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I recently read a statistic that claimed 60% of small business owners felt that social media for their business was not working for them.
The most important factor for success to remember as it pertains to social media marketing is that it’s all about building trust. So now that you have a better idea of the components of a good social media plan, make your own! No, Here are 10 top social media tips on creating and maintaining a social media strategy that’s a brand-building, rain-making machine for your business.
Get your customers to like you and they’ll be more receptive to buying from you down the road. Demonstrating empathy for your customer may not change their mind, but will win you kudos with other readers.
The average marketer spends more than 11 hours per week on social media, while small business owners typically invest 6 to 10 hours. It costs five times more to acquire new customers than it does to keep current ones, according to Forrest Research. Having an effective, achievable and actionable social media marketing plan increases your customer engagement and retention rate. Engaged customers buy 90 percent more frequently, spend 60 percent more per transaction and are five times more likely to indicate you as the only brand they would purchase from in the future. Social media marketing goals should be SMART — specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused and time-bound. Perform a social media audit before you begin to see how powerful each social network is to your organization. Add a new column, "Our Best Posts," and link to three top-performing posts, and detail why. After all, you want to do more of what works and less of what doesn't to keep your customers engaged! Emma Fitzpatrick is a freelance writer and marketer, whose specialties include content marketing, social marketing and short, snappy writing. When your industry-related terms are searched on the Google+ platform, the results will be far more accurate than those on Facebook.
As a business, you have the opportunity to boost your Google Quality Score, or, the way Google estimates how relevant ads, keywords, and landing pages are to a person that sees your ad. Google+ Hangouts allow you and nine others to gather together to chat online via free video calling; a service that other social platforms like Skype charge for. Google Local does exactly what the name suggest; it helps your business show up in local search results. The majority of the study’s participants were either small business owners or marketers working for small businesses. Get ideas from their experiences and future plans to help you shape your social marketing strategy when you download the report.
Nearly all survey participants use social media and view it as important for their business or company. Ninety-three percent of survey respondents indicated using Facebook for social media marketing.
Twitter is gaining on Facebook, however, and with its new advertising opportunities, will be an interesting property to watch over the next year or so. Those in the B2B space give LinkedIn the majority of their attention, but use Facebook and Twitter too, at respectable rates. Thirty-five percent of marketers have no idea whether their Facebook efforts are effective. Facebook’s domination of social media marketing despite the fact that most marketers are uncertain of its impact should concern small businesses. On the other hand, 44% of survey respondents have been using social media for two years or less. The Social Media Marketing Industry Report also found that, again, despite the cloudiness surrounding Facebook’s effectiveness, 62% plan to increase activities on it. Sixty-eight percent of survey participants indicated they want to learn more about using Facebook for marketing. Because of the crush of responsibilities they have, small business owners worry about the time it takes to keep an audience engaged on social channels.
Thirty-three percent of study respondents report that they devote 1 to 5 hours weekly to social media marketing; however, a robust 25% spend 6 to 10 hours each week. One in three respondents spend 5 hours or less on social media, but 63% spend more than that.
As shown in the chart below, solopreneurs and businesses with 2 to 10 people fall mostly in the 1 to 5 or 6 to 10 hours per week category. Most small businesses spend 6 hours per week or more on social media activities, but a significant amount also spend 11 to 20 hours per week. Whether through social channel engagement, referral source data from Google Analytics or customers sharing in person or by phone how they found the business on social media, business owners and marketers believe social media gets them in front of more and wider audiences. The chart above indicates that 77% of the survey& Anatomy of a Successful Social Media Strategy You are using an outdated browser.
The only way to boost numbers and grow your audience is to continue posting on a regular basis. So when answering the following questions, be sure to keep the relationships between you and your audience at the top of your list and not the transactions. Think about the most active brands in social media, the ones who are regularly posting and have lots of active participants in their arenas.
Social media can be a good opportunity to show the world your excellent customer service skills. Most people have an idea of who their target market is, but I am still surprised by how many people either think their target market is everybody or do not test their hypotheses against the facts. Everyone has a different audience; therefore, optimal posting times will vary for different businesses. Figure out why you’re doing all this, set some goals, pick your platforms, design your content strategy and schedule your postings to achieve consistency. The top three elements of a robust social media plan are: content, content, and more content! Consider using one of your customers in the video to build your brand’s credibility and then post it on YouTube or embed right it on your Facebook page and blog. Listening and responding to social media requires time and thoughtfulness — another reason to start slowly and build into more platforms over time.

