How a Small Business Owner can Organise their Social Media Activities
Compared to a medium or large company that can dedicate staff to handling all their company social media activity, a small business owner may well have to juggle their social marketing along with everything else it takes to run their enterprise.
You can often feel at a disadvantage because it takes a lot of time and effort to invest in an effective social media campaign, and it can also be a daunting task if Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms are not really your forte to begin with.
What most small business owners usually end up doing is haphazardly firing off posts and tweets for a few minutes a day in the hope that some of it may engage with people, and possibly attract more followers.
Back to the drawing board
There are steps that you can take to make your activities more effective, and it is all in the planning. Take some time to go back to the drawing board and you will not only save yourself a lot of anxiety about where your posts are going and who they are reaching, but you will also have a plan of action to follow so you don’t waste your precious time wondering what to do next.
First of all, think about your target audience. Get a writing pad and pen, or use a giant white-board, whatever is best for you to get your ideas written down on. Are you targeting other business owners, logistics managers, IT consultants, buyers, shop owners, or consumers directly?
Once you have your target audience in mind, you should really find out as much about them as possible. Listen to what they are talking about on social media sites. What are they interested in, what problems do they have that you can solve for them with your product or service, in what way can your product or service make their life better?
Time management plan of action
Work out how much time each week that you can realistically dedicate to writing blog posts. Ideally you should plan to have a time-frame for your social media campaign, say two months ahead for example. So lets say you can devote enough time to write three posts per week – once on a Monday, Wednesday and a Friday. You will need to write 24 posts over the next two months.
Write, write and write some more
Your next step is to write engaging content for your posts that will connect with your audience – but this should not be about your product or service directly. If you write posts that continually push your own business, then your target audience will see right through you.
Instead, you should be crafting content that is interesting and informative, and that can possibly answer or solve some issues that your audience may be suffering from. For example, if you were running a small sweet shop where you actually make your own batches of hand-crafted sweets from all-natural ingredients, you could write about easing cold and flu symptoms using natural cures, such as honey and lemon juice, rather than just directly promoting your brand of cough sweets.
Helping your audience with a friendly and informal approach will certainly make you more memorable, and will encourage them to come back for more.
Go back to your notes you made earlier about your target audience. Write about the problems they face, sympathise with their plight, show that you understand where they are coming from. Share any similar experiences that you may have.
Delegate if you need to
If you find it a struggle to come up with creative content, then maybe finding an employee with a natural flair for writing could solve your problem. If this is not an option, maybe a friend or relative could help you out? If you have a little spare money in your marketing budget, you could always hire a professional writer to create your posts for you.
Set up a calendar or wall chart to schedule which days you want your posts to go live over the next two months. This can be a great reminder for yourself or another member of staff who has the responsibility of posting your company content. You can also see at a glance when to take note of any upcoming bank holidays or national events that may disrupt your schedule, and enable you to easily work around them.
Schedule your posts for maximum effect
Automate and schedule your posts for the times and days that they will be most effective. If you are selling shoes or fashion, then your posts will be more effective and reach more of your target audience in the evenings that first thing in the morning. Your prospective customers will be more likely to be browsing and shopping online in the evenings from home for shoes rather than from the office at work where their attention will be focussed on catching up on emails and telephone calls.
For Twitter, lift 3 or 4 attention grabbing quotes from your content to use for tweets, and link them back to your full article on your blog.
For Facebook, look at doing one or two engaging posts, and leave your readers with a question to answer if possible. This will encourage more engagement and a connection with your readers.
If you are writing about something that is accompanied by good graphics, images, information charts or infographics, then don’t forget to pin these to your board at Pinterest.
The local touch
Is your businesses accessible by local people? If you have a physical bricks and mortar shop or retail unit, or you offer a service to local people, then consider writing a press release that your local newspaper would be interested in featuring. Contact their business section and ask if they would be interested in a local interest story about your business.