How to Develop a Small Business Marketing Strategy

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If you want to be successful in using social media to help grow your business, you should have a plan in front of you. A small business marketing strategy can help you decide how to use social media effectively, and get the maximum benefit out of it for your company. There are specific steps to making this plan that will help you not only manage your social media efforts better, but show you what you need to do to make the most of each social media platform.

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Step 1: Your Goals

If you have a set of goals in mind you are going to have a much better chance at reaching them. If you don’t have any goals you are basically just floundering in the water, hoping that you catch a few splinters of wood. Decide what it is you want to accomplish and make sure you are specific. Most of all, make sure that you keep track of them, and the various milestones that you will accomplish along the way

Step 2: Hitting Your Target

You need to define your target audience. Many different types of people use Twitter and if you optimize your account for a specific demographic you are going to have much better success selling to them. For example: if you are selling aromatherapy products, your demographic is obviously – women. But then you need to narrow it down even further and decide what age groups, income or other factors need to be present to make them the perfect buyer. Once you have optimized for that buyer, not only will they follow you when they arrive at your Twitter account, some people might find you by accident through a hashtag or a keyword search.

Step 3: Choosing Your Platforms

The next thing that you’re going to do is choose your social media platforms. You might think that all you need to do is go with the most popular – and you would be mostly right. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the big three, and if you are a small business owner, you definitely need to be posting on Pinterest. There are many other social networks out there as well that are not as well-known but might still be useful.

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Photo by Jason A. Howie cc

Step 4: Schedule Time for Social Media

If you’re like most business owners, you’re extremely busy. There are always errands to run, fires to put out, customers to deal with. But you’re going to have to fit a few minutes each day in for social media and you’re going to have to stick to it. Unfortunately, social media has a very short shelf-life. You need to be consistent in your posting as well, but for now, just be aware that you set aside 15-20 minutes per day for social media, even if you do it while you are eating lunch.

Step 5: Choose Your Content

You’re going to need content. Hopefully, you already have a website set up that shows off your merchandise and locations. Twitter is going to lead to that website so make sure it is good. Twitter allows you to put your website URL right in your profile, which will direct them to your home page. Make the copy on your homepage compel them to visit your location. You might have to hire a professional writer for that if you don’t know how to write compelling copy.

Once you have your website content, you will have to choose what to post to Twitter. These should be humorous, informative tweets that make people want to keep following you and entice any visitors to your site to follow you as well. There should be little to no promotion in your tweets because the goal is to build a large audience. Then, a certain percentage of them will visit your site anyway and buy something.

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Step 6: Look Long-Term

You want to build your online presence with long-term goals in mind. You may not see a huge return right away, but if you establish yourself as someone to follow on Twitter you will see major results down the road. It is important not to get discouraged in the first few months of tweeting. You might not get as many followers as you hoped. You might not see much more than a trickle of sales from your social media efforts, but the results will come.

Step 7: Be Consistent but Not Predictable

You want to make sure that you are active on Twitter. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to post something every day, but if you skip a day it should be a rare thing. You want people to know that you are active and participating. However, avoid posting at the same time every day and definitely avoid scheduling software because you want people to think of you as a human and not a robot.

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