For many small business owners, social media is a burden or afterthought. It’s a time-consuming hassle that often gets left on the shelf. The internet has 4.2 billion users, 3.4 billion of whom are actively using social media. Clearly, social media management for small businesses is necessary if you want your business to be successful.
Social media marketing is crucial for many small businesses to gain traction in the marketplace. The internet is one of the last vestiges of an even playing field. Big corporations haven’t truly figured out how to make social media home runs any more than the small business. They just throw more money at it and hope the idea sticks, and this allows the little guy to move in and create amazing advertising headway with a small budget. Creative ideas can often win the day.
Marketing used to be about telling the consumer what they needed and why they needed it. Today, the tables are turned and the consumer is telling the company what they need, and it is up to the company to meet it. However, the question must be asked, are corporations listening? Is your business listening to what your customers have to say?
Social media is now the main form of communication between company and client. The online conversation between consumer and producer is crucial to a business’ success. Figuring out your social media management plan is just as important as your overall marketing plan.
If you as a business owner choose just one place to put your marketing dollars, it should be on social media marketing. Still, this is a daunting task for some. Social media marketing takes an average of six hours a week to cover just basic posting. Many small business owners can’t spare an hour let alone six hours out of their week. It might be worth your money to have a social media manager handle this for you. Consider what you charge per hour for your services, then consider that is what you are paying for social media management for those six hours of the week you work on marketing. Too steep of a price? Most likely you can find a social media manager that would cost you far less per hour to handle your online marketing than it costs for you to do it yourself.
Choosing the right social media manager is important. Your social media manager has to have a clear idea of the audience you have and are trying to gain. With that audience in mind, your social media manager should be generating a plan to meet that audience online in ways that create engagement. You don’t want just any old thing posted to your online channels. Postings need to be thoughtful and give an opportunity for your audience to engage. This means curating information to share and creating unique content that allows you and your company to highlight your expertise or answers a question that your potential client is searching for. Meeting the needs of the audience where they are is so very important for true engagement.
Marketing isn’t rocket science, but it does take thought and consideration. Always remember that social media is a marathon, not a sprint! Time and patience will help you build the social media engagement you want and need with your customers.
Black Enterprise Contributors Network
Join the ConversationWendy PaceWendy Pace is the founder of Pace Setting Media, a social media strategy agency. Pace holds a B.A. in Communications and Marketing from Hunter College. She credits her husband and children as motivation for getting up every day to face the world of social media.