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10 ways to use Social Media for small businesses

Social media is one of the best ways to connect with people who already love your brand and to build relationships with new customers.

Getting your business on social media doesn't have to be scary or expensive. We'll give you some social media marketing tips to help you build brand awareness and ultimately drive sales.

1) Start with a plan

As tempting as it may be to just dive straight in and start posting on all of your social media channels, you need to take a moment and like every other good business strategy, using social media for small business success needs to start with a good plan.

  • Set goals and objectives that are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely)

  • Research your competition

  • Conduct a small social media audit. If you already use social media, take a step back and evaluate your efforts. What's working for you? Which posts get the most engagement - links, images, video?

  • Find inspiration online

  • Create a social media calendar. Ensure you're posting on the right social media channels at the right times on the right days. As a general rule of thumb, use 80% of your content to inform, educate and entertain your audience and the other 20% to promote your brand or sell your products

2) Which platform is right for you?

Don't assume that you need to be on every social network to succeed. Give some thought on your target audience and evaluate which platforms are right for you. Remember you can use different social media channels to reach different audiences or to meet different business goals

3) Relationship building

The major benefit of using social media marketing for your small business is that it allows you to directly engage with your customers and followers. Aim to build relationships over time instead of asking for a sale upfront. Did you know that more than 40% of digital consumers use social networks to research new brands or products? Remember that social media is made to be 'Social'.

4) Don't take on too much at once

Although it can be tempting, you don't need to be on every platform there is. The options available may seem overwhelming but you don't need to do it all. It's more important to create quality content on a key channel than being spread too thinly. Ensure that every piece of content you post is offering value to your followers.

5) Create professional-looking images

You don't need to spend a fortune on hiring a graphic designer to create all of your social media content. Yes, there may be times you need to out-source design work when you have a large campaign but for the day-to-day images, you'd be surprised how many tools there are out there to help! A few worth looking at are VSCO, Piktochart and Canva.

9) Spend time engaging with followers

Make sure that you respond to comments or private messages in a timely manner, just like you would if a customer phoned your store. Remember to keep your tone of voice in line with the business and ensure that you try to resolve any queries as soon as possible - this could be the difference between a positive or negative review. Also, keep an eye out for anybody mentioning your business online. There are tools out there available to help you engage in 'social listening'.

10) Review and refine your efforts

It's so important to keep track of what works and what doesn't. Speaking with other businesses will be great to bounce ideas around but what works for them on social media might not work for you. The only way to truly know your social efforts are working is to keep a close eye on your analytics and strategy. Social platforms have built-in analytics which allow you to monitor your progress. Try creating two similar posts with small changes and record the results - find out which worked better for your business.

Start off small, build your social media marketing up and most importantly, create relationships.

If you have any queries on your social media marketing strategy or would like KMedia to help, please get in touch here.

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