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A Beginners Guide To Social Media Marketing For Small Businesses

It is very important to outline your goal before you begin your social media activity. The goal will help you determine the content of your posts and will serve as a guide in all you do

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Rapidly increasing mobile penetration in India, coupled with the proliferation of low-cost handsets, is continuing to boost the users and their usage on social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter. According to a report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), 66 per cent of the 180 million Internet users in urban India regularly access social media platforms. For an effective digital marketing strategy, you need to ensure that you link your social presence to your business website, which will advance your overall business presence online.

Users on social media platforms offer businesses, a huge potential to engage customers and prospects to directly market their products and services.

Connecting with this large audience can be overwhelming no doubt, especially for SMBs with limited resources and time. These tips can help you start using social media and maneuver your way to establishing and building your brand.

Start By Defining Your Goals
It is very important to outline your goal before you begin your social media activity. The goal will help you determine the content of your posts and will serve as a guide in all you do. Importantly it will help you identify success when you achieve it.

Goals vary by business, for example: increasing brand awareness, retaining customers and increasing sales. To maintain focus, it is best to identify your top two goals in order to start.

Decide What Platform Is Important For 'Your' Brand
With so many social media platforms, it's easy to be lost or be present everywhere, which will only dilute your time and resources. You have to decide which social media platform you would like to start to engage with, like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram based on what can best support your business goals.

By defining an accurate ideal customer profile for your business - such as age, occupation, income, interests, problems, likes, dislikes and motivations, would be a good way to determine which social media platform would best serve your goals.

Follow A Checklist For Content
As a small business, carefully choose and plan your content that helps you stand out and make people remember you. Planning your posts and tweets in advance will give you time to craft them well.

While crafting your content, make it relevant to your audience. Majority, if not all, of your content should be relevant to your customers, their interests and likes.

Having a checklist will also allow you to schedule the posting of your content at an appropriate time when your followers are most active on social media. Continually watch & learn from your audiences' behavior, including when they respond to your posts, as that will help you optimize your campaign.

Be Engaged, Listen And Share

'With great power comes great responsibility'. It is vital to engage with your customers actively on your social media page. Respond to comments, mentions and feedback quickly, even if they are negative. By not doing so, your customers may feel that you don't care. Addressing negative comments shows that your company is proactive in resolving issues and that you aim to serve your customers.

You could employ tools to help you do social listening and monitor what people are saying about your brand.

Measure And Analyse Results

This step is a critical one and will help you to identify which tactics are working and which aren't. To stay on top of your social media plans it's important to review your metric report regularly. This will help your course correct as you go along.

There are several tools available online that you can use to track and measure your performance. You can even compare your success to your competitors. Keep track of which social media channels are driving the most traffic, and most relevant traffic to your site which will help determine where you need to invest your time and resources.

The swelling user base on social media platforms make it almost mandatory for any business to make it an active part of their marketing efforts. 80% of marketers, as per Hubspot indicated that their social media efforts increased traffic.

We do hope you'll get started armed with this know-how and link your social media efforts to your business website for the most optimum results.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Nidhi Hola

The author is Senior Director – Marketing, GoDaddy India

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