It wasn’t that long ago that we only had three primary social media platforms to choose from. LinkedIn launched in 2003 with Facebook quickly following with a 2004 launch, followed by Twitter in 2006. Since then, we’ve seen an explosion of social media platforms. In fact, here are the Top 15 most-popular social media sites including some you may not have heard of. Frankly, it’s all a bit overwhelming!
There’s good news and bad news for the small business owner and social media. It’s good news that social media levels the playing field for all businesses – large and small. This helps small businesses grow their network affordably. The bad news? Minus a small army, managing the different social platforms is overwhelming.
Social Management Made Easy
Here are 6 ways to help you get the most from social media:
1. Understand your clients. It’s important to know your client well-enough to know where they “hang out” to avoid wasting your time. Use a marketing persona to get to know your client needs and behaviors.
2. Understand the demographics of the social media platforms. Not all social media platforms are created equal. Select the platform(s) where you’ll have the greatest chance for success.
3. Decide on the best platform for your business. Let your business strategies and goals guide your decision. Just because a new social media site launches doesn’t mean you have to jump on board with yet another platform to manage if it’s not aligned with your strategies.
4. Identify your objectives. Decide what you intend to accomplish with each social media platform. Having a presence on a platform because “everyone is on it” isn’t enough to make your time payoff.
5. Create your plan. Given all you are managing as a small business entrepreneur, set realistic plans and expectations. Be intentional with your social media plan to visit the site and engage with your followers or fans on YOUR time-frame.
6. Monitor your results. Identify the most meaningful metrics to track based on your goals. Evaluate at the end of each month and make the necessary adjustments in your plan to bring you closer to your goals.
Social media is an excellent marketing tool for the small business entrepreneurs. We can expand our reach and build our communities without breaking the bank with excessive cost. However, we do need to control our approach to social media to make sure it produces a payoff!