More than 4 billion people across the globe now use social media, making it an essential aspect of any business strategy.

By Sarah Morris

Small businesses can leverage social media to meaningfully engage with individuals who already know and like their company. They can also use it to reach people who haven’t learned about their brand yet. With these ten expert social media tips, your small business can venture into new markets, create lifelong brand awareness, and grow sales.

1.    Set Clear Goals

Why are you active on social media? It could be to engage your customers, offer customer service, grow your audience, generate new leads, or drive sales. It could also be to increase web traffic or get helpful insights and constructive criticisms. Whatever the reason, it’s essential to have clear goals because you’ll have to develop a strategy to help you achieve them. For instance, your strategy for enhancing customer service will be different from those for generating new leads.

2.    Develop a Solid Strategy

Now that you have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish, you can develop an approach to help you reach your destination. To get started, identify the right people to include in your social media team and define their roles and responsibilities to ensure everyone is aware of what’s expected of them. Determine how many times you’ll be posting and come up with a content calendar to ensure you post consistently.

And if you’re targeting an international audience, ensure your team has people who not only live but also understand the dynamics of your target market. A global PEO service, such as NH Global Partners can help you add such people to your team.

3.    Understand Your Target Audience

Understanding who you’re targeting is one of the most critical steps to building a solid social media strategy for your small business. Gather your target audience’s demographic data, including age, income level, and educational level. Find out their interests and favourite social networks. With this information, you can target your audience with the right message.

4.    Expand Your Audience

Now that you know who your target audience is, it’s time to re-examine your social media roadmap. Come up with creative ways to reach more prospects that are like them. You can leverage social media to bring international consumers to your local business. But if you want to crack the international market faster, you should set a top-notch global team for just that. A good global PEO provider will help you find the right talents for your global team.

5.    Pick the Right Networks

Since the launch of Facebook in 2004, the social media scene has expanded exponentially. Today, there are loads of platforms out there that offer endless possibilities for connecting with people, social activism, and building businesses, among other things.

But how do you choose the right options with all these networks out there? It all boils down to your target audience and goals. If you’re looking to generate leads and establish relationships, then you can’t go wrong with Facebook. If you’re targeting a younger audience, then Snapchat and Instagram will work magic for you.

6.    Choose Tools for Post Scheduling and Automation

Building a strong social media presence and remaining active takes time and effort. But using automation tools, you can automatically update your platforms with content and even schedule content for the entire month in advance. These tools also allow you to keep track of your platforms and reply to messages fast. Some of the best automation tools include MeetEdgar, Hootsuite, BuzzSumo, and Sprout Social.

7.    Incorporate Visual Components into Your Posts Whenever Possible

Social posts that contain a visual component tend to attract more people than those that don’t. In fact, most millennials and Generation Z claim that their most recent fashion purchases were driven by pictures they saw on their social media accounts. So when you’re using visual-first platforms like Snapchat or Instagram, be sure to include attention-grabbing images. Posts or tweets with a gorgeous graphic will also work magic on Facebook and Twitter, respectively.

8.    Actively Connect and Engage with Your Followers

Don’t just publish your posts and go offline. Instead, stay online and actively engage with your followers by commenting on posts, sharing user-generated content (UGC), asking and answering questions, solving complaints, appreciating your customers, and opening and participating in discussions.

9.    Maintain a Constant Voice

Given that social media is a great tool to build brand identity, it’s imperative to create and publish posts that fit into your business and image. Keep your social team as small as possible and ensure everyone understands the kind of voice and image you’re trying to build out there.

10.  Monitor and Improve Your Performance

As you put your social strategy into action, it’s wise to monitor what’s working and what isn’t. You can then polish your social efforts and boost results. Analytics tools like Hootsuite Insights and Brandwatch can offer you a true picture of how your social strategy is performing and can help you keep an eye on any metrics you want.

Final word

Using social media to steer your small business to success doesn’t need to be scary or costly. You just need to be strategic in your approach. These ten expert social media tips will help you get started. 

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