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Thousands of small business owners and managers  have been using social media as a marketing tool since Facebook first opened up for businesses — in 2007 (or maybe even since the early days of LinkedIn, in 2003). Advanced, actionable tips aren’t always so easy to find, but I’ve rounded up a few tips that I bet a lot of you social media veterans will find valuable.
As an advanced social media marketer, you should be using your social profiles to collect data from your followers.
If you’re not sure which kinds of data to collect, or what will be the most valuable, take a look at a recent report we pulled together. Advanced marketers know that following up after a campaign is just as important, if not more important, than the actual campaign. Most of my tips revolve around turning your social audience into targets for sales and conversions.
Since then, most companies’ goals have shifted and marketers are now looking for ways to collect valuable contact and demographic data. This means that the chances of your audience seeing your posts from a phone or tablet is more likely than having them see if from a desktop.
I recommend having a few test pages for each social network so you can make sure the information you’re posting is user-friendly for your visitors no matter what device they are on or where they’re coming from.
While it’s important for small businesses to remember the basics of social media:  posting at the right time, being transparent, sharing valuable articles, not chasing the algorithm, etc. After years of avoiding social media, small businesses are starting to embrace it – but are they really reaping the benefits? Once you have selected the social networks that best suit your company, you can then align your strategy to meet your desired goals.
Assigning an intern to manage the social media channels a few hours per week is simply not enough anymore.
If you don’t have enough time to regularly produce original quality content, share the good content that’s already out there or approach the experts to create content for you.
Posting the same thing to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the like is redundant and will cause you to lose followers. People join social networks for different reasons and you best serve your online community when you know who they are and what they want to see. In real life, when you’re trying to make friends, talking about yourself won’t get you far. Make it easy for your community, customers, and industry leaders to share content on your social pages. Be an active listener to better understand what your community wants. For small business owners, social media is a great way to connect with customers, potential customers, build brand awareness and spread news quickly.
You can easily capitalize on the marketing potential of social media even with limited resources. With 9 million pages for small businesses, Facebook is the most popular platform among small business owners.  And for a good reason – Facebook is the place their customers are most likely to be.
Small business owners should spend the majority of time and money on designing a Facebook fan page. Use Name Vine to check domain names, Facebook and Twitter extensions in a matter of seconds to see if your desired vanity URL is available. Facebook Social Media Plug-Ins let you see what your friends have liked, commented on or shared on sites across the Web. To effectively narrow your social media focus, determine which social networks your customers frequent. Once this is figured out, maintain a consistent brand identity by matching your company’s designs, graphics and logos across all platforms. After setting up your social media accounts, it’s time to determine how to interact with your customers and how often to do so. It is recommended that businesses post one to four times a day on Facebook and five to ten times a day on Twitter.
To further save yourself time, push content to all of your social channels at once by using a tool like HootSuite.
In addition to scheduled posts, make an effort to respond to customers’ posts on your pages.
Social media might seem intimidating for the overworked and underfunded small business owner, but with the right tools and strategies, social media can be an easy and effective way to reach your customers. Founded in 2003, Small Business Trends is an award-winning online publication for small business owners, entrepreneurs and the people who interact with them.
Together with hundreds of expert contributors, Small Business Trends brings you the news, advice and resources you need.
Social media marketing has rapidly become one of the most powerful – and essential – marketing activities that a business can take on.

