So, you’ve got your website set up, you’ve created a few pages on a few social media platforms, and you’re ready to really delve into social media marketing. What’s next?

While the exact methods and tweaking will vary (as it should) depending on your business model and target audience, here are few key tactics that will set you up for success when it comes to a social media strategy for small businesses.

  1. Research your target audience

There’s no rush to starting off your strategy – take the time to know your audience. This doesn’t mean literally identifying them, it means identifying with them. What do they like? What do they dislike? How do they talk? Where do they spend their time online?

This step is vital because it informs every step that comes after. Understanding your target audience is going to influence every post you make, the copy you use, and might even influence who you partner with down the line for marketing (if you choose to go that route).

Identify your audience and the sort of message and tone they respond to. Do they like casual style conversation? Are they particularly data driven, or do they respond more to emotional appeals and visuals? 

Note: If most of your audience seems to prefer businesses doing things a certain way, you might benefit from trying a completely opposite style just to be immediately unique compared to competitors.

Once you’ve figured this out, it’s on to the next step — 

  1. Spread your message

Start building up your social media. This isn’t something you have to calculate at the start – simply begin with introductory posts that establish what your business is, what you offer, and how you’re different from your competitors.

In fact, you could do anything here at the start, though be warned that immediately trying to sell to your customers could backfire depending on your niche and audience. Our best advice is to take a value-first approach to all your social media marketing. 

Offer entertainment, information, and fun tidbits they might not have been aware of. You can also offer eBooks or coupons (you could turn these into lead generators by offering to send these straight to inboxes in exchange for emails, which you could then market more directly down the line). 

  1. Be Consistent

Across multiple social media platforms, one thing that remains constant is their use of algorithms to determine whose content gets boosted, and how often. This means that data, trends, and consistency are going to be your best friends when it comes to ensuring the platform you’re working on is utilized as effectively as possible.

While it’s extremely rare for the average person to have advanced insights into how a social media platform’s algorithms work, you can’t go wrong with being consistent with your content output. 

Think about it: What do these social media platforms value more than anything? User retention, and user engagement. They want to promote businesses and pages that seem to be providing the most value to their customers, and one way to achieve that is through a steady stream of content that demonstrates your value on a regular basis.

Establish a routine – are you going to post once a week? When, in the mornings or evenings? If your social media platform comes with analytics, don’t be afraid to experiment and get deeper insights into when your audience responds most potently to your content.

Make Social Media Work for You

Social Media Marketing is one of the most effective and rewarding methods of marketing, because you can almost immediately see some kind of benefit to your efforts. Early on, this might simply be likes or follows on your page, and not the coveted sales you’re ultimately aiming for, but just these little boosts of affirmation can give you the motivation you need to continue building on your social media strategy. 

Experiment, compound on what works, and seek out expert help until you’re able to turn social media into one of your most effective methods of generating high quality, long-term leads.

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