Small business owners have probably been hearing for some time now that they need to be on social media. However, they may be wondering how they could possibly take on yet another thing? With so many social platforms they could be on, they may start believing that it’s too difficult to possibly manage every platform on an ongoing basis. There are many other parts of their businesses that are more important!
When business owners hear they need to be on social media, they may think they should be active on every social media platform: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Tumblr, and Pinterest may come to mind.
For someone who is in charge of their own business and manages all the aspects of their business (i.e. marketing, accounting, HR, sales, etc.), then yes, adding on social media can seem overwhelming and impossible.
But here’s the good news: when they say you should be on social media, they don’t mean every platform all at once!
Choose the platforms you need to be on
Certain social media platforms are better for some types of businesses as opposed to others. For example, if your business doesn’t have a physical location then Google+ may not be your top priority. If you have an accounting firm, then visual platforms such as Instagram may not be the best fit for your business.
When it comes to choosing which platforms you should be on, you should first do some research. Find answers to the following questions:
- What are your competitors doing?
- Are they on specific platforms and not others?
Ask for advice from a social media strategist for some help and guidance if you aren’t finding definitive answers.
Make a list of the platforms you eventually want to be on
Now that you’ve done some research on which platforms your competitors are on, your next step should involve creating a list of the platforms you want to eventually be on and then set some goals.
Start by choosing the three platforms that make sense for your business and are the most important to you. Next, set a timeline of when you want to be on those platforms and how long you need to build up your communities for each.
Don’t feel overwhelmed – you don’t have to be on all of them immediately!
Start with one
When deciding to start on the journey of incorporating social media into your marketing strategy, don’t feel like you need to start by jumping onto every platform all at once. Instead, take it one step at a time.
Is there a certain platform that you are more familiar with? Or, is social media a completely foreign topic to you? Choose a platform that feels most comfortable to you (or should we say more comfortable than the others!).
If you are totally lost and have no experience in the social marketing field, then we recommend that you start with Facebook. It is one of the easiest to set up and is pretty self-explanatory. You can post easily and maintain consistency when posting on Facebook. The platform makes it easy by allowing you the ability to schedule posts directly onto your Facebook page.
Claim the page
Think back to when you were choosing a name for your business, or better yet – buying a domain name for your business. Did you run into the difficulty of someone, somewhere having the same idea for a business name? Most likely, the original name you had in mind for your business was already taken.
Similarly, think about how many people are already using social media. If your goal is to be on social media, establish pages on all platforms you want to be on. This prevents anyone else from taking the name away from you.
When establishing your social media pages, you want to customize the URL’s. Traditionally, when you sign up for a social media platform- say Facebook- you are given a domain name such as Facebook.com/user/awer8342384aehtwiue8235. Unless your business is named awer8342384aehtwiue8235, you will want to customize your URL to include the name of your business on every platform you are going to be on.
Once you become comfortable with one platform, add another. Although the platforms are all a bit different than one another, there are numerous resources that can help you through the process of setting your business up on the various social media platforms. From blogs, to how-to videos, to social media experts willing to consult with you, you have everything you need to grow your business’ online presence.
Of course, it is completely normal to feel overwhelmed when learning a new platform. In fact, you may never feel completely comfortable with a platform. And that’s okay because each platform seems to change fairly often – they are regularly adding new features or making other changes to enhance their users’ experiences.
Keeping up with every change can be challenging, but don’t let the changes defeat your progress. Just keep going with the flow! As they say – practice makes perfect! And don’t be afraid to make some errors. The good news is that there is an edit button on some pages and delete buttons on others!
If you are still feeling hesitant about getting on the bandwagon and joining the social media world, then give us a call. We want to see your business prosper and by building a plan around your social media marketing strategy, you can see your business prosper online.