As a small business, it often comes with the territory that you must work within the confines of a small budget. But this doesn’t mean that you have to limit your potential, especially when it comes to social media marketing. In fact, when you’re just starting out, building a presence on social media is one of the best ways to get your name out there. Therefore, it’s crucial to know how to use social media for your small business, so let’s jump into it!

Analyze what you are doing now.

Odds are, even if you are a brand new business, you have a social media presence. You don’t have to do an in-depth analysis, but you should have a good idea of which platform (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc) has the best success for you and which posts perform well. If you are still a new business with a weaker social media presence, you will be relying mainly on this type of informal analysis to build upon, until you get enough activity on your accounts to do some legit social media metrics tracking. Make a list of what has been working and what isn’t gaining as much traction to use for when you set your goals and plan content creation.

Scope out the competition.

As a small business, you can look to your bigger business counterparts who have found great success in the industry for inspiration. You can also do a bit of informal analysis with the information available right on their social media pages. It’s worth it to take some time to scroll through their feed and figure out what kinds of posts performed well, and which ones might have flopped. If you are promoting a similar product or concept, odds are your audience and their audience are going to be made up of people of similar demographics.

Come up with a list of goals.

Once you have a general idea of what “success” looks like in your industry, you’ll want to establish some long-term goals that you can use as the cornerstone for your social media presence. This should take into consideration not only what will grow your audience and achieve quantifiable success, but also what is at the heart of your brand. It’s important to pay attention to this during the process of building up your social media presence, as one of the greatest edges you have on your competition is the personal touch that only small businesses can offer. Once you have your long-term goals established, you can then come up with smaller, short-term goals to work towards to aid you in the process of eventually achieving those overarching objectives.

Know your audience.

You didn’t think you were going to get away with reading a WIDSIX Written Word post without running into a bit about knowing your audience, did you?! Yes, it’s important. Especially as a small business who’s primary purpose should be building connections and establishing trust with your followers. Check out our post on How to Define Your Audience for a brief guide on how to get to know your followers a little better.

Make connections.

Once you understand your audience, interacting with them will be a breeze. For many small brands, this is the most rewarding aspect of social media. Increased engagement can do many things, including:

  • Boost your posts’ visibility. When a significant amount of people like — and especially comment — on your photo, Instagram’s algorithm identifies your post as high-quality content. They will then push out your post to more people, landing you top spots on users’ Explore pages. This allows people with similar interests to your audience to find your page, effectively expanding your reach.
  • Strengthen relationships and loyalty among current followers. If you stay on top of your interactions with your followers, they will come to see your brand as one that cares about customer experience. This could ultimately end up being the deciding factor for them when it comes to a choice between you or your competition.
  • Free, organic content! Sometimes your followers will tag your brand in posts or share something to their stories, which is basically free marketing for you. Plus, it’s rewarding to see customers enjoying your content or product!

Create quality content!

This may sound self-explanatory at this point, but you want to make sure you are posting the best stuff you can. If it’s a photo post, use an eye-catching, high resolution image. If you make a blog post, ensure it is informative and relevant. Do not worry about trying to push out content in droves, especially at first. You need to convince your followers that your content is worth sticking around for. Strive for quality over quantity. When you get a good rhythm going, then you can make a plan to post content on a schedule. At which point, it might be worth it to get a social media calendar that will post automatically, freeing you up to focus on interacting with followers.

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