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13 Proven Social Media Marketing Tips for Small Businesses & Entrepreneurs

hey everyone brian from buffer here

today I'll be sharing my top 13 social

media strategies and tips for small

businesses and entrepreneurs social

media has a huge opportunity to be a

brand awareness and sales tool for your

business but social media can also be a

huge challenge for those of us who wear

multiple hats throughout the day

particularly those who run small

businesses or entrepreneurs I know

because I've been there

these 13 tips and strategies are gonna

help you as small businesses and

entrepreneurs prioritize what's

important on social media so that you

can grow your accounts and drive sales

starting today let's get started let's

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kick things off with number one my

number one tip is you have to make a

commitment to social media social media

can be a real challenge so my top tip to

you as small businesses and

entrepreneurs is to make social media

priority for you and your business and

your employees start off by planning

create a strategy create goals what do

you see a success with social media is

it brand awareness is it sales is it

somewhere in between having a plan will

help you make that commitment to social

media right from the beginning so

starting with the plan understanding the

tools are gonna help you achieve that

plan and then looking outside to your

peers and competitors for what's working

for them is a great place to start and

my number one tip for entrepreneurs and

small businesses all right number two

and this goes back to what I mentioned

briefly in number one and that's

establishing some goals for your social

media program everything starts and ends

with goals and setting proper goals

based on desired outcomes is the most

important thing that you can do it's

super important to develop a social

media strategy that aligns with your

goals so that you can determine whether

your social media program is successful

or not 1 creating goals it's important

to be specific as possible so if you're

using social media to drive brand

awareness what are the metrics around

that goal that will help you to define

brand awareness is it likes traffic to

your website engagement to social media

posts or somewhere in between having

specific goals based on specific

objective is the first step in creating

great goals and the first step in

understanding whether your social media

is working

and of course those are super super

important because if you're off the path

and you're not finding success with

social media goals will help you to

define the next action step needed to

take to get back on the path of success

on social media tip number three for

small businesses and entrepreneurs on

social media is to remember to share who

you are as a brand or a business

remember that social media is social

people are on social media to share

content with their friends connect with

family members and yes of course connect

with you as a brain but people won't

want to connect with your brand

unless you're sharing things that are

human authentic engaging things that

speak to people on a human level which

is very meta I know it's hard to point

directly to what that means but the best

I can do is to tell you to remember to

share who you are what makes you unique

as an entrepreneur or small business is

it your values is that your company is

it your employees is your product what

makes you special why would people want

to follow you on social media what would

make them want to share your content

with your friends what makes you unique

as a company what makes you unique

personality wise and also keep in mind

that creating content isn't necessarily

just showing how your product can

benefit your users it's about helping

people it's about providing useful

relevant content time and time again so

that they go to you as a trusted source

of inspiration

number four setting time aside for

social media I know this can be the

hardest thing to do as entrepreneurs and

small businesses at buffer we all wear

multiple hats and finding time for

social media wasn't necessarily a

priority for us until we saw the power

of what social media can do for our

brand but let's take a step back the key

to establishing a great social media

presence is sharing great social media

content and for busy business owners

taking the time to create great content

can easily be pushed aside which is okay

what I encourage you to do is to take

time and batch time dedicated to social

media content creation find your most

creative time is it Monday morning is it

Friday afternoons set aside some

specific time each week even every

single day occur supreme vicious to

create great social media content and

engage with your fans on social media

because after you put out

great social media content people are

gonna want to talk to you they're gonna

want to comment on your links they're

gonna want to ask you questions about

you in your business a few hours a week

20 minutes a day even will help you get

ahead on social media by ensuring that

you're dedicating time to it which is

one of the most important factors about

creating a great community speaking of

great content tip number five is to

listen to your customers rather than

just simply promote it one of the best

things about social media is that it

offers an open-ended community to

communicate one-on-one with potential

customers and current customers that

type of open-ended communication is rare

these days and so social media offers

that opportunity to small businesses

entrepreneurs whose customer base might

