These days, social media is the best bang-for-your-buck method to reach your audience, but perhaps the most difficult to execute. Among the many excuses for not having a social media presence, many entrepreneurs report that they don’t have time, don’t see the use or don’t know how.

Here’s a short quiz to determine if your business needs social media. Do you want to…?

  • Speak directly to your fans and followers?
  • Build your brand?
  • Develop authority in your field?
  • Make connections with others in your industry?
  • Promote your product or service without spending much money?

If your answer to any of these was Yes, then you must be on social media. With a strategic social media plan, your business can attain these goals and more.

Speak to your audience

Social media is the easiest way to speak directly to your audience (last week’s post spoke about this in detail). The quick version is: to grow your audience, first find out where your customers hang out. Which social networks do they frequent? Then, determine when they are online and experiment with how many posts per day get the most engagement. Speak to your audience about topics that matter and join conversations that are already taking place. Finally, a consistent posting schedule will ensure your posts see the light of day on your followers’ feeds.

Build your brand

Social media for small business is a necessity because it helps to build your brand. Consumers experience your brand through interactions and associations, and social media helps to build these in consumers’ minds. The interactivity of social media means that users can create content the represents your brand and share it on your behalf. Anytime someone likes or retweets a post on Twitter, this effect is taking place. Shareable moments also help to tell the story of your brand- what it stands for and what it values.

Create authority

Small businesses need social media to build authority. Merriam-Webster defines authority as “the confident quality of someone who knows a lot about something or who is respected or obeyed by other people.” Authority is built by consistently posting useful, relevant content that relates to your business niche and the interests of your audience. When starting out, it may seem that no one pays attention to your content, but over time you will develop credibility in a certain area of expertise.

Connect with the industry

Social media is also powerful for its ability to make connections between unlikely people. Here, unlikely means two people who otherwise would not have met, prior to the social media age. These platforms allow you to keep tabs on your competitors, connect with partners and engage with customers. Many of the people you interact with on social media you will never meet in person. This ability to connect will help promote your business and perhaps bring some interesting opportunities your way.

Promote your business on a budget

Finally, social media is a must because of its cost effectiveness. For the equivalent of a cup of coffee per day, you can run ads on Twitter and Facebook that put your business in front of more people than you could hope to reach in a lifetime of going door-to-door. You don’t even have to spend any money to reap the rewards of diligent social media use.

Conclusion

While many small businesses discount the use of social media, this strategy is a must in today’s interconnected world. If you’re not already social savvy, today, I encourage you to begin your journey.

Work with me to create a social media strategy customized for your business and your customers!

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