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Social Media For Your Small Business

1. Use Your Authentic Voice. Social is similar to how people interact in everyday life. You will find people communicating and talking about subjects that express and represent who they are. Project your authentic voice to personify your brand and attract followers that are most likely to do business with you. You do not have to worry about business terminology or professional communication. Just be yourself, show up, and show off what your business is doing.
2. Repurpose Your Existing Content. Think about how you can inform the social network of what your business offers consumers. If you have marketing materials, you can easily repurpose that content into social posts. Let us say you do not have marketing materials, and instead your business creates flyers or mailers that you send out. Those mailers and brochures are just teeming with content that you can repurpose on your social and your website.
3. Share on Multiple Channels. Strategize your social media marketing before creating content. Some channels will yield better engagement for content that is presented in a specific media, like pictures for Instagram and videos for YouTube. Because there are so many social media platforms, brainstorm opportunities to share what you do through various social channels and through various media in order to get the most engagement out of your posts.
        Where to Begin. You don’t need to be everywhere on social media. Pick a few networks that you can commit to.
4.  Start With Facebook. My opinion is that Facebook is a good start because it has one billion subscribers. Set up a business page for your company. To learn what the difference between a business page and a personal profile is, click here. It is okay to promote from your personal profile, too—you’ll probably get more traction there to start off anyway.
5. Do You Like To Write? Blogging is an important part of social. Need help writing a blog? You can write a good article on what you consider yourself to be an expert on. You can also blog about what has been successful for your business. Blogging, I admit, is the “long play.” That is, it takes a while for a blog to take traction and start earning your business relevant attention.
6. Are You More Visual? Instagram is an excellent social—and also video—sharing platform. It is easy to use and it is sleek, which makes it pleasant for users. Unlike Twitter, where it can be simpler to engage a community and build your audience, Instagram is tougher to cultivate. Your effective use of hashtags will no doubt be your avenue to gaining more traction. Just be authentic and be consistent. Also, don’t skimp on captions because photo context helps viewers understand why your post is special and shareworthy. You can view more tips on Instagram here.
7. Engage In Your Community. Twitter is great if you are willing to engage personally with the online community. Post what you are doing and, more importantly, engage with and share content among those you are following. Steer clear of auto-sharing posts—sharing one post on all your digital marketing assets, like social media, email, and website. This is why it is important to find like-minded Twitter users, engage them, talk to them, and ask them questions. You know, like real people do in real life!
8. Are You Even More Visual? Live-streaming is huge right now. Snapchat leads the way with their gone-in-24hr content. However, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have all adopted video streaming and posting capabilities to keep pace. Learn more about making videos for your business. There’s an online store called GRRL Clothing, and they use social media well. They create challenges that other users can take videos of and share to help raise awareness of these problems that many females face. Another example of such a viral campaign is “The Ice Bucket Challenge.” The point is that you’re possibly doing work that people will want to know about and even support.
9. Be Strategic and Make the Most of It. This goes back to the beginning of the article. Be sure to think about how you can repurpose your content across different social platforms. Each channel helps you tell a story in a different way. Present your information in various media, and post that media accordingly to the right social channel.
10. Plan Your Social Activity and Get Good Results. More than anything, I just want you to take a breath. Keep it simple. Do some thinking ahead of time. Think of content you want to create, what you can realistically create, and where that fits into the social media outlets you choose. Remember, you don’t have to be everywhere. Just somewhere and then commit.

Special thanks to: Alex Vasquez for his content contribution. Alex specializes in digital marketing and social media and is a consultant at the SBDC hosted by the University of La Verne.

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