If you run a small business, you are already more than busy. If you are not using Social Media for your business, you have likely considered it. Feeling there is not enough time nor extra money for expensive projects are generally two reasons Social Media gets shoved to the back burner for many small businesses.
Don’t wait! The benefits of a planned and well executed Social Media strategy are many. The good news is, you can get started with relatively small budgets of time and money.
How? First, don’t be afraid.
You have been using Social Media (Email) for years. Social Media is all about engagement, and that is what you have been doing when corresponding with clients, prospects and co-workers. How you do it with the different Social Media platforms and services varies, but it is basically communication between you and your customers. Really successful Social Media campaigns consist of two-way communication, not just pushing out information.
Second, don’t try to do too much.
We recommend you start with a monthly Newsletter and one other Social Media platform/service. Using one Social Media platform or service regularly and doing it well is far better than using two infrequently and poorly.
Here is a start up plan that will work for many of you.
The Social Media service(s) you choose may vary depending on your customers and prospects, but if you follow this relatively closely, you will be off to a good start. Before you start, read our blog post Five Keys to Using Social Media Successfully for Your Small Business.
Start with an email Newsletter using Constant Contact or similar service.
Many of you already send out monthly or quarterly newsletters or sales flyers. If you do, use Constant Contact or a similar service that has easy-to-use contact management tools and great reporting.
Twitter (unequivocally, the lowest barrier in cost/time effectiveness)
- Start slowly.
- Lurk at first – start following Twitter users in your line of business, your customers, your vendors
- Read posts/tweets a couple of times a day, and reply or comment promptly
- Tweet regularly and as often as possible.
- There are tools to help with this. Our favorite is Hootsuite, which lets you post to multiple Social Media accounts, and schedule Tweets and posts. Try it. You will find it invaluable.
Blog – If you have a blog (and you should), post at least once a month, and more frequently if you can. Strive to post weekly.
If you are able to manage those effectively, then explore and think about:
- LinkedIn (for some of you, but not all)
- Facebook* (for some of you, but not all)
- Google+ (for some of you, but not all)
- YouTube Videos (for some of you, but not most)
- Pinterest (for some of you, but not most)
That’s the Quick-Start Social Media Plan for Small Businesses. Do yourself a favor. Start today!
* Some, businesses can get by just using Facebook for their only Social Media presence if they have a decent following by actual paying customers, and time to communicate at least twice (more is better) a day. That said, you would be limiting the growth of your business.