15 Dec 2015

Effective Social Media Management for Small Businesses and Startups

Social media is continuing to open up huge avenues for small businesses and startups to attain their targets. Today, large and small businesses alike are struggling for the same space—the space occupied by social media. Modern businesses have found social media to be incredibly effective at reaching your potential audience than most means in existence right now.  In essence, social media has leveled the playground for small businesses to thrive the same way large businesses do. With proper social media management strategies, any business can reach its prospects with the least budget possible.

Still, most businesses are struggling to reap big from the use available social media channels.  Here’s how effective social media management can be helpful in identifying, reaching and communicating with the right audience with little effort.

Figure out the your most suitable social media channel

One of the most common mistakes businesses make is taking a direct plunge into social media is immediately creating profiles in almost all available social media sites in existence. Social media management is anything but this. Try to maintain all the profiles and wonder why it’s so overwhelming.

The first step you should take is to identify what your most suitable social media channel is. A great question to ask is probably whether your target audience uses that social media channel in question.

The answer might be straightforward. For instance, in case you’re a location based company, marking it on Google+ and Google maps is definitely a plus. However, if you’re a business that sells jewelry then one such great social media channel to kick start your social media management process is Pinterest. It seems to be the best site for such activity with close to 75% women users.

Sometimes the answer isn’t clear cut. In this case, you might want to try safe options like Twitter and Facebook due to their huge user base. Bear in mind that most companies have already flocked to these social networks with huge bases, not to mention your competitors. This is proof why Facebook organic reach keeps dwindling each year.

When performing social media management, begin with 2-5 social media network at the maximum. If five seem like too many then cut them down further. Deal with what you can manage EFFECTIVELY. Social media goes beyond presence—it’s about engagement which means it might take time to see some activity. If for any reasons you aren’t seeing any results in six months, then you might want to shift social gears to try other networks. Be sure to perform extensive research on the demographics of the preferred social media channels. For instance, if part of your business is anywhere in Europe and its environs then Pinterest may sound like a poor choice considering the fact that it has poor adaptation of about 8 percent.

Utilize available tools to save time

This is one particular aspect of social media management that I really like. Aforementioned, cut down the number of social media channels to what you can comfortably manage. Still, it can be overwhelming to manage up to 3 social media networks, particularly for small businesses. Fortunately, there are several great tools that you can use to simplify social media management and automate tasks such as automatic posting and reposting.

While there exist hundreds of social media management tools, some of them are a waste of time. Also, each of them comes with its own share of perks and drawbacks. Some of these tools enable you to manage a single social media network while others allow you to manage multiple channels.

Most of the tools support Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ among others because they happen to be the most popular. If you’ve employed another social media network then you may need to reply on user dashboards offered by the service itself.

On the other hand, if your target is to simply manage social media networks and schedule posts and updates from time to time then one of such great tools that make social media management possible is Hoot Suite. There exists a free plan that supports up to three social media profiles and still works great for personal use. There are several other options if you’ll need to scale up things by adding more social media profiles, team members etc.

However, if you’ll need to do some social selling, there are also several options available. Oktopost is a very popular choice. It’s the best fit particularly if your decisions are data based. This platform lets you schedule content as campaigns, offering you with other tools to measure the impact and performance of your campaigns.

Oktopost offers several perks and one such benefit is the provision of tools that track conversions. Most social media tools only allow tracking of engagement metrics such as retweets, clicks, shares etc. Oktopost is specifically made for business to businesses marketing models. Therefore, if you’re utilizing social media to sell your products and stuff then this might be worth considering in boosting your social media management.

Setting up processes to boost productivity

As mentioned earlier, social media management isn’t compete without engagement. It’s doesn’t make sense posting 10 updates every hour and forget about it for 2 weeks. It’s important that you set up processes so that you’ll know what to do when, how and how much time you’ll need to get it done.

Content curation is another major part of social media management. Therefore, you need to set aside some minutes every day to find irresistible content and schedule them on these social media channels. Mot social media management tools come with browser extensions that allow you to organize your content when browsing. Use these tools in collecting and queuing relevant interesting content for your content hungry audience.

For your specific content, you might need a more comprehensive process. For instance, you might need to submit content to other social networking websites other than the ones you already have. You can use a flowchart or create a mind map to help simplify things.

As things begin to lighten up, define a method to use to find your followers and fans alike. Highly curated content will ultimately get you fans. However to grow your base even further, you’ll need to pursue your followers more aggressively. Social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn allow paid advertising. Re-evaluate your objectives and know what your business needs and depending on the nature and location of your business, this option might be the most effective and cheapest social media management option.

If you’re using Twitter then you can start by following relevant people. Stick to a comfortable number, like 10 per day and expand from there.

If you’re used to Twitter like me then you may want to start off by following relevant people “influencers.” Follow a certain number every day, expanding it from there. It’s very important that you develop your own mechanism that allows you to keep track of the time spent on such activities so that you’ll know the strategy to inject into your social media management and as the popular saying goes, “failing to plan is planning to fail.”