Social media can provide savvy small business owners with a fantastic return-on-investment. It takes time to build followers and see return but the brand building and affordable marketing opportunities are tremendous. Here are five simple tips to help you win with social media.

1. Research your market. A detailed SEO analysis can help you identify strengths and weaknesses in your inbound marketing strategy. What do your customers search for on your site? Where do they visit online? How can you add value?

2. Prepare a strategy. The world of social media is large and potentially confusing; there are many different networks, each with its own benefits and pitfalls. Knowing what you want to accomplish (fans, sales leads, drive traffic to your site) and writing it down, is the best way to stay focused on social media initiatives.

3. Develop an execution plan. Most small businesses don’t have the resources to spend on a large social media campaigns. Start small. Our SEO software provides an itemized checklist directing you to the main contenders — Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Linked In — go where your customers are. You may find a basic editorial calendar planned a month in advance helps you stay on task and keeps writer’s block away.

It’s important to start by listening, social media is really a ‘non-selling’ channel. Statistics say that 90% of comments should be directed at helping/engaging with your customer and only 10% should ever directly reference your service or product.

4. Stick with it. This is the hard part. At first, it seems easy but when no one responds to your brilliantly penned ‘tweets’, it can be a little tough to continue. You’ll have to commit to at least a year before you start to see some traction. Social media monitoring tools like Hootsuite or Sprout Social are well worth the investment.

5. Find your voice. This is critical component to your social media plan. Do you want to talk in a friendly first-person voice to your audience or should your style more informational and fact-based? Use comfortable language for the audience you are trying to reach. Be consistent and always authentic!

Winning with social media can be difficult, but companies who focus on building their brand and sharing a message through social media can reap huge rewards. With a disciplined approach and an eye towards customer service, any business can successfully travel through the world of social media.

Our do it yourself SEO software can get you started with a free 7-day trial. If you find you’re too busy or the social media tasks too much to manage, our team of do-it-for-me experts are happy to help. Contact us today about affordable social media support.