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As a small business owner, you’re likely well aware that social media is an absolute must for every business today, and it is especially important if you don’t have a nationally known brand. When thinking about how to begin creating a social media marketing strategy, there are a few things to consider. You should start by creating goals and thinking about what you want to gain. Ideally, you won’t be focused on becoming an overnight viral sensation, as those occur very rarely and you’ll likely be disappointed. Rather than thinking about gaining 100,000 fans overnight, focus on building an online community with meaningful and relevant communication, which will result in building a dedicated fan base. Create a content plan and note when you’re going to be posting, so you’ll stay organized. Think about what your target demographic will want to see, and strive to inform your consumers (rather than simply sell products), as this will build trust. Knowing how to use various social media platforms is your main key to achieving virtual success, and there are several important ways to engage consumers: Ask questions; share users’ problems and triumphs with the community; and make sure you communicate (answering questions and providing solutions) in a responsive and timely fashion.
Choosing appropriate platforms can be somewhat tricky, mainly because there are so many options. Twitter and Snapchat focus on quick blurbs; Facebook allows for longer discussions; and Instagram and Pinterest are largely image-based. If you’re in a more professional realm, you’ll want to consider LinkedIn and Google+ as well, and don’t forget about YouTube, which is all about videos. When deciding which platforms to utilize, first consider where you would find your desired consumers. While it might be useful to try a few platforms out, don’t choose too many or you could quickly become overwhelmed.
Below is a brief summary of the main social media platforms small businesses are choosing to utilize:
Bottom Line: By testing out various social media platforms, you can further develop your brand and reach consumers who otherwise would never have known about your company or products.