Are you a small or medium sized business still wrestling with the idea that social media is a necessity?  Well, we’re here to tell you it’s time.  Time to stop living in the past, that is. Social Media is one of the most useful and inexpensive ways to market your business, and it’s easy to get started.  Social Media is a way to have conversations with your customers, their friends, potential customers, and everyone in between.  With 46% of shoppers relying on social media before purchasing, you cannot afford to not be there when they’re searching.  So, what’s the first step to get started and establish your online presence?

Getting Started on Social Media

The first step to getting started is to decide which platforms work best for your business or industry.  Are you a flooring or roofing company?  You definitely want to be on HomeAdvisor and Angie’s List, but Facebook is another one to work into your marketing strategy.  Think of Facebook as “Google of the social media world.”   As of June 2017, Facebook reported 2 billion monthly users, more than any other platform across the board.

If you own a hair salon or handbag company, you also want to consider being part of the Pinterest community, which has a large following of female users who search the platform for tips and tricks on their hair and makeup regimen, food recipes, and fashion/outfit inspiration.  A study by RJMetrics in 2014 stated that 92% of pins were made by women.  So, if you establish a good understanding of your target market, you’ll better understand which platforms to be most active on. Additionally, Instagram is the visual platform which has a huge community of users.  Utilize Instagram to show off new promotions, items, or services for sale.  Humans are visual creatures, so keep that in mind when beginning your marketing strategy on social media.

How to Use Social Media

Now you have a better idea how to get started, but how the heck do you use these platforms?  Well, focus on two platforms to begin marketing on.  Facebook is a given, and they have a built in Business Manager to schedule and track your posts from.  If you want to schedule many posts –as far out as monthly– consider a scheduling tool such as Buffer or Hootsuite.  They are relatively inexpensive for single users and become a very useful tool that you can access via desktop or mobile to schedule your posts.

One quick tip: Just because you’re scheduling posts doesn’t mean you forget them; make sure you engage with customers who come visit your page, comment on your posts, or ask questions via comments and messenger.   That brings us to…

Response Assistant.  This is a fantastic tool for businesses who are busy or don’t have a dedicated marketing department.  Facebook allows you to set up a message response for customers who message you on their platform.  This helps your response score and lets customers know you’ll get back with them when you have a moment.  Again, it’s not a “set it and forget it” type scenario; make sure you check this regularly, although Facebook will send you a notification when someone has messaged you.

For all your social media marketing needs, contact the social savvy team at Sprout Media Lab. We’re here to help you establish your presence online! Call us today at (800) 617-6975 for a free consultation.