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A 12-Step Plan for Using Social Media to Build Your Business

Published on Jan 18, 2021

There has never been a better time to start and grow a small business. You no longer need a big ad budget or have an expert marketing team to let the world know about your products or services to find your ideal customers.

One of the greatest tools you have for building your business is social media. It doesn't cost anything to create an account or to post. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter help you connect with your customers, attract attention, and learn more about your competitors.

Here are twelve steps you should follow if you plan on using social media for your small business.

1. Reserve Your Social Media Handles

Your social media handle is your identity on social media. You want to reserve your handle on as many different platforms as possible, even if you don't plan on using all of them. Taking this step will help prevent copycats from cashing in on your work on other platforms. It also gives you the freedom to expand your reach as you scale your business.

2. Write Your Social Media Bio

Every social media platform allows you to write a short bio or profile. This profile is your chance to tell the world why they need your business. You also have the opportunity to include a link in your profile. This link should let customers find where they can buy from you.

3. Choose 1-3 Platforms to Focus On

As a small business owner, you will quickly learn that your time and attention are your most critical resources. Social media can be an effective way to build a business, but it is also time-intensive. In the beginning, you should only focus on one to three different platforms.

Choose a platform where a lot of your customers are already engaged. The big three social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) are often the best place for most businesses to start.

4. Find and Follow Leaders in Your Niche

You should use social media for market research. Find and follow the leaders of your niche. See what is working for them. You may want to imitate what is already working instead of trying to reinvent the wheel.

Your ideal customers most likely already follow some of your competitors on social media. Social media gives you a chance to learn more about what your customers already like. It's a powerful shortcut.

5. Decide on a Brand Voice

What will your brand sound like on social media? Your business may have a different persona than you do. What kind of voice will your customers respond to? A B2B business will have a different tone online than a clothing brand targeting Gen Z.

It may take some experimentation to find a brand voice that you are comfortable with, and that resonates with your customers. The only way to find your brand voice is to keep posting.

6. Develop Your Social Media Plan

Remember, you're building a business. If you want to use social media effectively, you need a plan. Your social media plan needs to include your goals for the specific platforms, how you will achieve those goals, and what metrics you want to focus on.

Ideally, you need to set up your social media strategy to lead people from your social media posts to your store or website. Likes and follows make you feel good, but they don't pay the bills.

7. Embed Your Social Feed on Your Website

You need to get the most out of every post. One way to increase your efficiency is to embed your social media feed directly into your website.

This helps make sure that you always fresh content on your website. It also provides potential customers with social proof that you are an established business.

You can embed your social media feeds directly on your site without any coding skills with SnapWidget.

8. Research Best Hashtags

There is a lot of noise on social media. You need to find a way to get the attention of your customers as they see millions of posts from other users.

One way to flag your customers is by using hashtags. Every business and industry need a hashtag strategy. Social media algorithms use hashtags as a factor in what content they show in different users' feeds.

You can start by seeing what hashtags your competitors use.

9. Consistently Post and Reevaluate

Every article on using social media for your business explains that consistency is the secret to success. You need to post regularly on social media to get traction. This can be hard at the beginning.

If you have a new account, most of your first posts may not get any views or likes. However, if you post consistently, you will find an audience. If you want to build a large social media following, you have to be willing to do the hard work when you have no following.

10. Engage with Your Audience

The most successful social media accounts are social. You can't be in broadcast-only mode. You should spend tie every day commenting, liking, and engaging with other users. The more you engage on social media, the more people are exposed to your brand.

11. Find Value to Share

Everything you post on social media needs to be valuable to your ideal customer. You are building a business. This means your business accounts are not the place to vent your feelings about a ride driver on your commute.

You want to give people a reason to read your posts instead of scrolling by. The best way to do this is to consistently provide value. Value could be anything from tips to coupons to jokes. The only rule is that your customers get to decide what is valuable.

12. Try Paid Promotion Tools

Once you have spent a few months testing the waters on social media, you should try some of the paid promotional tools. Paid social media advertising is cost-effective. You can reach a large, targeted audience for very little money.

You can also use paid promotion to scale your audience quickly.

Bonus Tip: Reuse Content

You mustn't overwhelm yourself with managing your social media accounts. You should start small and invest more time once you learn how to scale and automate your work. One way to save time with social media is to reuse content.

If you have a long video or blog post on your site, you can chop that content up into several different social media posts. One 1,000-word blog post could easily become ten more social media posts with links back to the post on your website.