Business owners around the world are relying on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more to bring customers and clients to their businesses. If you aren’t taking advantage of social media, you’re missing out on relationship building with your audience and potential sales. After all, Facebook has 1.65 billion monthly active users. That’s good enough reason to establish your presence there as a business owner! To ensure you’re making the most of it, we’re sharing seven small business social media marketing tips you can put to use today. 

1. Have a social media plan in place.

It all starts with having a plan. If you want to succeed on social media, you should create a plan that outlines who your audience is, which platforms you’ll use, what kind of content you’ll share, and what your goals are. What do you hope to achieve by using social media? Your goals can change from time to time. One month, you may aim to increase email subscribers. On another month, you may be promoting a product or service. Whatever you want to make happen, having a plan in place will help you get there.

2. Analyze what works and what doesn’t.

Having a plan also gives you an idea of what you should be tracking when it comes to your social media presence. It’s essential that you measure the results of the content you share so you know what works for you and your audience and what doesn’t. Track engagement rates to see if people are sharing or liking your posts. Track conversions to see if people are clicking your links and if they’re taking action once they’ve landed on your website.

When you see which posts your audience is responding to, you’ll know what you should create more of and what you should create less of. It’s the best way to see big results on social media.

3. Schedule content in advance.

Do you ever feel completely overwhelmed by social media? You have so many things to do in your business that the thought of sitting down to craft social media content just leaves you feeling stressed. It doesn’t have to be that way! These days there are so many social media scheduling tools available right at our fingertips that provide the opportunity to schedule updates days, weeks, and months in advance.

When you take the time to schedule your social media, you can be more strategic about your content and ensure you’re sharing posts that will help you bring in more customers. It’ll also take the stress off of you because you won’t have to worry about forgetting to post or scrambling to create content at the last minute. It’ll also ensure you’re staying consistent when it comes to posting. Tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, and Edgar are all amazing for this.

4. Schedule, but still be present.

With that said, you shouldn’t think it’s acceptable to schedule your social media posts and then walk away, forgetting all about it. You still need to make the time and effort to check in on the platforms you use to see what your audience is talking about. Social media is meant to be social, after all!

Make time throughout the day to log on and see what others are sharing. Engage with your audience by responding to posts others share. You can even post questions of your own to get the conversation flowing. It’s essential that you’re present and making an effort to connect so you can build those relationships. If there’s one small business social media marketing tip you walk away and implement, let this be it.

5. Provide value to your audience.

Providing value to your audience is an absolute must on social media. If you want to grow your following, build relationships, and establish yourself as an authority in your field, you need to serve your audience. You can do this by sharing content that is both relevant and helpful to them.

So, what would your audience benefit from seeing on your Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn page? Consider their biggest pain points and share content from top industry sites that will provide them with the help they’re seeking. Share discount codes as a way to show your appreciation and offer customer support through platforms like Twitter. You can also share a behind-the-scenes look to provide entertainment and to give people a peek into your world.

6. Direct traffic to your website.

It may be surprising to hear, but there are business owners out there who often feel uncomfortable promoting their content on social media. They feel it’ll come off as salesy, but let me tell you… It doesn’t have to be. So many businesses are finding social media has become the number one traffic referral for their websites and you can see those very same results. All you have to do is actually promote your content. If you have a new blog post, product, or service that you’d love for people to see, share it with them! Don’t be afraid to put it out there into the world.

The key to making your self-promotion seem less salesy is to make sure you aren’t talking about yourself all the time. Instead of pushing out updates in a self-serving way, your social media posts should be a mix of content from your business and content from other sources. The key is to just make sure you’re sharing what your audience would value.

7. Track your competitors.

Have you ever used social media as a way to do a little research on your competitors? If not, you’ll want to after this. It’s no secret that you can learn a lot from your competitors and social media makes it so easy to find out what they’re up to. You can even see how their audience is responding to their posts and their offerings.

You should track what kind of content your competitors share, how often they post, what time they’re posting, and what some of their most popular posts have been. You can use this information to your advantage my implementing it as part of your social media strategy. Just make sure you aren’t copying their post content or anything like that! Learn from the presence they’ve built so you can see what works for your audience and what doesn’t go over too well.

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