An effective social media marketing campaign is imperative to any small business’s near and long-term success. Today, more than ever before, social media has become one of the most vital tools for communicating with consumer audiences.
For any small business owner and novice entrepreneur, effective social media management tools can be a key element to establishing their brand, attracting customers, and boosting sales.
However, today, things are more complex than they were several years ago. Social media management has become a full-time job, often requiring small business owners and entrepreneurs to dedicate not only the necessary resources to develop and deploy actionable social media campaigns but effectively managing their time to create and publish new content.
The cost of social media management
Investing in social media management can often be one of the best business decisions any owner or entrepreneur can make. Yet, employing the right person or team can drive up initial startup costs, and this can be a pain point for upcoming businesses that are not yet established enough to afford these services.
Several sources indicate that the average cost of social media advertising can range anywhere from $15 to $200 per day. Effective social media account management can cost companies an average of $12,500 per month. Keep in mind that this is still relatively small compared to larger firms and corporations that can spend anywhere up to $50,000 per month on their social media management.
Other costs that need to be calculated include content creation, $7,950 per month; platform management, $5,000 per month; and social advertising, which can cost an average of $5,000 per month. Some experts suggest that in general, small businesses need to allocate at least between $500 and $5,000 per month to social media management.
For any small business, these figures may be entirely outside of their financial position, especially during their startup phase. What’s more, business owners tend to overlook other important factors, such as effectively planning their social media campaigns, understanding their target audience, and leveraging available data.
While some small business owners and entrepreneurs may be able to manage these responsibilities themselves, as the business begins to scale and they are required to oversee other essential duties, managing their social media presence often takes a backseat, which can have long-term effects on their customer engagement and brand visibility.
Effective online time management
As a new business owner, you might already be overseeing several vital aspects of your business. This requires a detailed and thoroughly planned schedule to ensure you reach your targets and complete important projects before moving on to the next thing.
As part of your planning, allocating sufficient time to manage your social media and other online activities can help you better understand how social media campaigns work and which aspects of your social media strategy require further adjustment.
Instead of spending too much time online and not getting the results you are looking for, here’s a breakdown of considerations to keep in mind when planning your social media campaign and strategy.
Understand your social media presence
Building any business requires creating a brand easily recognized among potential competitors. Your brand, or brand voice, will be the physical representation of what your business provides and how you differentiate yourself within the marketplace.
Once you have a picture of what your brand might look like, you can determine how your social media strategy will align with your overarching goals. Allocating enough time to establish a brand voice before anything else will help drive the conversation about what you should include within your social media presence and how you will communicate this with your audience.
Develop key social media goals
The next step would be to think of specific social media goals you want to achieve within a given time frame. Your social media goals should align with the broader business strategy, such as building better customer engagement or gaining more online store visibility.
Using these metrics alongside one another can help you establish a forward-looking plan to ensure you achieve these goals effectively while adjusting as the campaign unfolds.
Let’s say, for example, you are looking to boost recognition for your online store. Using social media as a key marketing tool, you will need to consider the type of content you will need, such as videos or images, and on which platforms you will promote your store.
From here on out, you can begin to decipher how often you will need to post or publish new content. Depending on your available content, you can start to design a publishing strategy, such as posting every day for the next five days, until you’ve reached a specific viewer count or a specific number of engagements.
Understanding how both business goals and social media can align will help you develop a more thorough strategy that ensures you don’t waste time on posts or campaigns that don’t deliver the results you’re looking for.
Get to know your target audience
Another way to save a lot of time and valuable resources is to consider your target audience or the people you are trying to reach. Knowing where your customers are online will help ensure you meet them at every touch point most valuable to you and your business.
Knowing who your target audience may be will help you determine the type of content you need to create and how it will need to be displayed on social media. Remember that target audience research is one of the key components to building a successful social media and marketing strategy, which further ensures the near-term success of your business goals.
Remember to keep your target audience in mind when crafting new content; understanding the demographics, occasional challenges, and their interests will all be key elements of your strategy.
Consider the platform you want to use
Instead of spending countless hours trying to manage several different social media platforms, start small with a platform you are already familiar with.
Make sure to use a platform that can provide you with the key analytical and insight tools that will help you better understand how effective a campaign may be, and whether you need to make any changes along the way.