Whatever the case, always use your own customers on the site — both in visuals as well as testimonials. Plus, 80 percent of your company's future revenue will come from a mere 20 percent of your existing customers, according to Gartner. In one year, these customers deliver three times the value to your brand than others, according to LoyaltyOne.
For small businesses, the importance of “getting the word out” can not be emphasized enough.
In fact, it is the top online search engine on the planet and is responsible for the coined phrase, “Just Google it.” The phrase has become so popular, that it is universally understood as the mainstream method for searching for answers to any and all questions.
This accuracy will allow users to more effectively engage in meaningful industry-related conversations with other interested parties who may cover topics that are important to your company. Much like ‘Liking’ or ‘Sharing’ a photo or comment on Facebook, users can +1 content that they see on your Google+ profile. This feature might be used for engaging your predetermined top influencers, allowing them to participate in your latest product or service before its release.
In addition to this search results with the author’s photo displayed are more eye-catching to users and have more likeability to be clicked on. This is particularly important for smaller businesses who’s client base could potentially be made up of 75% or more local business. It’s much the same story for Instagram and Pinterest, both of which doubled their traffic from 2014 to 2015.
Specifically, 71% of businesses with 100+ employees use YouTube, compared to 38% of the self-employed. B2B respondents for this survey report that LinkedIn is their number-one choice for social networking. This makes sense because B2B businesses are looking for the marketing people, facilities managers, buyers and others who rely on LinkedIn for industry connections and news. Without the benefit of a marketing team creating a strategy complete with goals and measurement, small businesses have a harder time evaluating marketing efforts. You’ll see below, too, that 53% plan to increase their ad spend on Facebook this year.
Although Facebook has existed since 2006, many small businesses are still figuring out how to use all of its features to grow their customer base, engagement and more. Tools like Hootsuite and Post Planner cut down on time spent, but social media marketing still requires significant time. Businesses have to be careful with the use of this in social media because unless it actually is excellent customer service, trying to field customer requests and complaints could come back to bite you. I use my social media platforms to help people understand and manage the online marketing world; therefore, building trusting relationships and establishing myself as a knowledgeable marketing professional. When is the last time you checked your Google analytics or Facebook insights to see who your audience really is.
I’m speaking namely to small businesses when I say that although a presence in all social media platforms is beneficial, I am a strong believer that for the most part you should pick one or two and work those. Although the plan should be a holistic approach, this is the biggest contributor to social media success. It might sound obvious, but too often people put up a Facebook page or start tweeting without thinking about how these tactics can help their business. If you’re trying to reach teens or tweens, then SnapChat might be the right way to go. If your social media does its job , your prospects will end up on your website to learn more or make a purchase.
Make your social media channels and website a reflection of you and your brand so they feel real and are easy for you to update regularly. Observe the language your customers use to talk about your field and engage with them on those terms. Most tweeters use Twitter on smartphones and tablets, and half a billion Facebook users only use the site on mobile devices. Put them in a new column, "Others' Best Posts," to discover new content and post formats for your brand, too. Luckily, in an age of ever-expanding technology, there are more tools at business owner’s disposal than ever before. What’s even better is that the network allows users to share directly from Google search results, to a topical Google+ stream.
This type of sharing function has broader search engine optimization influence than shares on other networks.
Hangouts allow you to facilitate meetings with clients, network with experts, or simply create a virtual co-working space.
Google Local helps these potential local clients to find your location based on their local search results. In the coming year, 62% of respondents plan to increase their use of Facebook for marketing purposes.
They may have simply embraced the notion pushed by marketing agencies and media that Facebook is THE place to be, an inexpensive way to market to a targeted audience. These figures give small business owners and marketers a clear idea of the time competitors are investing.
Widespread exposure won’t happen overnight, and it takes just as much work to grow a follower base on each of the networks.The most common strategy is to generate an editorial calendar for your social media team.
By offering valuable information to your audience, you are filling a need and building trust. Often you may find that you are right on with your demographics, but it is wise to monitor the stats.
It is over ambitious to think any small business owner can handle more than that, and can be detrimental to your overall effectiveness if you spread yourself too thin. Take notice of when your getting the most traction, and leverage that knowledge by scheduling your posts for the absolute best times of day and week.
I encounter many frustrated individuals who wonder why after a month, nobody is participating or it’s just not working for them. If you’re trying to reach their mothers or fashionistas, then Pinterest would be a better choice. Social media is a way for your customers to get to know what you and your company value and are passionate about. You’ll want to have a website up and running before you start your social media activities, so you have a site to point to from your social media channels.

Speak in your own voice, but be careful to match the tone of your content to your business.
