll start liking and commenting on your posts. Soon you’ll have built a community around your business in social media.
Before you celebrate, keep this in mind: No matter how big your community becomes, keep interacting and answering their questions.
Before You Go
As you familiarize yourself with this new world, make a conscious effort to learn and be up to date with the changes on the platforms, rules and algorithms. You need to educate yourself and constantly update your strategy.
You will find that what worked yesterday, today doesn’t bring the same results.
Learn, adapt, test, test, and test some more.
Now you have the floor: What have you been struggling on social media?
Image Source: Pixabay