Brian Spero is a writer for Money Crashers Personal Finance, where he shares his tips related to small business and saving money and helps promote online using social media tools.
You already know social media is an effective way to grow any business, and you are likely focused on getting your company’s campaign in motion. But even though social media offers a less expensive, more sustainable alternative to traditional advertising, it can’t be accomplished without certain costs.
If it’s your mission to launch a social media marketing campaign with limited resources, consider these four methods to help you make it work:
1. Get the Right Tools
A comprehensive social media campaign can seem overwhelming. How will your lean organization not swell with the burden of Tweeting, blogging, commenting, and so on? The solution lies in identifying the right social media tool that gives you everything you need, all in one place, to effectively manage your campaign. Yes, this exists, and it’s affordable.
HootSuite, for example, is widely used and a is good solution for a small business running a relatively straightforward campaign. For $9.99 a month, you get a platform that supports major outlets, such as Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn, and can easily add additional networks and marketing tools. You also get the ability to schedule posts in advance and other perks. Research applications for your business that help you keep up with output, provide essentials analytics, and make it easier to organize your efforts for maximum efficiency. You’ll also want to utilize Pagemodo to create a free custom Facebook page for your business.
2. Train Your Focus
Most semi-Internet savvy people who have no reason to market anything can still rattle off at least five popular social networks without blinking an eye. New outlets pop up all the time, and each has the potential to be the tool that kicks your online marketing efforts into high gear. But before you activate accounts with MySpace, MyLife, Mixi, or countless others, take a moment to reflect on the resources at your disposal and how they can best be allocated.
It’s critical to not only learn how each individual network is utilized for the purpose of small business marketing, but to also determine those which will effectively fill your needs. While an artisan seeking to increase product visibility to a focused demographic might target Pinterest, an interior design firm may gravitate to YouTube for building a brand and increasing customer loyalty. As your business grows, your campaign can expand to include more diverse initiatives. But in order to maximize results and minimize the impact on your small business budget, prioritize what’s essential and make adjustments or expand based on your results.
3. Embrace Mobile Apps
Mobile applications can simplify your social media campaign by making it easier to manage your time effectively. Join the growing army of small business owners using smartphones and tablets to perform vital tasks from anywhere at any time. Beyond the obvious of accessing popular networks like Facebook or FourSquare, business owners can do everything from analyzing metrics to contributing commentary to reading industry news from their mobile devices. Look for a smart app like Flipboard that allows you to access all of your social networks in one place. It also provides content tailored to your industry or preference in a sleek and functional magazine-style layout.
3. Promote Teamwork
An important first step to running your social media marketing campaign smoothly is to create a foundation that allows you to delegate responsibility while ensuring quality and consistency.
Whether you have 2 employees or 20, get them involved in facilitating your campaign. Not only will this lessen the burden on any one individual, but it will add a more robust and energized element to your efforts. It’s increasingly common to see corporations of all sizes call upon employees working in different areas to contribute blog posts, Tweets, and video demonstrations. As long as you’re organized and have clearly defined standards and goals, the team approach to content creation is a great way to maximize productivity.
When it comes to doing what’s essential to help your business succeed, you can overcome constraints on time or money through efficient management and creative solutions. By procuring the tools that ease the daily burden of managing your social media campaign, training your focus on the elements that provide the best results, and utilizing the talents of your team, you can reap the rewards of social media marketing without breaking the budget.
What tools and methods do you use to manage your social media efforts?