Next, consider being proactive on one platform at a time. Once you have gotten most of the intricacies under control, and have a firm understanding of how to properly engage with your target audience, begin developing a new strategy for a second or third platform.
Remember to keep your business in mind and how the social media platform you’re using will fit with the type of products and services you are offering to your potential target audience.
Automate specific activities
Customer engagement is now a twenty-four-seven responsibility and requires your attention around the clock. Unfortunately, this isn’t possible, and sometimes you forget to respond to a customer query or reply to a direct message.
While missing a few responses here and there won’t tarnish your business reputation, not having enough time to appropriately respond to everyone’s questions could leave you with more significant near-term problems.
There might be days when you don’t have the time to post new content or even share the news about a new product. On other days you might be out of the office or even under the weather, and who will handle all your responses and social media management?
Having the right automation tools can save a lot of time — and ensure your social media accounts remain active around the clock, even if you’re not around. Automation tools can respond to messages, help resolve customer queries, schedule posts, and automatically publish these on your social media accounts.
Take a bit of time to learn about all the current automation tools and how these can help alleviate your social media marketing — and further provide you with on-demand solutions.
Create a digital calendar
Another way to keep track of everything is to create a digital calendar. With a digital calendar for your social media, you can keep tabs on everything happening in your business. From having to order new merchandise to when delivery is expected, lining up important events, and even helping to better control your social media management.
With a digital calendar, you can sync different activities to ensure you stay on top of your game and never miss anything. You can include essential days or times you need to post on social media to ensure you get the best engagement.
You can even set reminders of when an older post can be reused after several weeks or months to constantly reduce the need to create new content. A digital calendar can help you keep track of which days of the week your content received higher engagement rates, and how you can adjust your strategy so that you only post on these days.
Instead of having one calendar that can become cramped and packed full of activities, you can now have a separate calendar specifically for social media. This helps to organize all your important events and dates and ensures you don’t miss any important events that might require your attention.
Allocate time to launch new campaigns
As part of your schedule, you must make sure you allocate enough time in your week to launch new social media campaigns. You’ll want to block off an hour or two of your day to make the necessary adjustments before launching your plan.
You will need to have enough time in your schedule for planning and execution. While this might not seem like the most important part of your day or business in general, you must spend quality time understanding how your plan works, your target audience, and the type of goals you are trying to achieve through these actions.
Schedule time for other marketing responsibilities
While social media may be an essential aspect of the overarching marketing plan, you must also schedule time to focus on other marketing efforts.
You will need to allocate days of the week or specific hours within your day to focus on marketing strategies such as building an email marketing list, crafting new newsletters, designing new campaigns, or calling prospective clients or suppliers.
While a lot of marketing may take place on social media, keep in mind that this isn’t the only form of digital marketing, and there are several other techniques you will need to take control over to ensure you have a foolproof marketing campaign that delivers the results and engagement you are looking for.
Why it’s important to manage your social media with a digital calendar
With the right tools and more importantly a digital calendar, you can effectively monitor your business’s online presence while at the same time developing new ways to increase customer engagement and boost brand recognition.
Other benefits of using a digital calendar to organize your social media duties include:
Effective time management
Instead of aimlessly spending time on social media or online, you can now use a digital calendar that will help you plan and organize everything you need to keep track of within one place.
Syncing your digital calendar with your social media accounts can help you automate several activities, such as posting, responding to customer queries, or creating notifications for when to publish new content.
Using a digital calendar alongside your social media planning is a cost-effective method to ensure you get the necessary results and that you have increased engagement with your clients at all times without wasting precious time or resources online.
Instead of being in the dark, you will be informed when new developments occur or you might need to adjust your social media strategy.
Proper social media management is an effective marketing tool that any business requires to stand out against its competitors and create customer engagement with its target audience.
However, without the right tools, social media management can be an arduous task for any business owner, leading to long-term drawbacks and impacting the scalability of their business.
Using a calendar to help you keep track of your social media management strategy will help you create more engaging content and effectively use your time. With a digital calendar, you will be able to stay up to date about any changes. When you need to publish new content, most importantly, it will allow you to allocate the necessary time to properly plan and launch any new campaigns without sacrificing much of your daily schedule.
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Featured Image Credit: Photo by Andrew Neel; Pexels; Thank you!