The average adult now spends at least 2.5 hours a day interacting with others on social media platforms.
This is especially important if you are starting a new business. Social media has become a big part of our lives and society since MySpace became a social network 14 years ago, and Facebook started in a Harvard dorm room.
According to most social media experts, the best way to utilize social media is to join every platform and spend large amounts of time creating content. Do this and do that. You don’t have time for that.
Social media advertising allows you to spend less time on social media while still getting good results for your marketing efforts. Most small-business owners are not aware of how to use social media for advertising purposes, even though this is a common marketing tactic for larger companies.
When Should I Start Promoting My Business on Social Media?
If you are starting a new business, you should start preparing your social media marketing plan before you open your doors. This allows you to set up your profiles and start receiving attention from your target audience.
If you want your business to be successful, you should start promoting it on social media before it even opens. That way, you can keep people updated about your business’s launch and grand opening events, and build up a following of eager customers. This is hugely valuable.
It’s a good idea to get started on social media early so your profiles look more complete when people start visiting them. Uploading multiple posts will give potential customers a better idea of what your business is about.
A Month and Half Before the Launch
You should create your profiles approximately one month and a half before you launch your business. You should now decide which profiles to use. I strongly suggest that all businesses create and maintain a presence on both Facebook and Instagram. Companies that provide goods and services to other businesses (B2B) should create a profile on the social networking site LinkedIn, and most businesses that sell products directly to consumers (B2C) should be present on Pinterest.
Even though the launch may seem far away, you should create your social media profiles.
You should make a Facebook Page, not a profile. You can turn regular profiles into business profiles on Instagram and Pinterest to get access to features like analytics. There is no difference between a regular profile and a business profile on Twitter in terms of privacy settings. However, you will want to make sure your profile is set to public so that anyone can view your tweets.
Use the same profile name for each social media profile and, if possible, the same profile picture. Don’t have one Twitter account for personal use and another for business – this will make you look unprofessional. Being consistent is important if you want to create brand recognition, which is a necessary for new businesses.
This means you should begin to create content, come up with a strategy, and start to promote your page on other social media platforms. Once you have completed this task, you will want to start promoting your page on other social media platforms and begin to create content. The first step in this process will be to add the relevant information to each platform you are using.
ADD CRUCIAL INFORMATION TO EVERY PROFILE
Your social media profiles can be used as a way to show customers more information about your brand. This is your opportunity to make sure each profile provides as much crucial information as possible. Your social media profile should reflect your brand’s personality and what you have to offer. This will be different for each social media platform.
Facebook Pages should have the following filled out:
- The “About Us”
- Location with a map, if applicable
- All contact information, including email and phone numbers
- Site link
Instagram profiles should have:
- Site link
- Branded hashtags in the bio (once created)
- Contact information
- A brief bio
Pinterest profiles should contain:
- Site link
- Brand description
- Store location
Twitter Should Have:
- Site link
- City location
- Brief brand description; you can use the same one for Instagram, since both must be brief
CHOOSE & CREATE YOUR HASHTAGS
This step, which is often overlooked, should not be ignored until several months into the social media strategy. Make sure to do your hashtag research before launching your brand on social media. This will help increase your brand’s visibility.
One Month to Three Weeks Out from Launching
You will now want to add more content to your pages and profiles, as well as increase your marketing efforts overall. Many businesses find that this is the best time to start marketing their company. The sweet spot for introducing a new feature is far enough out that you can build up excitement for it, but not so far out that users will lose interest.
START POSTING REGULARLY
Now is the time to start sharing posts on each platform, which should happen more often as you get closer to opening the actual business. At least one post per day on Facebook and several per week on Instagram and Twitter is needed in the week before your launch.
The more customers learn about you through social media, the more likely they are to trust you. Posting is a great way to give customers that information.
PIN A POST ABOUT YOUR GRAND OPENING
You should announce your grand opening and business launch date on both Facebook and Twitter by pinning a post to the top of each platform.
To pin a post on Facebook, click on the drop down menu at the top of each individual post. If you would like to keep a certain post at the top of your page, you can choose the “Pin to Top of Page” option.
To pin a tweet to your profile page on Twitter, click on the drop-down menu on your tweet and select “Pin to your profile page.”
The first post on your page should contain information about your launch date to help keep viewers up to date.
