Many small business owners and non-profits spend very little (or no) time on social media. They know that it’s an important part of being in business these days, but they either don’t know where to begin or they are intimidated by the thought...and then there is the time involved. We’ve come up with a simple checklist to help, and we encourage just jumping in. Once that’s done, the amount of time and effort spent on it can be customized.
We suggest that you begin the process by thinking about your demographic. Who are your customers? Are they primarily Facebook users or Instagram? Through which channels will you have the best opportunity to reach them? The four most widely used channels are: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Some businesses don’t delve into Twitter at all anymore. It seems that we all know how it has become a vehicle for politicians and others who want to debate issues but there are still some people who see a value in it from a business perspective. Then there is LinkedIn. You may feel right off the bat that it holds no value for you, but it has changed a lot. We suggest that you spend some time on it, see what type of posting is happening and then decide. It’s not just for networking anymore!
Next, you’ll want to set yourself up for success in the social media world by becoming familiar with some great free tools that can make a real difference.
Scheduling Programs: Having a way to easily schedule on multiple social media channels is essential. We recommend using Hootsuite or Buffer. These social media scheduling programs allow you to set up your business accounts so that you can access them all in one program. You can create posts and decide which channels they will go out on and when. There is a slight learning curve on using these, but both offer tutorials on their sites. And as mentioned, these are free. They do have a cap on how many posts you can schedule per month, before having to subscribe, but the cap is very manageable for most organizations.
Calendars: Using a social media scheduling calendar is highly recommended. The best way to successfully manage your social media is to “map out” a plan. Calendars should include a weekly or monthly list with dates, channels, and what your content will be. They can be maintained online or in hard copy (or both), whichever you find works best. There are several free calendars that can be found online if you Google search, and even Word has a Small Business Content Calendar in their offerings. Using a calendar such as this will keep you organized and help you to manage your time in the best way.
Last, to really jump in and get going you’ll have to do research. What kind of content will be the most appealing to your customer? We suggest a mix of post types. Advertise your product but also incorporate other aspects such as motivational quotes in your field, news write-ups on relatable topics, and even shares from other organizations that are in similar fields. Doing this will create variety and keep your customer’s interest. And when you post be sure to tag individuals or organizations that you mention, plus add any relatable hashtags. These two things will increase the reach of your posts.
So, there you have it. We hope that this information gives you the confidence needed to get started on your way to social media management success! And as always, we are more than happy to help your small business or non-profit with your Social Media Marketing needs. We tailor our services to your needs, from getting started so you can take your social media management over to regular content creation and maintenance done on your behalf. Contact us or request a quote if you're interested in finding out more!
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