Most small business owners understand and accept that social media marketing hasn’t merely “arrived,” but has become a powerful force for engaging customers and prospects. Yet, many simply haven’t gotten started.
If you haven’t made the dive into social media yet, I understand. It sounds complicated, time-consuming, and fraught with danger. How does it work? How does it help my business? What if I mess up and write something foolish? The reality is, social media marketing does not have to be complicated. It’s really fairly simple, and you can impact your business by spending as little as 10 to 15 minutes per day, 2 to 3 days per week.
The following are the major challenges a small business faces when going social. My goal is to minimize all of them:
I don’t have enough time.
It takes about eight seconds to type a sentence, and even one sentence can be powerful. Your goal is to incite your followers to comment on your content, thus creating new content on your behalf. Don’t post stuff just to post stuff, only post when you have something you think will resonate with your audience. Good social content passes 2 tests: Will they want to share with their friends? Are they likely to comment on it?
Which social media platform(s) should I be on?
You’ve heard of Facebook and Twitter, but there are currently more than 1000 social media platforms and more are added every day. “Niche” social media sites, those devoted to a particular interest, are becoming more and more powerful. How can you possibly stay current on them? You don’t have to. As long as you’ve created a social presence and let the world know you’ve gone social by participating in one or 2 of the major platforms (like Facebook or Twitter), your followers will keep you current. They’ll let you know if you’re missing out on something important.
I’m not a writer.
The goal of social media marketing is to put a human voice on your business. You can (and should) write in a conversational style. Speak to your customers online the same way you would speak to them in person. Content? Answer the questions your customers ask you every day. Post a link to content you find online that you think would be valuable to your followers.
I’m never going to have a million followers.
Social media is about engagement. Having more followers than you can engage with may miss the point. What’s more valuable, a large number of followers who aren’t interested in you, or a small number who are (and are willing and ready to become advocates on your behalf)?
Bonus: Go Social in Less Than Five Minutes!