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The marketing mantra for the past few years has been all about social media. Every business owners are venturing into the social media bandwagon. MNC companies and simple home-based business now have a Facebook page. If you haven’t used social media to market your product and services, you’re going to love how easy it is to get started.

Why social media and how it can help to boost your business?
The most important issues every small business owners need to address at the beginning of their start-up is limited resources. As a startup, you need to accomplish a lot with limited resources.Traditional marketing methods will cost you more money and drain your money sooner than expected. On the other hand, Social Media marketing is pretty low-cost and gives you an opportunity to meet new business leads and customers. It is absolutely free to start marketing your product and services in Social Media. But you have to compensate the money you save with your time. To see the result in Social Media, you need to invest your time. A proper planning and efficient use of resources is required to achieve the result you need.This guide is for business owners who are new to Social Media but want to learn how to establish and build their brand using Social Media.

Plan your Social Media Strategy
Until the destination is clear, many are hesitant to begin. Sit with your team and plan what is the main objective of your social media campaign and how you want to execute the social media campaign.

Choosing Right Social Media Platform & Setting up Accounts
There are many social media channels. For a beginner, it will be a tough job to participate
effectively in all this social media channel. Focus on the selected number of social media channel and build your presence. Then diversify slowly to other social media channels. Facebook is well known and most popular social media channel. Other frequently used social media channels are Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and blogs. Once you decide which channel you want to start with, be sure to secure your brand username in each social media channel.

Setting Targets
Most of the businesses tap into social media to achieve a specific target. When you plan your social media campaign for your brand, you need to set a specific target. Some of the common social media targets are:

Generating new sales lead
Generating sales
Increasing brand awareness
Increasing customer loyalty
Social media marketing also helps companies to increase productivity. Big brands are using social media channels to provide effective customer service. Social media also help businesses to increase awareness of product issues or improvements. Big corporations use social media to identify customer issues with products and services.

Another important area you need to address while setting the social media target is advertisement cost. If you want to accelerate your social media performance, it’s crucial you explore paid advertising options. Some of the question you should ask yourself while planning your social media budget is:

How much should you pay for a Facebook like?
How much should you spend on Facebook sponsor stories?
How much should you spend on Twitter promoted content and promoted accounts(promoted accounts help increase the size of your Twitter following)?
How much should you spend on LinkedIn advertising?
How much should you spend on LinkedIn sponsored updates?
If used strategically, social media advertising can produce great results. Do not dismiss social media advertising.

Social Media Policy
Once you decide to put your brand in social media, you need to enact a social media policy for your company that explains how the social media channel can be used and the guideline of communicating in the online world. A proper social media policy educate the employee on what is the right method of using social media and provide ground for a company to take corrective action against those who fail to obey.

Content Strategies
Content is the key to social media success. You need to share great contents on your social media channel to attract the crowd. You need to learn a creative way of producing and publishing contents. As a content creator, you need to be able to generate an unending stream of unique contents. Once you decide what kind of contents you want to share with your audience, you need to develop a working editorial planner in which you can plan and track your content, and after it’s published, record results.

Connect with your customers
Speak to the person, not the machine. Connecting to your customer is the key to social media success. The sales are closed by a real person who is behind all those social media profiles and screen name. While sharing your social media contents, emphasize how you can add value to them. You need to show them that they can trust you. Interactivity is the USP of social media marketing. Unlike any other marketing method, in social media, you can interact with your customers immediately. Always respond to your customer inquiries and find a way to interact with them in a regular basis.

Monitoring & Analytic
Social media marketing can help to increase brand awareness and allow you to engage with your customers. However to achieve great success in your social media marketing you need to measure and analyze your results.

Building a team
There are multiple social media channels that you need to build your social media presence, but things can go terribly wrong if the campaign is poorly executed. You need to have the right people on your social media teams. You need to select people who are passionate about social media and creative. Social media success is teamwork and you need to choose a team player to be part of your social media team. The team members should clearly understand your company social media objective and goals. Once the team has been selected, they need to be briefed about your company social media policy. This is very important to avoid any kind of social media related disasters.

Processes
Step-by-step processes on how to execute the social media campaign should be identified.Everyone in the social media team should follow this process accordingly to achieve targeted results.

Social Media Mishaps
You need to be prepared to handle any kind of social media crisis or mishaps. You need to plan for the worst, hope for the best. Learn how big brands are handling their social media crisis and be prepared to tackle any problems that come in your way. Incorporate online reputation monitoring solutions in your social media campaign. You need to have a way to gather news about your business, product, and services. If any issues arise, be ready to tackle them in the beginning stage.

Perfecting Social Media Campaign
You need to be very consistent in your social media efforts. Execute the social media campaign as per your plan. To stay on top of your social media plan, review your metrics report regularly. If can review your metrics every week. Based on your social media result, make an adjustment for anything that’s not working. Improvise your strategy and move forward.

Finally, when you use social media to build your brand’s online presence, the most important thing to remember is that social media marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. Consistently follow the given social media guides and you’ll be seeing the successful results.

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