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Social Media for SMBs in 2015

Business owners, no matter how small the operation, can no longer ignore social media. Make the most of your online presence in 2015 by learning to turn posts into sales.

ENGAGEMENT > FOLLOWER COUNT

While having millions of followers is great, it’s more important to have an engaged following. Engaged followers buy your product, encourage their friends to look at your brand and perform the vital function of word-of-mouth marketing. When looking for numbers to show the growth in your pages, think about more realistic metrics: impressions, total reach and click-through rate.

TRACK YOUR EFFORTS

In some ways, social media marketing is no different than traditional marketing: invest in platforms you can track. Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest all have built-in management tools for businesses. Third-party sites like Curelate will compile the stats from Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr for you in one convenient place. By keeping records of how each site performs with your brand, you can easily decide where to put money to get the most bang for your buck. In some cases, you can directly correlate your sales with these social advertising numbers — we call this the point of conversion.

CONTENT IS KING

Focus on creating a captive audience by mixing posts that sell your product/service with relevant trending content. Even better, link back to your blog, where you can keep your customers engaged after the point of sale by providing valuable content to them. For example, if your business is in the beauty industry, post about seasonal skin care tips, the best lipstick to wear to an office holiday party or how to maintain the shape of a long beard. Give your customers a reason to look at your page even when they aren’t due for a haircut.

BIGGER, BETTER IMAGERY

A 140-character post is simply too long for many consumers to read. The key to capturing new audiences in 2015 is bright, beautiful imagery. This could mean investing in a professional photographer or starting up an Instagram. Videos are also great to market your business on social media. The Ice Bucket Challenge last summer is a perfect example of how a simple call to action in a video can create a viral campaign.

STICK TO WHAT WORKS

One of the most important things to remember this year is that your business does not need to be on every social media channel. Pick those that have the best impact on your fan base. The best way to decide which is best is to look at the engagement and reach on each.

TRUST THE PROFESSIONALS

Looking for the best way to make an impact with your social media marketing in 2015? Hire professionals. While anyone can create a social media page, managing it efficiently — in a way that turns a profit for your business — requires more than just checking it once or twice a day. While organic reach is nearly non-existent, the cost per acquisition on social media is still a fraction of what you’ll pay for traditional advertising, so get the most bang for your buck by turning to a PR or marketing agency to run your pages.

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