Boost your digital marketing with this simple plan to connect with customers on the right social media platforms.
Most small business owners know that social media is an important part of a modern marketing strategy. Still, social media’s many and ever-changing platforms can make the process feel overwhelming. If you’ve been reluctant to dive into social media marketing for your small business, you can get started with these simple first steps.
Pick the Best Platforms for Your Small Business
Not all social media platforms are created equal: Some sites are more popular with certain age groups, types of media or other features. The most important first step in your social media strategy is deciding which of these platforms are best for your business.
You can’t maintain an active account on every social media site. You want to select two or three platforms you can devote your time to. Consider which sites your customers are likely to use, if you’re trying to reach consumers or other businesses, and whether you prefer to tell your business’ story with text, photos or videos.
Facebook: Add photos, post live video updates or handle customer service via reviews and comments on the most popular social media site.
Instagram: Share photos and short videos with your followers along with comments and hashtags on this growing platform.
LinkedIn: Build a company page, promote your brand, join like-minded groups of business owners, recruit and share expert advice on this professional network.
Medium: Medium’s oversized photo layouts and easy self-publishing dashboard encourage users to create and discuss longer articles.
Periscope: This video streaming app lets you watch live broadcasts—or create your own.
Pinterest: This platform helps businesses reach new customers using images of your products or services, which users can “pin” to their own boards for inspiration.
Snapchat: Send quick messages, photos or short video clips—all of which disappear after they’re viewed on this favorite app for millennials.
Twitter: Quickly share short text posts, photos and videos with followers, retweet others’ posts and use hashtags to follow trending topics on this newsy platform.
Listen & Respond to Followers
Once you’ve picked the best platform to reach your audience, follow these best practices to engage with your customers.
Follow the 80/20 rule: Talk about your business just 20% percent of the time, and other relevant topics (for instance, interesting articles about your local community or industry) the other 80%.
Ask open-ended questions to encourage conversation and engagement from followers.
Reply quickly and warmly to all inbound questions and comments.
By Brooke Preston, Manta Contributor – November 4, 2016