So, you’ve decided to take your small business to the next level. You may have heard about social media marketing and how it can help grow your business. But in the day to day tasks of running your small business, establishing a social media management program may not be at the top of your priorities.

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Well, it’s time to change that! It isn’t too hard to start a social media management program. In fact, small business owners used to old-school yellow page ads are doing themselves a major disservice by not establishing a social media marketing strategy to drive inbound leads.

The neat part is, depending on your particular type of business, you can customize your social media based on who you want to target and what you sell. It’s not a one size fits all type of thing! From Instagram’s fun photo sharing app to the real-time updates of Twitter, social media provides numerous ways of reaching your audience in different and creative ways. Above all, social media marketing is an amazing way to drive traffic to your website.

There’s no reason why a small business owner can’t tap into the ever-growing online audience. Whether you run a clothing shop or operate an industrial machinery company, all businesses can benefit from social media marketing. It’s all a matter of targeting your prospective customer and getting them to the prize – your website!

Learn about the different social media platforms before you jump into a social media management program. Here’s a brief rundown:

  • Facebook: with 800 million users monthly, this platform is the granddaddy of them all. Facebook is a great social media marketing platform for those B2C users who want to share helpful content, as well as connect with their customers through promotions. This platform is also visually driven and is beneficial as a way to show the fun side of your company.
  • Twitter:  The real-time updates known as tweets make this social media platform a great discovery zone for professionals of all types, including small business owners (especially B2B) and media. Twitter is a great way to connect to thought leaders in your industry, as well as help build your own company’s presence and establish yourself as an expert in your niche or industry. Twitter has over 250 million monthly users.
  • LinkedIn: This professional networking site has over 200 million users monthly, and is a terrific platform for individuals to build business connections and for companies to learn about who they’re hiring. Its two major components, Connections and Groups, enable users to network and exchange information.
  • Google Plus: Any small business marketing strategy includes Google Plus. With 150 million users and growing, this platform is a must for SEO and search engine marketing. Similar to Facebook, Google Plus provides status updates and content sharing. What makes it unique is that it allows for segmentation of your contacts, so you can various audiences to market your content to, such as friends, family and business.
  • Pinterest: Let your brand’s pictures tell your company’s story. With over 140.5 million monthly users, this platform is great for the online retailer or ecommerce site, with sales from Pinterest double those over the other major platforms. This is a definite must-have for any social media management program.
  • Instagram: This fun photo sharing app has over 50 million users and continues to increase. What makes Instagram unique is the fact that uploads take place solely on smartphones through the app. One can style photos taken with the various filters available on the platform, and share them through other sites like Twitter and Facebook.  You can also use Instagram tags to improve discoverability by other users.
  • YouTube: if you share video content, this platform is a must for your social media marketing efforts. A great way to inform and educate your customers, creating a custom YouTube channel with videos embedded on your own small business site is a wonderful, fun ambassador for your brand (and a way to reach over 490 million users of the popular platform).

Social media marketing, when done effectively, can help build your small business and drive traffic! Each platform has its benefits for particular types of small businesses. Are you ready to get started in building your company’s social media management program to drive your small business marketing plan forward?