According to one recent report, around 80% of SMBs use social media to grow their business, and around 60% report that they have direct evidence that their social media efforts have directly resulted in new customers.
There are a number of reasons why social media marketing has become such a powerful, popular, and effective tool, however there are two statistics that summarize many of those reasons: the average American spends 37 minutes per day on social media, and nearly half of them (46%) use social media when making at least some of their purchasing decisions.
The following are six social media marketing tips via pagemodo that will help make your efforts as effective as possible. Before you can even begin to establish an effective social media marketing campaign, the first step is to determine what your actual goals for the campaign will be.
Each business’s objectives will be different, and you should spend some time determining how social media can best benefit your business. A sometimes-overlooked element of social media marketing is ensuring that you have a large and growing bank of content for your audience to consume. This tip is more self-evident if your primary goal is engagement (as opposed to branding), but it is an essential part of every and any social media marketing campaign.
While Facebook is certainly the leading social media platform, the other platforms are worthwhile (and widely used) as well, especially dependent upon your target audience and social media goals. It’s a great resource if you’re having a hard time determining the most valuable information to collect from your audience (if I do say so myself!). According to HubSpot, companies using email to nurture leads generate 50 percent more sales-ready leads — at a 33-percent-lower cost. By making your lists as targeted as possible and having an individual strategy for each list. That’s why it’s important to make your campaign your hub and use your social networks to talk to your audience wherever they are. For this reason you should have a mobile-first strategy whenever you create a new campaign, and be sure and test your content across multiple channels and devices.
Your test pages can be private pages that only you (and maybe your key employees) have access to where you can test your posts before they’re published to your public-facing pages.
A large audience can be valuable but simply posting updates to your social profiles is no longer enough.  The real value lies in the information you can collect from your  followers, and insights you can gather. I’m seeing more and more savvy marketers taking advantage of data-driven campaigns which give you the power to learn what makes your customers tick and ultimately result in more conversions and sales for your business. Your online community expects to receive responses to inquiries in a timely manner (typical accepted response time is within 24 hours). There are too many companies out there bombarding their followers with the social media equivalent of spam.
If they’re following you, they already think you’re great; you don’t need to constantly remind them.
He lives in London, England and is particularly interested in the proliferation of social media around the world. According to the 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 86% of marketers report that social media is important to their businesses. A recent survey by Zoomerang states that 59% of small businesses spend less than $100 on social media (42% spend nothing), and 74% don’t employ anyone to manage their social media.
Make it visually dynamic with quality graphics and photos, which humanize your brand image by spotlighting the people in your business and giving customers a glimpse into your business’s inner-workings. If you try to maintain a presence on too many sites, you may find yourself overwhelmed and unable to keep up.  Outdated and abandoned social media accounts can hurt your brand image. One recent study found that the average social media user has accounts on only two social media sites and many users have narrowed their usage down to one site. Most small business owners don’t have the time to spend hours posting on Twitter and scrolling through Facebook comments.
These posts should occur during business hours (8 AM to 8 PM) as this is when most people visit social media sites. Take your Facebook page, Twitter feed and any other social channel you have and publish to all of them at once from a single interface.
Considering that the highest percentage of customers prefer to receive special offers and discounts (see infographic image, top of page), use social media as a platform for publicizing discounts.
Founded in 1996, Journyx automates payroll, billing and cost accounting while easing management of employee time and expenses, and provides confidence that all resources are utilized correctly and completely. So many businesses have been blinded by social media that they think that they have to be present in everything. Social, on the web is simply providing the interactions that we’re all used to and presenting them on new platforms. Having a student manage a social media account would save them the headache having to deal with that type of marketing. I have been a social media director for quite some time and even I gained some new perspective here.

Whether your business is large or small, social media marketing can be a cost-effective addition to your overall marketing strategy, says a recent article by pagemodo. As a result, nearly 100% of top brands in the United States are utilizing both Facebook and Twitter, and between 60% and 70% are on the smaller platforms, which include Instagram, Google+, and Pinterest. Just like anything else in business – and particularly with marketing – knowing what you want to achieve should be the guiding principle from start to finish. One common example is determining whether engagement or branding will be the focus of your campaign. Getting social media engagement and followers is only part of the battle; you must also have something useful, engaging, and share-worthy for them to consume (and share). This is true in general, but it is particularly true if they have more experience than you do in the social media arena. You should have at least one employee whose only job (or at least one of their primary responsibilities) is to actively engage with, respond to, and assist social media followers who reach out to your company. Remember that each platform has it’s own distinct strengths and weaknesses, and tailor your campaigns to the uniqueness of each platform. By seamlessly connecting digital marketing experts and business owners through our application, we make building effective digital marketing campaigns easy – driving leads, online traffic, customers and revenue. Any business can have a big presence on social media, but advanced marketers realize that conversions are what counts. What’s more, these so-called “nurtured leads” on average, produce a 20 percent increase in sales opportunities compared to non-nurtured leads.
If you’re a realtor, your lists may consist of people ready to buy, first time home buyers, and shoppers. That way you can brand your campaign to fit with your business and you won’t be constrained by social platforms’ rules and other guidelines. If so, you should be brainstorming content, promotions, and posts that will attract your target customer. If you aren’t willing to invest the time and money it takes to respond to your online followers, then you probably shouldn’t be on social media. If you don’t have the answer and need some time to find it, let that person know that you have seen their question and you are working to get the answer for them.
Below are some tips on how to focus your social media efforts in a way that will resonate most with your customers. According to the aforementioned industry report, 23% of Facebook’s users check their account five or more times every day.
When you fail to respond to customers’ comments and inquiries on these sites, they will think that you don’t care about their input. Fortunately, you don’t have to post constantly to reach a large audience; there are many ways to tailor your posts for optimal reach and engagement.
It may be difficult for small business owners to post this frequently, but fortunately, Facebook allows you to schedule posts to be published at a later date. If your primary goal is to utilize social media as a way to interact with your customers and prospective customers, then your efforts should reflect that goal. The more specific you can make your audiences, the more customized – and thus effective and cost-effective – each element of your campaign can be. Every social media marketing strategy should have a corresponding content marketing strategy to go along with it.
Your message, and the information you provide to each person on these lists, may vary greatly but each is a potential sale. In addition, you won’t have to worry about catering to each of your separate social audiences, and instead can focus on your one goal and drive traffic to your campaign from everywhere online. It’s better to have a limited, strategic presence on social media than to be everywhere without purpose. Sendible’s social media dashboard with features like work flow approval and assigning tasks to team members should help you manage this effectively. Make use of photos and other rich media content to tell a visual story using Facebook Timeline.
It’s okay to tell your online community about a new product or promotion, as long as that’s not all you’re doing.
The best way to discover these nuances is to run a variety of campaigns, focusing on collecting one data point at a time.

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