How to be Social Media Savvy on a Budget

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For a small business on a budget, social media is a great way to reach out to customers and potential clients while building brand awareness. A recent study by Zoomerang shows that 59% of small businesses spend less than $100 on social media, while 42% spend nothing.

Understanding how social media works and where to focus your efforts can pay off big. Here are a few social media tips to get you started.

Focus Your Efforts

With so many social media networks available, and more coming online daily, it’s important to focus your efforts. Understanding your target market and where they go for information is key. If you’re new to social media, start with the biggest community.

Facebook features over 9 million pages for small businesses. Businesses are on Facebook because their customers are on Facebook.  There are some great tools available to help you use the site effectively. Pagemodo allows you to customize your Facebook page and make it a visually dynamic space for your readers.  Facebook also offers social media plug-ins to help you analyze your viewer’s online habits and see what they’ve viewed, commented on and liked.

Tell Your Story

Social media is most effective when it’s used to educate, entertain or inform. It’s a place to tell your story and establish yourself as a thought leader in your field. Hard sell advertising language doesn’t work in a social media context. Readers are looking for useful information. Provide them with it and you’ll build trust.

 

Social media is about communication. Engaging with your readers and community means answering questions and comments in a timely manner. Social media gives you a unique opportunity to have a conversation with potential customers.

Maximize Your Time

Some experts feel that in order to be effective, you need to post at least once a day on Facebook and five to ten times a day on Twitter. For many busy small business owners this can seem a bit overwhelming.  The good news is that many sites allow you to schedule posts. There are also some great free tools online like Hootsuite that allow you to schedule and manage multiple social media networks.

With the right tools and strategies social media can be a cost effective way for small business to reach out to new and existing customers.  Follow these social media tips and you’ll be savvy in no time!

Post by Terri-Ann Cormier

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