CREATE A GRAND OPENING EVENT
The grand opening of a business is particularly important for businesses that rely on customers coming to their brick-and-mortar locations. Host a grand opening event and promote it across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for maximum engagement. You can use a survey to update guests about your opening day, and get a rough estimate of potential interest in attendance.
START BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS WITH INFLUENCERS
As you get closer to your product launch, you should look for people who have influence over your target audience. Follow them on social media and engage with and share their content. You can also reach out to them directly through a private message (PM) and let them know about your new business and when it will be launching.
If you are able to offer influencers benefits like early access to your product, this would be a good time to do so.
Two Weeks Out From Launching
It’s almost time for the big event, so now is when you want to focus on outreach to both customers and potential influencers who might be interested in your product.
The launch of the business is happening soon, so now is the time to get potential users excited without worrying they will lose interest. If someone says they will come to an event, there is a better chance they will come. It is important to stay fresh in their mind so that they are just as ready for opening day as you are.
KEEP UP THE POSTING
At this point, regular posting is especially important. Remember to post reminders about your upcoming launch date, as well as behind-the-scenes photos of you and your team preparing for the event. Post about what you’re looking forward to doing for your business, as well as any press or reviews from bloggers and influencers. This way, your followers can get a glimpse of what you’re up to and be excited about it too!
Make sure to pay attention to your posts and see if customers are asking any questions. It’s important to answer messages quickly on Facebook so you can get the “responds quickly” badge.
START RUNNING SOCIAL MEDIA ADS
Organic marketing is not enough, you need to PPC too. If you’re looking to create effective social media ads, you should focus on Facebook and Instagram Ads. They’re not only some of the most effective ads you can create, but they’re also very cost efficient. You can—and should—run several different campaigns, including:
- Promoting your grand opening event, if you have one
- An ad announcing your new business with a brief introduction
- A product-focused ad, with features and benefits included (carousel ads are great for this)
After you have taken care of all the necessary steps, you can finally start your business! Be sure to change any PPC ads that say “coming soon” to reflect other offers or events. Be sure to document the live event with photos, videos, user-generated content, and even live video to share on social media so you can keep the momentum you’ve got going.
Do these things first to maximize your social media profits right out of the gate
Social media isn’t just for kids anymore. If you want to be successful in business today, you need to have a strong social media presence. Whether you’re a fan or not, there are ways to use social media to your advantage – especially when it comes to advertising
Pick your platforms—but focus on only two
There are many social media platforms available, but they will not all provide the same benefits for your small business. Find out which platforms your target audience is spending the most time on, and focus your efforts on those two platforms.
Don’t let technology own you—make it work for you
If you are learning about CPM vs CPC bidding or using a lot of different tools, stop! Unless you’re a software developer, you don’t need to know how to code.
As you learn how to use social media for advertising, just use the basic settings on your platform of choice. And avoid Facebook Power Editor.
Get your data together
As a small-business owner, embrace this. The data they are giving you will allow for more accurate targeting.
You will need to connect your website and email list to Facebook, Twitter and Google so that all of your audiences are in one place. You can then start following customers around.
Get your social media “plumbing” in place
Get these things set up to driving your master social media plan forward:
- Google Analytics with conversion tracking in place on whatever leads/sales matter to you
- A dollar value assigned to leads, sales, or other events. Choose a placeholder value if you’re not sure
- Google AdWords account, so you can run remarketing ads for people who abandon your site
- Facebook page set up for your business with proper cover image, a video, link to your site and 10 posts
- Facebook ads account set up so you can boost posts and import audiences
- Facebook and Twitter conversion tracking on your site in the same places that you have Google conversion tracking
- Twitter profile for your business, properly completed, so you can check analytics and post/reply to tweets
- Marketing automation system with at least 1,000 emails in your list. If your number is smaller, just don’t expect high ROI at first
Although these items are more advanced, they are still important to have in place. So, before you start the setup, grab a cup of coffee.
- Google Webmaster Tools, so you know what keywords people are searching on
- YouTube channel for your business with at least one video professionally made with you describing your business
- Twitter ads account so you can run Twitter remarketing (called tailored audiences)
- LinkedIn company profile with ads account set up
If any of these pieces of equipment are too difficult to set up, you can pay someone a couple hundred dollars to do it for you.
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