Social media is one of the most affordable and effective methods of marketing available today. Zappos, Ford Motor Company, and Burger King are just some of the many companies that use it. What’s great about social media is that you don’t have to be the owner of a huge company to use it. No matter the type or size of the business you own, you can use social media to market it. Before you jump in though, it’s important to understand how to use social networks effectively.
Challenges of Social Media Marketing
Business owners often complain that posting on multiple social media networks is too time consuming and it doesn’t have a high return on investment. While many people experience this, it’s usually because they are not doing it in the right way. If you know how to save time and make social media marketing effective, it will keep you from dealing with the same challenges.
How to Save Time
You don’t have to be strapped to a computer to post an update on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or Google+. You can schedule posts to go out at certain times of the day on all the social networks you are using to market your business. This way you can go about your day without having to worry about providing your audience the information they look for from you.
Facebook allows you to schedule your posts on their platform. For Twitter and Google+, you will have to use a social media marketing tool such as Buffer or Hootsuite. These programs will publish posts for you at times it believes your audience is most likely to use the social networks you specify, or you can select the timing for the posts yourself. For sites such as YouTube and Instagram, you will need to post them immediately, but the good news is you don’t have to post multiple times a day on those sites to be effective.
Making Social Media Worth It
Social media marketing builds your business’ brand. When you present your business name and logo repeatedly with posts, people start to remember them. As you post valuable information to your followers, people will start to appreciate you. They will share your posts and recommend them to others. Those people follow you and the cycle starts all over again. Many people will notice who is posting such great content and click on the link to the poster’s website. This is how a business increases its visibility online.
This all doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to build a following across multiple platforms because you have to test out different posts to find out what your audience likes the best. Some people love to watch videos, while others just like images or text-based posts. You also need to learn what time of the day your audience is online. A post may receive more attention in the afternoon when people are taking a break at work, or later in the evening after they’ve had dinner. The only way to figure it all out is to test it, which takes time, but it’s worth it when you find the times and the types of posts that receive the most attention.
Making Digital Marketing Less Overwhelming
Many companies such as Amazon, Red Bull, Visa, and McDonald’s have used social media to successfully market their products and services, but they have a team behind them handling it all. This team posts for them, handles comments, and works on increasing online visibility. Small business owners can do the same thing by hiring just one social media manager. This person can be in charge of your business’ reputation management by following what people are saying about your business, responding in a positive way, and giving social media users the information they want to read and share with others.
Social media marketing is what small businesses are using right now because it’s low cost and effective. Get started today simply by setting up an account on a social media network such as Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, or Facebook Pages. Before you know it, you’ll be increasing your brand awareness and bringing in new customers. That’s the glory of social media marketing.
Rolanda Gregory ©2016
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