Online Marketing for Small Business and Freelancers : Social Media

As a small business or freelancer, social media is a core part of running your business. We’re all familiar with social media; with more than two billion people around the world using at least one platform, social media has become a pervasive part of everyday life.

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Running a personal Twitter account is very different from running one for a company or brand. Many established companies make the mistake of assigning the task of social media marketing to their youngest or most tech savvy person, not realising that, for a company of any significant size, social media marketing is a full-time job and cannot be neglected.

Strategise

Before you embark on your social media marketing journey, ask yourself two questions:

What do I want to accomplish?

Think about how you want your social media presence to help you. Do you want to make more sales? Increase brand awareness? Improve your customer service? Your objectives are up to you and making them clear will help you to carve out a space for your business.

Who is my audience?

Different platforms appeal to and are used by different demographics. The same ad posted on Facebook can be received very differently when posted on Twitter. Observe your customer base and consider which platforms are most appropriate for your brand. Avoid establishing a presence on a platform that you are not likely to use often; blank or sparsely populated social media feeds look unprofessional and can make it appear as though your business or brand is no longer trading. Platforms that have a strong visual element will be essential in spreading and sharing your message.

Plan

Unlike a personal social media account, a company or brand account can’t be left dormant until inspiration strikes. In order to produce regular and consistent content, you’ll need to create a calendar to plan out when and how often you’ll post. Find local and national events that are relevant to your business and plan your content around them accordingly. Major events will often have their own hashtag, so use that as a jumping off point in order to reach more people.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to write a year’s worth of tweets all at once. Plan out the big stuff and then assign some time to plan your content for the week ahead. Social media management tools like Hootsuite allow you to schedule your posts in advance and some even automatically schedule them for you in order to reach the widest audience.

Network

Other businesses may provide a product or service that is similar to yours, but no one does what you do like you do.

Keeping that in mind, don’t be afraid to interact with other similar brands on social media. Building a professional network opens all sorts of doors and creates opportunities for collaboration that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. There is a long list of bloggers and artists who were able to

There is a long list of bloggers and artists who were able to monetise themselves through social media by first building a fanbase. James Charles, a YouTube makeup artist, garnered such a following that he was eventually hired by CoverGirl as a model. Your network is an opportunity to sell not only your services, but yourself!

Engage

Social media gives your customers a way to talk to you, so talk back! People generally prefer to talk to a real person, so let your personality shine through when you engage with them.

Businesses rise and fall based on how they handle interaction on social media. This isn’t limited to customer service; competitions and giveaways are a good way of encouraging your followers to share your content and advertise your business to users who don’t yet follow you. A poll or survey also allows you to benefit from some free market research to expand your understanding of your audience.

Create

Blogging contributes to your SEO, which makes it easier for customers to find you through search engines. Blogs don’t need to be long, but they do need to be regular and contain keywords that relate to your business.

You can blog about anything, from events, to advice and tutorials, to announcing and demonstrating new products. It’s also a great way to give your customers a sneak peek behind the scenes of your business, allowing them to feel as though they’ve been part of your creative process.

Conclusion

Strategise, Plan, Network, Engage and Create are the bedrocks to succeeding at online marketing and social media for small business and freelancers.

If you would like to discuss how to grow your business and leverage online marketing for your small business, please get in touch!

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