Use hashtags to join ongoing conversations on social media, and incorporate commonly used terms in your website to help customers find you through web searches.
Entrepreneurs have the unique opportunity of being part of the Google community at no cost, by simply joining Google’s social media platform, Google Plus. Every time users +1 content on your profile, it can cause a ripple effect that can effectively increase brand awareness and social influence. In turn, Google’s search engine is more likely to highlight your company ads in higher positions than those of your competitors, which additionally raises your company’s “social awareness” and increases its relevance in search queries. As a relatively new marketing platform with plenty of buzz, Facebook’s hype could be clouding its true potential for small business.
Just by showing up to the party, they are creating an impression in the minds of the public.
The idea of reciprocity would suggest that if one trusts you and finds your content beneficial, that you will be thought of either when that person is ready for the services that you offer or when someone they know is in need of those services. So, decide what social media will work best for your business based on both your audience and what feels good to you.
Because of the nature of the game being so focused on relationships, it’s not supposed to be successful in no time flat. If you are selling a medical product, then your content should be factual and your tone scientific. It is responsible for getting more businesses known than any printed medium ever has, and for now, ever will. That being said, while you’re coming up with a central strategy treat it like other marketing campaigns.
You need to have a single theme or long term goal in sight.When you brainstorm advertising campaigns or launch a new marketing strategy, one of the first things you do is come up with a theme. You can key in your website address and get some basic demographic information giving you valuable insight to who your audience actually is. The more people you reach, the better chance you have of engagement, and when you have better engagement, Facebook recognizes you as being an influencer; therefore, putting you in front of more eyes. Of course, seeing as how this is all bout your social media plan, it’s absolutely essential to keep an eye on your social stats.
Sure, the big names in the business are obvious: Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Google Plus. You should do the same with your social media posts.Sometimes this means thinking outside the box and coming up with an ingenious way to grow brand awareness. There are several social analytical tools out there such as Sprout Social and Hootsuite which can give you some pretty good insights across your social platforms.
You could encourage everyone to use a unique hashtag on Twitter by implementing it into all of your posts. For my own monitoring, I personally like to use the native Facebook insights and Google Analytics, but I am open to suggestions if anyone has a favorite tool. You could launch a virtual scavenger hunt for followers, which affords them the opportunity to win a prize.Whatever the idea is, your social posts and content should all follow the same timeline. As a sidenote, remember that you have to have a minimum of 30 fans in order to access Facebook insights. No matter what kind of business you have, or what your long term goals are you need to approach social media as you would any other project. There are several defining factors that will directly affect how well your social media campaign works.
The phone number, reviews, and taglines are standard.PPC social integration opens up the door for new customer acquisition. Out of those postings I stick to themes: marketing tips, success quotes, personal struggles and victories, industry and local business news, and client projects. Do you want to boost customer awareness for your brand or business?Yes, it’s reasonable to want all of those things and more, but you need to choose one clear-cut goal that you can shoot for. After all, there’s no money in failure.It’s unfortunate because you can learn a lot from a mistake.
Just make sure you’re focusing on building those relationships and offering value, the rest will follow. What do you want most out of a successful social media campaign?Who is Your Audience?What type of audience are you trying to reach? Believe it or not, the ideal social network will depend on your demographic.You should focus on the big networks like Facebook and Twitter, but you would do well to incorporate some of the other networks into your strategy too. Don’t forget there are web forums, wiki sites and a lot of other platforms out there that don’t exactly fall into the primary definition of a social network.It’s important to note that what works for another business will not necessarily work for yours. The honest truth is that there are so many ways to use each platform, the possibilities are nearly endless. Explore the social networks that are available and pay attention to the types of posts and content everyone is sharing. Strategists focus on all of the same points and ideas constantly, but every day companies are rewarded for trying something different.Draw up your social media strategy and stick to the plan, all the way to the end.
Do you want to focus your campaign on sharing information about your brand, or would you much rather encourage others to do the sharing?Generate a Usage ScheduleOne of the biggest requirements for using social media is that you have to remain active. Even if you realize halfway through that it’s not as successful as you want it to be, keep going. Posting a few times here and there and then disappearing for months on end will do you no good. If anything, you should be able to pinpoint what went wrong, and what you can do differently in the future.Unless you’re lucky, you’re probably not going to get it right the first time you try. Social media is all about networking, the higher the number of people seeing or sharing your content means an exponentially larger total audience. You have to remember that when someone “likes” a page or brand on Facebook all of their friends can see it- even if they’ve never even heard of your brand before. If you don’t take care of your online reputation, all of the work you do to excel on social platforms might become null and void.

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