Jump-start Social Media without Breaking the Bank
Author: Ellen Bedecarre-McNamara
These days, nearly every business uses social media to promote, sell and share information about their products, often using multiple platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and others.
If you’re a smaller company, an integrated marketing approach can feel overwhelming, intimidating, or just out of reach, especially if you’re working with a limited staff and budget. The good news is you can start small and build your social media presence gradually. Here are a few tips to help you develop a targeted social media campaign using simple strategies and affordable tools.
Know Your Audience
This may seem obvious, but it’s critical to success: Think about your audience and the primary channels they consume day-to-day. For example, if the business you’re marketing is a retirement home, your target audience is going to be an older demographic. Facebook is widely used by older generations, so you might consider as your primary marketing channel. Snapchat? Not so much.
Pick One Channel to Start
There are many social media channels to choose from; and the growing list can seem impossible to track. Rather than spending hours developing a plan for each platform, choose one channel to start. Focus your marketing efforts and stretch your budget to support paid advertising and other opportunities for that channel.
Make a Plan
Creating a monthly schedule and planning out your content allows you to develop a social media strategy that aligns with other marketing goals. Let’s you have a blog on your website and you wish to feature a selection of articles each month. You can review your blog content calendar (you do have a content calendar, don’t you? ????) and plan your social media posts around the same schedule. This free content calendar template from HubSpot will help get you organized.
No matter which platform you choose, it’s important to be consistent in your posting frequency. Online audiences are social media saavy and they’ll notice if you’re phoning it in with a couple posts per month. Design a schedule that works for your brand and stick to it, to increase total impressions, reach and engagement. For more tips on how to craft an effective social media content strategy, check out this article from SproutSocial.
Don’t Skip (or Skimp on) the Graphics
Social media posts perform best (ie: increased number of likes, shares and impressions) when they include an image or video. No in-house graphic designer? No problem. If you’re going to invest in anything, we suggest purchasing a graphic generation tool like Canva Pro. For less than ten dollars a month, you can create high-quality graphics with a few clicks of a button. The subscription gives you access to Canva Pro’s image library, typography and other design elements to create custom social media graphics that will grab your audience’s attention.