As a small business owner, it's of the utmost importance to make people aware of your brand. One of the best ways to spread the word about your business in 2017 is by being active on social media.
Despite its huge, well-known potential, more than 34% of small businesses in the U.S. admit to not having a social media presence.
When used strategically, social media can become a vital part of your marketing and sales strategy; winning you valuable new customers and boosting your bottom line.
At Expert Market, we use social media every day to send high volumes of traffic to our website. These visits create opportunities for our sales team to close exciting new deals for our business.
In this post, I will share with you the tried and tested methods that I use to get hundreds of new social media followers every month.
Part One - Create a schedule and stick to it
A major mistake that many small businesses make is that they don’t post regularly enough on social media to be seen by their customers.
Neil Patel, one of the industry’s leading experts, recently said: “If you post too infrequently, your audience will forget that you exist and you will quickly fade into the deep dark recesses of their minds.”
Harsh, but true.
Consider the current social media landscape. The average person in 2017 will spend around 40 minutes on social media every day. In that time, they’ll see posts from close friends, family, breaking news stories and, if you’re lucky, your post.
A surefire way to cut through the noise is to post regularly. By sticking to a schedule, your brand awareness will go up and you’ll leave your audience with a reason to come back to your profile. Over time, users will anticipate your posts which makes it easier to build an engaged audience.
PRO TIP: Make it your goal to post once a day on all of your social media platforms. Post every day for a month and then assess the results using a free analytics tool.
When you’ve finished your experiment, you’ll learn which platforms are the most valuable to your business and where to focus your energies in the future.
Part Two - Save hours of time and hassle with free tools
Keeping up with your social media activity can feel like a challenge when you’ve got a lot on your plate. Thankfully, that’s where social media management and analytics tools come into play.
Smart businesses rely on the help of free tools to do everything from auto engage with influencers to schedule their posts in advance. Automating aspects of your social media activity will help you to gain momentum and quickly grow your following. If you’re stuck on where to start, Inc. magazine recently wrote a great article on seven free tools that will shave hours off your social media management.
PRO TIP: Schedule your social media posts in advance.
Hootsuite is a great choice for small businesses because it takes ten minutes or less to set up, is free for up to three profiles, and is easy to use.
Part Three - Get the help of experts
A perk of living in our digital age is that it’s easy to get the help of experts. Fiverr, Upwork and PeoplePerHour are freelancer hubs that are free to sign up to and connect businesses with more than 10,000 trained professionals.
Whether you need designs created for your latest Instagram campaign, or you’re looking for a social media expert to take over and manage your profiles for the month, you’re sure to find someone to get the job done. Working with freelancers is a great way for small teams to stretch their marketing budget and get superb value for money.
PRO TIP: Build a lasting relationship with your freelancers.
Don’t just pay once for an odd job and let the relationship cool off. Having a “go-to” freelancer in your pocket who really knows your brand will save you hours of work down the line that would have otherwise been spent briefing someone new.
My top tip for cultivating a strong relationship with a freelancer is to be generous with praise. If they’ve done a good job - tell them! Freelancers rely on positive reviews to win jobs, so by leaving them a well thought out review on their profile you’ll be doing them a service. Nine times out of 10 freelancers will be more likely to work with you again in the future too if you’ve been courteous, so it’s important not to burn any bridges.
To sum it up, the value of small businesses being active on social media lays in its massive user base. Around the world there are more than 2.3 billion active monthly users on social media waiting to be wowed and captivated by your brand.
To win the hearts and minds of users, make sure to follow these simple, proven tips:
- Create a social sharing schedule and stick to it. Aim for at least one post per day across all of your accounts.
- Use free social media management and analytics tools to automate your workflow and shave hours off your time spent on social media.
- Schedule your posts in advance using a free tool such as Hootsuite, so that when life gets in the way you know your posts will be delivered on time.
- Hire freelancers to help you make your content amazing. Services like PeoplePerHour and Upwork connect you with trained professionals who can help you with everything from photography to engagement and hashtag research.
My final piece of advice is to be patient. If you create a schedule and stick to it every day, then the results will follow. Don’t fall into the trap of quitting your efforts when you’ve only just begun.
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