So you run a small business and feel like you could benefit from social media? Great decision!

The number of social media users worldwide was recently estimated at around 2.8 billion, so why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of that?

Sounds simple enough? Let’s get started with some key questions you need to ask:

First, you need to decide which platform/s will be the most beneficial or suitable for your business? Work out who your demographic are and how you will engage with them.

Do you know how to use them effectively?

Do you have the time to manage and maintain the same level of posting ON TOP of actually running the business?

How much is this going to cost? Will I have to pay someone to do this?

Have you created enough brand awareness to be able to market your business on social media?

Will you be able to reach enough people?

STOP!

Take a breath. It may seem like a minefield you’re about to jump head first into without a helmet, but you’ll be surprised just how easy you can make incorporating social media into your marketing strategy.

We’ll break it down step by baby step to help you get your social media train moving.

1. Reputation – From the bottom up

Okay so you already know there is a heck of a lot of people using social media right now, but believe it or not, you do not need to know all 2.8 billion of them.

We are working on a much smaller scale here, so all your business needs is to know the RIGHT people.

Your business needs to connect with the right people and to do that there needs to be a strong credible base to work from. This is your business so your customers want to see your persona translated into how it’s run. The true essence of your business needs to speak to customers through the branding such as the design of the logo, or through the website or any graphics used.

To create a brand, your persona needs to be reflected through the business, in the same way across all platforms you decide to use.

Find a graphic designer to help with this. This is their ball game. Regardless of budget, you’ll be able to find someone to work with you and help you see, through creating catchy visuals how your business can be dressed to impress!

2. Attraction – Bringing the bees to the honey

So you’ve got your jazzy graphics and a brand sorted, now you want to reel in the potential customers.

One of the most effective ways to do this is geotagging.

Geo-what? Says the facebook-o-phobe. Make sure that customers can tag themselves to your location whenever they use your business. Like an airport check-in.

Imagine a snowball rolling down a mountain. The snowball starts small but it picks up more and more snow on the way down until eventually it’s a massive snow boulder. Well that snowball is your business. Say each person on Facebook has 200 friends. Someone checks into your business on Facebook which all those people can see. And each of those people have 200 friends. And those 200 have another 200…and so it continues like a snowball. Get it?

Making geo-tagging and check in’s are a super easy way for a HUGE amount of people to notice your business without you actually having to do anything. Great!

3. Connection – Hindsight is a wonderful thing

Now we’re getting somewhere.

Right, so if all of these people are going to your website or your facebook they’re going to need something to actually look at when they get there.

Before you panic! Research always sounds like a daunting word and something that’s going to take you a lot of time, which you don’t have because you’re trying to keep the business running. We know.

That’s why we suggest keeping yourself organised.

Set aside some time at the start of the week to do some digging. Have a look around to see what it is your customers are going to be interested in and what other kinds of posts catch their attention. Jump on the bandwagon for your business and schedule posts like clockwork for the rest of the week. That way you don’t have to worry about them until next week! You don’t have to worry about finding the time during a busy day to decide what to write about on facebook. You’ve already done it! Genius.

It is also a good idea to make sure you are putting aside a little time to actually connect with your customers. The content is scheduled ready and waiting for people to engage with it, so

now you have to time to engage with the people. They need to know you are not a robot hiding behind a facebook profile. That the character and flair of your brand is coming from something real. This a great way to create great connections with like-minded people in order to boost your business even further.

4. Diversify- Fingers in all the pies

To reach the maximum potential clients, your marketing strategy needs to be diverse.

However this doesn’t mean you need to be on all platforms that are available or use every advertising tool out there known to man. That’s a bit extreme.

What you do need to do is look at the demographic of your current customers and decide whether that is the group that you know you WANT to reach.

If the answer is yes, all marketing efforts need to be directly focused on and honed into how best to reach out to those specific people. How you utilise your social media will then be effected by this. Which platforms you use will depend on whether they are suitable for your business, and the posts and content you send out will be based on how best you want to reach your audience.

5. Original content every day, every week, every month?

You successfully managed to schedule a week’s worth of content to your awaiting fans, which was greatly received.

Week 1 done. Now for week 2.

To make the most of your time and effort, whilst also trying to bring in as many people as possible, the key here is to be a little bit savvy.

Repurpose is your new best friend.

The world of social media moves at 300mph and people get bored easily. You need to make sure you keep them hook, line and sinker with fresh vibrant content.

This is where repurpose comes in to lend a helping hand. Repurposing means you take the same initial content and post it from a different aspect or perspective depending on the platform. So the same concept is twisted and altered for a different purpose, such as aiming for customers to interact differently with the post. Thus leaving them without the sense of deja vu that they’ve seen exactly the same thing before.

6. Keep focused!

As fun as it sounds, you have a job to do. Spending you work day on facebook seems too easy doesn’t it?

The important thing to remember is that time old saying of what you get out of this depends on how much you put it.

It is easy to get distracted away from the real reason you are facebook for example, and start digressing to more personal interests. This is your time and money for your business- use it wisely.

7. Intent – the most important equation

Driving traffic to your website is like an equation. And like any equation, to work it out you need to work backwards.

So the result we want is people arriving on your website. So how do we get them there.

You need to ask the question of ‘what would people be looking for in order to come across my business?’

Once you have figured that out you can tailor your blogs or posts to fit that box.

Intent + content = website traffic

The more content you drive with that intent as the focus, the more attraction you will receive to the website. Your website is the centre of your online marketing which means it is important to continually drive customers towards it. The mental picture of your website is what they take away with them when remembering your business.

To Conclude!

So there you go! It doesn’t seem that daunting anymore, does it?

It’s not about having a million and one followers, it’s about reaching the right amount of the right people.

Promoting your business on social media does not need to break the bank, and it doesn’t need to eat away all of your spare time. It can be cost-effective and simple to manage.

There is no need to feel overwhelmed or like you’ve been thrown in at the deep end. Step by step and soon you will see a huge boost in your online presence.