be smaller to start out so connecting

one-on-one is super important when

you're looking to grow your social media

community when you're first starting out

so what I mean by listening to your

customers is what kind of questions are

they asking in community forums in your

product on social media are these ideas

for potential blog topics social media

content videos you name it

taking the approach of listening to your

customers rather than simply promoting

your product not only gives you greater

insights into your customers preferences

their fears their challenges but it also

builds a loyal customer base that you

can lean into later down the line tip

number six focusing your efforts you've

probably heard the saying it's better to

be on one social media network than

spread thin across many well that

statement is absolutely true by focusing

your efforts on one social media

platform as opposed to two three or four

you're gonna hone your skills you're

gonna learn the nuances of that channel

and only until you figured out that

specific channel can you start to branch

out to more social media networks I

think the biggest misconception for

small businesses and entrepreneurs is

the amount of time it actually takes to

be successful on a social media channel

takes a lot of time takes a lot of

effort takes a lot of content and so by

focusing your efforts on one channel you

increase your likelihood of success

tenfold maybe more strategy number seven

for small businesses and entrepreneurs

is automating your processes so we've

already talked about the benefits of

using tools like buffer to schedule your

social media posts and analyze your

posts but there's a lot of other

processes that you can automate in the

time that will help you be successful on

social media once you start to get the

feel for what kind of content is working

on social media you can use tools like

zapier I have TTT to automatically add

articles that you add to your pocket

account for example or you can use tools

like canva Animoto

to quickly create graphics for videos

saving you hours of time in the process

you can hire an intern to help you

create graphics or videos or schedule

social media posts there's tons of

people out there are willing and looking

for great work social media

possibilities are endless when it comes

to automation so using tools like buffer

it was like camber Animoto zapier I have

TTT hiring out work to help with the

more tedious tasks are all things that

businesses and entrepreneurs should be

thinking about if you want to focus your

time on more important tasks like

running your business

speaking of tools tip number eight is

picking the right tools for your

business so when thinking about tools as

a small business or entrepreneur I like

to break it down into five different

sections of potential tools you have

your collaborate tools your attractive

tools your acquired tools your retained

tools and your measuring tools those

five tools will help you be successful

on a daily basis under the collaborate

tools this is how you're gonna help

collaborate with freelancers employees

within your company tools like slack

Google Dropbox paper Trello are all

great project management tools that will

help you collaborate on things or ideas

that you think will be successful on

social media

under the attract stage this is where

you get to implement a lot of fun tools

that will help you attract customers

both on social media and another

marketing efforts as well so tools like

WordPress to help you write blog posts

or manage your website

MailChimp to send emails buffer to send

social media posts like I said before

canva Animoto to help you create videos

and graphics number three the acquire

stage is where you start to see more

robust tools in the acquisition stage of

your customer journey so CRM like

HubSpot Salesforce Marketo MailChimp to

send email drip campaigns buffer to

continue to send out your social media

posts then of course you have your

retain tools and these could be things

like NPS scoring surveys type form to

help you send out customer surveys offer

to continually send out social media

mailchimp to send automated emails to

your customers based on specific actions

you can also use advertising platforms

like Facebook Twitter Linkedin Pinterest

to help remarket to customers who have

been on your website and then of course

last but not least number five is the

measurement stage of tools this is where

you implement things like Adobe

Analytics Google Analytics lots of

options out there to measure how you're

doing on social media and to help like I

said before direct those steps of

actions towards the things that are

gonna work in the future strategy number

nine creating a social media calendar

having a comprehensive overview of

everything you want to send out to

social media within the next few months

even within the year is irreplaceable

for brands and businesses looking to be

successful on social media a good social

media calendar consists of major company

events major company product releases

and major holidays within whatever

country or even the world that you want

to celebrate as a company a great social

media strategy means posting

consistently and what better way to do

that then to hold yourself accountable

through a Content calendar create a

unique calendar it can be an Excel

spreadsheet it could be a Google Doc it

doesn't matter how you do or whatever

calendar service that you prefer create

a map whatever the event is put it in

your social media calendar create a

small mini marketing plan around that

event and make sure to have all the

messaging set up so that is a small

