Social media has become a pivotal part of a successful marketing campaign – and business growth. In the beginning, it can feel like a minefield littered with more questions than answers; what can I post on social media? Why do I need it? When should I post? Why is it important to my business? Luckily, you’re in the right place to clear up some of these questions, here are some of the key reasons to implement and extend your social media use right away! Social media is important to the success of small businesses An SEO strategy will provide focus and measurable outcomes for your social media usage. Set targets: want to build up 100 followers a month? Perhaps make two sales a week directed from your latest Instagram post? Explore ‘stories’ and mixed media such as images, videos or ‘live sessions’ to see what gets your message out best. This will help to increase your brand’s recognition. Research by referral marketing platform Ambassador revealed that 7 in 10 (71%) of people who have a positive social media experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others… and it doesn’t have to cost the earth. Small business web design can be a considerable – albeit essential – investment. However, using social media will direct more people to your site and can be a comparatively cheaper way of advertising than traditional marketing methods; maximum impact, minimal outlay. Keep it fresh – and create original content The first hurdle many small businesses face when it comes to increasing their social media presence is apparent lack of content. Fear of creating poor content leads to many creating no content – which can be far worse. Blogs are a worthwhile way to deliver your views, news, and expertise without appearing to force it upon your followers. Regular blogs will keep your site riding high on Google, and will give more people more opportunities to visit your website – making you more likely to gain new customers! “But my business doesn’t have an individual story. I’m a local SEO company. Or, I’m a butcher, a hairdresser or a lawyer”: A common, and untrue perceived barrier to social media usage. Every brand has a story to tell – it’s all about how you narrate it. Take Oreo – how many interesting posts can a biscuit company possibly have on a regular basis? Ask their 850,000+ followers! Oreo’s powerful social media strategy sees the brand take every opportunity to be topical and witty has earned the brand a legion of followers. An example is when the 2013 Superbowl where the power went out for more than 30 minutes. Oreo tweeted an image simply saying “you can still dunk in the dark” which was retweeted more than 15,000 times! It became one of the talking points for marketers around the world following the event. It is a fantastic example of how a little creativity and a small outlay can reap big rewards – millions of dollars for Superbowl advertising not essential! Take the ‘Oreo’ approach in your marketing campaign and incorporate blogs and snippets onto your social media stream to express your business’ narrative in a unique and engaging way. It doesn’t have to be directly related to your products, services or even business to be effective! Timing is everything Strike a balance. You don’t want to deter followers by posting every five minutes, but you also don’t want to have an inconsistent stream of posts and get lost in the abyss. Use software such as Hootsuite to help plan and schedule posts. Spend one day scheduling a week or a month’s posts. Respond to comments on a daily basis rather than having to create content every day – your time is precious and posting can easily take a back seat when a busy period arrives. And be sure you carefully time your postings. If you are a New York-based content marketer, be sure to be posting about content marketing services in New York , during the most optimal time. If you’re posting at 3am then there’s little chance of traction. Best time spots differ for each social platform. But you know your customers (and their likely daily grind) better than anyone. Be conscious of this when posting! We recommend the following best times to post: Facebook: Sat. & Sunday 12:00 – 1:00, Thurs. & Friday – 1-4pm Peak time Wed. – 3:00 Twitter: Monday – Thurs. – 12-3:00pm, Peak time – Mon.-Thurs. 5-6pm LinkedIn: Tues., Wed., Thurs. – 7:30-8:30am, 5-6pm, Tues. 10-11:00am, 12 noon Pinterest: Saturday 8-11:00pm, Fridays 3pm Your digital storefront is just as important as your physical one (…especially if you are an e-commerce venture based purely online!) Masses of visitors from social media directed to a poor website can be detrimental. It will put people off visiting again. A successful marketing campaign is reliant on a modern, regularly updated website. Your business isn’t static, and your website shouldn’t be either! Employ experts to ensure your website is working to its full potential every dayArticle Submission, and is optimized for your individual customers’ preferences.