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In today’s day and age, marketing with social media is a must for your business. Firstly, as a small business we have to deal with limited resources and social media is a relatively low cost activity and it provides a direct connection with our fans and clients. Secondly, it has impacted every aspect of our lives, we live with it in our pockets, it’s there 24/7. We dedicate a lot of time monitoring our channels and dreaming up content for our blogs and pages but how can we effectively build and manage our online presence on various social sites?

Creating a social media strategy and setting up a detailed plan will help you being focused on your goals and steer clear of the many distractions.

How do you know where to go without a map? The same applies to entering the world of social media. You need to know where you are going, your destination as well as your method of travel, before going online. Success is all in the planning, as long as you know where you want to go and how you will get there, social media can be a great success for your business. So sit down and mark your social media destination.

#1 Know Your Audience

Social Media is all about connecting with our audience, so make sure you do your homework and get to know your current and potential customers. Start by writing down who your customer is, write down every nitty-gritty detail about them. Ask yourself who you are you talking to, where are they, what do they like to talk about, what other interests do they have, what social media platforms do they use? Once you completely understand your customer, you can continue your plan.

#2 Choose and coordinate your channels

Your website should be your home-base, it’s where you want people to end up (or start). Coordinate your social media to direct people to your website where they can buy your product or service, but be careful and remember the 80/20 rule. Use your blog to build a connection, share information and create your brand voice. Your social media channels are there to assist your blog and send traffic between your website and other social media channels. All of your original content should begin on your blog and push out to other social media sites. Make sure you incorporate share buttons so that your customers can share your news for you.

#3 Use Tools

Automating your social media content is a great time saver. There are quite a few tools to choose from that allow you to schedule your posts.  Even better is that there are tools that can post to multiple sites all at once! This time saving tool will free up your time so you can spend it building a relationship with potential clients rather than just sending them lots of updates. Social media is all about the conversation, it needs to be a two-way conversation. Check out the following sites to automate your social media content:

#4 Create a daily plan

Now that you know your customer, you should also know what they are interested in. Based on this, you can define what you want to post on Social Media. Now it’s time to create an activity list of what you plan to do every day. For example, comment on and/or link content on two different Facebook pages (you can schedule posts on Facebook). On Twitter, tweet and retweet 2-3 times per day (this is something you can schedule). If you’re using Pinterest, pin and repin 3-5 images per day. If Instagram is the best platform for your fans, post 3-5 images per day and like other people’s photos. Create a similar schedule for your blog, but make it weekly or monthly.

#5 Shut It Down

Yep, you read that right. When you’re done in the office, you should be done with social media for your business. There’s no reason to tweet, respond to Facebook posts or comment on blogs 24/7.  Most things can be scheduled and there are better and more effective ways to monitor social media and at some point, you need a life outside social media!

With proper planning, engaging content, careful implementation and perseverance your social media efforts can and will pay off.  You can build your online presence, have meaningful conversations and drive more traffic to your website without spamming your potential customers. It seems like a lot of work but it will pay off, you’ll see!

There are many more things to add to a strategy, which we will discuss in the future. Thanks for reading 🙂

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