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Social media strategies for small businesses

John Murray

If you are a small business owner, then you may have a limited budget to spend on social media marketing. This is why it is important that your social media strategy is targeted and effective.

An integrated approach

Social media should be one component of a sales and marketing strategy. No matter if your social media is the responsibility of one employee or outsourced, there needs to be clear communication between them and the rest of the sales and marketing team.

You may also want to involve your customer service team as they are dealing with your customers on a regular basis, and have insights into their needs. Often, these are the same concerns of your social media followers.

Start small

Don’t create a profile on every social media site out there. For example, start small using Facebook and Twitter only. Once your brand has been established and followers recruited, then consider expanding to other sites. From the beginning use social management software such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to schedule posts and assign tasks.

Encourage employee participation

Even if you have a dedicated social media manager, encourage other employees to create content. Loyal employees understand your brand and can help communicate its message.

Avoid selling

Social media, unlike your main website, is not a direct selling platform. Although Twitter has added a ‘buy now’ button, this feature is yet to reach the UK’s shores. You want social media to raise brand awareness in a positive way, and this will indirectly drive sales.

Measure and experiment

By starting small you can afford to experiment with different types of content and approaches. Monitor how many followers you create. If you have links from content to your website, then you can use analytical services to find out how many people came to your website from social media links.

Done correctly, social media marketing can be a valuable contribution to your business success.

John is every inch the wordsmith and loves a game of Scrabble above all else. With experience writing for newspapers, John’s time at university was spent studying Creative Writing – something which comes across in his love of the pun.

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