Competing in today’s world of social media is hard. Especially as a small business owner, when you are surrounded by multi-million dollar campaigns from big brands. You might think that there’s nothing you can do to compete. And in a way you’re right. You can’t compete with the big brands, but you can definitely stand out among your competition. Here are some ideas to step into 2018 with a social media strategy that delivers.
Re-evaluate Your Business Objectives
This might seem like a no-brainer, but surprisingly this is the first crucial step that a lot of small business skip past. Before deciding on any kind of social media plan, or any business plan, you should take a hard look at your business objectives. Too often, companies begin a social media strategy without a specific goal in mind. However, without reviewing your objectives there is no way to develop a social media marketing plan that works.
Plan It Out
Where are you going to spend your time? A few years ago businesses were asking themselves if their customers were on Facebook. Today, we know they are. And they’re on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat too. However, this doesn’t mean your business needs to be everywhere with the same intensity, because your target market doesn’t use all social media all the time. Narrow your focus to what will be most beneficial to you and your customers.
Social media is only free if all you’re doing is maintaining an account. For Facebook marketing and Google ads you need to pay. It pays to have a budget in place to market your company on social media.
Work With Experts
Merely putting out ads on social media is not the solution. Your content has to be stellar, because there is so much content out there. Working with a content development professional would be a good use of your budget. Maybe you want to upload videos, and in that case you might want to hire someone with the skills to do that. All of these people can be hired on a freelance basis to keep within your budget and still get the job done.
Be Authentic
One area where a big brand might not be so successful is in being authentic. They often don’t connect personally with their target market. This is where you can get personal and stand out. It is important to keep your brand’s voice in mind when doing so, otherwise you’ll be inauthentic. Don’t be afraid to share your vulnerabilities or make fun of yourself (in a positive fashion) on social media. It will make you appear genuine and will make people want to connect with you.
One of the hottest trends of the moment is influencer marketing. We all know that consumers are more likely to buy something from someone they admire. If you think that it’s impossible to find influencers as a small business, but it’s actually easier than you think. Influencers are all over the place, and you can identify them by different metrics. There are tools like Klout, to find influencers. Once you have found some influencers who would be good for your brand, engage with them frequently, interact with the content they share and start conversations. When you have cultivated a relationship with them, you can approach them to be part of your campaign.
User Generated Content
It can be overwhelming to constantly come up with new content. How do you come up with new ideas every single day? An idea to borrow from big brands is user generated content creation. How can you do this? Encourage your users to leave reviews and use those reviews as content. Or repost photographs that your fans share. Hold a small contest and have your followers make and send in videos. All of this counts as new content.
Ultimately, it is important to stay current. Things move at lightning speed in the world of social media, and your small business can’t be left behind. Take some time and put some thought into developing a social media strategy that accurately reflects the current times and trends. Attending local conferences and networking events is a great way to learn IRL, and meet people to exchange ideas. The good news is that it doesn’t really matter if you run an international corporation or a small business. Adopting some simple strategies can help you create a highly impactful social media campaign.

Read more relevant blog post: Lead Generation is Important for Business to Thrive: Here’s Why