As a business owner, you need to be marketing your business where customers are looking for services like yours. Right now, that place is social media. In fact, the average person spends almost 2 hours on social media platforms every day. The most popular sites are YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest and Instagram.

Unlike more traditional marketing platforms, such as television, radio, and print, social media marketing is accessible to everyone. It offers low barriers to entry and low- and no-cost opportunities for sharing your products or services with a large audience.

Like any good marketing plan, your social media marketing should be based on a strategy designed to most effectively engage your target market. While you can spend a lot of money advertising on various social media sites, there are also quite a few ways you can boost your social media presence without spending a dime.

Here are 6 no-cost strategies you can use right now to boost your social media marketing.

Take Stock

Before you start implementing new strategies, it’s a good idea to examine what you already have in place. Spend some time doing a complete review of all your existing social media assets to make sure they’re showing off your business in the best light.

  • On what platforms does your business have a social media presence? Do they all add value to your marketing strategy?
  • Do all the sites have a quality (not blurry) profile and background photos that are relevant to your business?
  • Are all the profile fields completed with quality information about your business?
  • Are all of the business details and contact information up-to-date?
  • Who has administrative access to update and manage the pages?
  • Is anyone responding to customer inquiries and monitoring comments?
  • How much engagement are you getting on each platform right now?
  • How often are you posting content to each platform?

A full review of your existing social media assets will give you a better understanding of what changes will best help your marketing efforts. Keep in mind that a good social media strategy doesn’t have to include every available platform. If you find social media sites for your business that aren’t being used regularly, like a YouTube channel with no new videos posted since 2013, you might consider making those pages private for now, to focus on sites that can be better leveraged to support your marketing. You can always add those sites back into the strategy in the future, should it make sense.

Plan and Automate

One of the most important parts of a social media strategy is consistency. Posting four times a day for a week and then nothing for two weeks will not prompt the kind of engagement you’re looking for. You need to create a plan for how often you can reasonably post to your accounts and stick with it. For some businesses, that’s multiple posts per day across multiple platforms. For others, it might mean one or two posts per week.

Creating a content calendar is a great way to schedule posts and stick to it. You can start by creating a monthly or quarterly calendar that lists the platform, type of post, ideas for content, and the day and time for the post. You can use your own calendar or create a special one in Google Drive to be shared with your team. A calendar provides easy reminders and creates accountability to make sure those posts are getting done as scheduled.

Another easy way to stick to your posting schedule is to use an automated tool, such as Hootsuite or Buffer. With these tools, you can upload multiple posts at once and schedule them to be posted across multiple platforms at any time in the future. This eliminates the problem of social media posts constantly getting pushed to the bottom of the to-do list. You just set aside a few hours every week or month and your posting is done for that timeframe.

There can be a cost associated with social media management tools, but most solutions, including Hootsuite and Buffer, offer a free option that allows you to manage and post to a small number of platforms without any fees.

Use Your Local Network

Running cross-promotions with other businesses is a great tool for generating buzz and widening your social media reach. Talk with businesses you frequently work with as clients, vendors, or partners. There are lots of ways you can help each other increase social media engagement, like sharing each other’s posts, offering recommendations, and doing specials discounts or giveaways to promote the other business. In addition to expanding your social media reach, these promotions can lead to instant inquiries and sales.

Build Trust and Engage with Your Customers

Customers want to feel connected to the businesses they use. Having a reputation for responding quickly and positively to social media comments is a great way to build your online following.

When users can see that your business engages quickly with clients on both good and bad issues, it builds confidence and inspires trust. People are more likely to do business with companies they trust, so the value of responding quickly to social media inquiries can’t be overstated.

Use Your Analytics

So, you’ve been working hard on your business’ social media platforms, posting regularly and engaging with your customers. But how do you know if all this work is actually working? Nearly all social media platforms designed for business use offer insight into your account via analytics. Depending on the site, you can see how many people viewed a post, clicked on it, shared it, etc. You can track followers and comments and even sales, in some cases.

Tracking the analytics over time will show you which platforms are offering you the most return on your time invested and which types of posts receive the most engagement from your audience. This will allow you to refine your social media strategy over time to do more of the things that are working and eliminate the things that aren’t.

Share the Workload

Many small businesses can’t afford a full-time social media manager. That’s okay. You can make your social media marketing a team effort by splitting the responsibility among different team members. Then, you don’t have a single person shouldering the entire social media burden.

Spreading the work out over the entire team has the added benefit of generating a wide variety of posting types and ideas. A graphic designer, for example, will have much different ideas about interesting posts than an engineer. Variety is critical in social media. Constantly posting the same thing will be boring to your followers and lower engagement.

Getting everyone involved is also a great way to encourage team building among your employees. You can run contests between teams or individuals to see who can create the posts with the most engagement.

There’s no doubt that creating a winning social media strategy requires a dedicated investment of time, but as you can see, there are many ways to boost your social media presence without spending a lot of money.

Interested in improving your social media reach, but not sure where to start?

Regex SEO is a Houston-based digital marketing company that offers a comprehensive array of digital marketing services, created to help our clients achieve online success. We utilize cutting edge technology and industry best practices to encourage social participation and develop a community environment between your brand and your customers. We offer a first class customer experience that provides measurable results. Request a free consultation and review of your current social media strategy today.

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