business when you go to post you're all

set to go your calendars ready to go and

you have a great social media posting

strategy already in place strategy

number 10 remembering that passion helps

to create amazing social media content I

find that the biggest challenge for me

on social media is creating great

content on a consistent basis as a small

business or entrepreneur it can be

incredibly time consuming and difficult

to find the topics that are gonna work

over and over again on social media so

what I suggest you do as a business

owner or as an entrepreneur is pick a

topic that you love to talk about now

this topic can be semi related to your

brand it doesn't have to be specifically

about your product or your brand it can

be in the sphere of your industry the

more passionate you are about a specific

topic the easier and more fun it will be

to actually go out and find content or

create original

around that topic and don't forget the

more passionate you are about a topic

the more passionate your fans are gonna

be to they can tell they know when you

love a subject or not and when you have

a passion for something I guarantee you

that your audience will share that same

passion with you number eleven learning

from the best will be their first to

admit that we don't have a ton of

resources we don't have a lot of time to

commit to creating great content we just

don't have what bigger better brands

have in terms of social media resources

so the best thing you can do as a

business leader is to follow peers and

competitors both inside and outside your

industry you can follow them by creating

Twitter lists or using Facebook pages to

watch tool to set up a list of brands

that you know post consistently great

content then once you have a list of

great brands or influencers in your

industry check back once in a while what

are they posting about are they using

videos are they using photos are they

using text only updates what kind of

things are they talking about subjects

types of content having a deep deep

understanding of the trends and the

things that are working in your industry

will do wonders for your social media

content and not only that watching

others within your industry will spark

ideas like you can't understand until

you've actually been there and seen

content in its wonderful creation

process so get out there create a list

of great brands in your industry and

follow them on a weekly basis strategy

number 12 of 13 don't forget that

engagement drives growth on social media

whether you have a company of a hundred

or just one engagement on social media

is one of the most important factors you

can use to drive growth of your channels

over time we talked about it earlier in

this video but engagement really is the

key in the core to every social media

strategy in other words when you create

great content you're going to get more

engagement from the audience it's a

byproduct of great content so it's a

commitment you have to make upfront and

understand from the very beginning if

you have people who are regularly

engaging with your content

you'll activate them as strong loyal

users by responding to them answering

their questions helping them to share

your content even further you might even

think about creating some sort of

referral program that rewards people who

share your content you might also start

a Facebook group or a slack community

that gets your power users on social

media into the same place so that they

can share ideas talk to each other learn

from each other and really spread the

message about your brand it really only

takes about 15 minutes a day to be

successful with engagement and

persistency will pay off in brand

loyalty and power users on social media

last but not least strategy number 13

for small businesses and entrepreneurs

when it comes to social media and that's

don't try to be all things to all people

one of the very first questions you have

to ask yourself on getting started

social media strategy is what are you

all about make it very clear from the

get-go what you are all about on social

media being all things to all people

across all social media networks is just

simply unsustainable so having a clear

specific and concise topic that you are

expert and are passionate about on

social media will help drive a more

niche audience that will interact with

your content on a higher level it also

gives your audience a reason to come

back time and time again if they come to

your social media profile and never have

any idea of what to expect of you in

terms of content the chances of them

coming back are very slim but if they

know they can go to you for great

content on a specific topic then they

are much more likely to interact with

your content on a daily basis because

they know what they're gonna get it's

like starting a business and trying to

sell your product to every single person

it just doesn't work but if you start in

a niche industry and you sell a very

specific product to a very specific user

that product has a much greater chance

of success focusing on a very specific

topic the one that you are passionate

about one that you can speak as an

expert on will tremendously help and

your chances of success on social media

in the long run I hope you got something

of use in our 13 strategies for small

businesses and entrepreneurs if you

enjoyed this video today we would

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lot more videos around social media and

marketing strategy over the next few

months and we'll

you'll be there to join along with us so

next time I'm Brian with buffer

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