You want to see your small business succeed. After all, you put everything you’ve got into. However, there may be certain things you’re not doing – or not doing well – that could dramatically improve things. Even if you’re already making a profit and doing OK for yourself, you can do more. By the title, you can tell that I’m talking about social media. And it’s likely you’re already online with various accounts, but the question is, are you using them properly?

social media marketingMany business owners think social media is just an add-on, something people expect but that doesn’t really do much for a company. But the thing is, social media marketing is extremely effective, and even doubles as today’s version of public relations. The other mistake small business often make is treating social media like simply another area to advertise. This can actually have the opposite of its intended effect. Today’s consumer wants to engage with and learn about your brand before deciding to become a customer.

I understand that you’re very busy running your company and managing various social media accounts can be terribly time consuming, but you can find help. There are a few quality social media management firms who will help you plan and carry out a solid marketing strategy on social media. Before you start thinking that it’s a waste of money, you should know they do more than just make simple posts. Let’s discuss exactly what types of services they can provide for your organization.

  1. Content Creation – The basis for any solid social media strategy is content. As we’ve established, pushing ads all day isn’t going to be very productive. Creating content that your target audience WANTS isn’t easy either. Your social media company will research and learn what is engaging for our customers, and present in a well-designed manner. This type of content isn’t focused on getting a quick sale, but rather on creating long term, loyal customers.
  2. Content Promotion – The next step in content creation is promoting the content on the correct channels. You need to get the right content in front of the right eyes, or producing it was pointless in the first place. Fortunately, a social media firm (a good one) will be experts in content delivery. They’ll learn where your target audience finds content and meet them there. It’s the best strategy.
  3. Relationship Management – One of the most incredible things about social media is that is allows people to communicate directly and socially with the companies they engage with. This is an opportunity for your brand to build a positive image by promptly addressing both concern and praise. People enjoy the feeling of interacting on this level with a company. A social media marketing company will typically handle these communications for you, allowing you to focus on the business.
  4. Earned Media – Advertising is necessary, but it only goes so far. People have much more respect when your company is featured by a prominent website, magazine, or news organization. Whether it’s a TV spot, news article, or magazine feature, it carries more weight when it’s earned rather than purchased. This kind of media will often generate a buzz about your company and goes a long way towards drumming up new business. I’d suggest making sure any social media company you work with provides some traditional PR options like getting you valuable earned media. They do this through building relationships and ensuring various news publications are aware of what’s going on with your company.

Social media is not something you can afford to ignore. It’s not just that a good strategy is going to boost sales and revenues, it’s that not having one can actually have a negative effect. People expect to be able to reach you online, and when they can’t, it can’t be quite frustrating. Get your social media game in order by reach out to an expert firm as soon as possible.

As with any service provider, you’re going to want to make sure that the social media agency you hire is up to the task. It’s always a good idea to review example of prior work to see how effective they are. Look closely at the content the produce for themselves as well. Is it good? Engaging? Even if you’re not interested in the subject matter, you should be able to tell if they’re writing and creating quality stuff or not. Ask about the services they provide as well. There are plenty of fly by night companies that aren’t really going to do much for you, so make sure the details are all clearly laid out. Good luck!