Published September 22nd, 2018 by Pathways Digital

How to Begin Your Social Media Outreach Today

It can be overwhelming. Starting your social media reach and engagement for your small business can seem like a Herculean task. The amount of platforms available and the attention to individualized requirements can make it a time-consuming venture just to get started. Let’s lay out a few key tips on how to make the most of your initial efforts.

1. Ensure that you have a responsively designed website.

How does your website look and perform across devices? A minority of small business have fully optimized their website. It has been reported that only 25% of small businesses have the know-how to create a mobile optimized website. Millennials do most of their shopping online and use smartphones to search reviews, investigate websites and make a purchase. Review the layout and performance of your site online as all of your social media efforts are done to lead visitors down that yellow brick road to your website. Your text and images need to be easily viewed on the window of their choice. If they cannot read it, they will not buy.

2. Set up your local listings.

As a small business, your visitors to your brick and mortar business will most likely draw from the surrounding communities. Use online local listings to raise your profile in organic searches. Consider having your business verified on Yahoo Local, Google + Local, Yelp, and Bing Local. This link will help you get started on your Yahoo listing and increase your visibility. Potential prospects should be able to search your area and your offering, such as San Bernardino and Lawyer, and come across your listings and any related reviews.

3. Do some basic keyword research.

Keyword research allows your small business to brainstorm content for your social media marketing strategy, find trending content, and take advantage of search and social media as sources for your traffic. These 6 free tools can help you brainstorm topics, get more information on hashtags, and filter actual questions people type into search boxes. Keywords can be used throughout all of your content and your ad campaigns to maximize your efforts.

4. Find your audience.

This is usually easier said and done and comes back to your unique selling proposition and your target audience. The more that you get specific on your audience and your differentiating factor (what do you offer that your competitors do not), the easier it will be to find the right communities online. Select a maximum of 3 social media platform to start with. If you are product oriented, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube should be of value to your business. If you are a B2B organization, LinkedIn is a must. Set up your basic profile, ensure that all links within and to your website work, optimize your images for each platform to be viewed properly and connect to communities that will be of interest. Seed your platform with some interesting and education content and regularly create, curate and share posts. Post and manage your engagement and any comments from visitors. People expect to connect and engage with your brand on your social media platform. It is better to master a few platforms and manage them properly than to leave your online presence spread out but unattended. Check out this plan for social media management that takes only 18 minutes. Social media is a necessary part of maintaining an active online presence and driving new traffic. Plan out a basic social media strategy and review and reflect on the response from each of your initiatives. Eventually, you will understand what approach and offers are best suited for your audience. You can do this. Everywhere!

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