Every business owner can agree that we are living in an age of digital media and that businesses big and small need to be visible in new ways. But, just because business owners know they should be doing it, doesn’t mean they are. Do you tell yourself that you’ll add social media to your business when you have a bigger budget or when you have more time to figure it out? Stop putting it off and embrace the power of these public platforms today!

What’s the Plan?

Like any successful project, you need to create a plan so you can allocate time and resources effectively. You need to find out where your customers are spending their time, what type of content you want to be producing, and what your competitors are doing. If your customer base is predominantly on one social media site, it makes sense to focus on that platform. Also, analyze your content to determine where if fits best. If you have a large amount of visual content, you’ll want to use a different platform than if you have audio content like podcasts. Check out what your competitors are doing to see where and how they are finding success, but look for ways to differentiate your business and to make it stand out. If you are just starting your social media presence, don’t try to be on too many (or all) of the platforms. Take your time deciding which platform suits your business’ voice and outlook, focus your marketing resources there, and then diversify after a year or so.

So, Who’s Going to Do the Work?

You’re only going to get back from social media what you put into it, so don’t create an account and then only post once every three months. That’s not going to provide you with any new clients or opportunities, and sometimes it looks worse than no social media presence at all. A smart business investment would be to hire a marketing and/or social media professional for six months to show you the ins and outs of effective scheduling, posting, responding, and marketing campaigns. Another option is to engage your employees. Some are very social media savvy and they might love the opportunity to show you what they can do.

Pick a Platform

The current big 3 are Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat. Facebook marketing campaigns are an easy starting point for many beginners since most people are familiar with Facebook and use it personally. Twitter is great for conversations and immediate interactions. You can create your own hashtags and follow a variety of users that could help your business. The fastest growing social media network right now is Snapchat. This platform may be a bit confusing at first (possibly why it is so embraced by tech-smart Millennials) and ad buys come with expensive price tags. But, if you want to be cutting edge (and reach the Millennial demographic) you can figure it out with a little research. Snapchat also offers inexpensive geofilters that don’t feel like ads but when applied correctly, can be a highly-effective opportunity for your business.

I’ve found much success, both personally and professionally, from social media and am offering this advice because I want everyone else to have these great opportunities as well. When used correctly, social media can reap big rewards for a small business. No more excuses! Get your social media plan in motion today!


Buffie Purselle