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Social Media Marketing: What It Is – And Isn’t

Small business owners feel a sense of urgency to jump into social media. Before spending money and time using Social Media, understand what it is – and isn’t – and how it can help you and your business.

social media

REVIEW: Big Picture

1. A Business Plan defines the vision and mission of your business, as well as your goals and objectives. There are 4 essential sections to a Business Plan: Business Description, Marketing Plan, Operation and Management Plan, and a Financial Plan.

2. A Marketing Plan defines your customers, their likes and dislikes, and their expectations. Your Marketing Plan is a portion of your overall Business Plan and outlines the methods that you will use to reach your customers. A Marketing Plan also estimates the money that you will need to achieve your goals.

3. Social Media is a part of your Marketing Plan. Social Media is one of many marketing channels used to get your customers to know, like, and trust you. Businesses use Social Media to reach more people, to present the business as a persona, and to engage their customers in conversations. Social Media isn’t about advertising and selling. It’s about participation and discussion, not just selling. You don’t just shout ad slogans at people.

Also, it is essential that you understanding who your target audience is and which Social Media Tools and Social Media Platforms they prefer. After all, there’s no point having a Twitter account if your customers aren’t using Twitter. Also, remember to set realistic goals for Social Media.

4. Content is the heart of Social Media. Content is information and experiences that are shared with your business persona and your customers to promote ideas, engage them in dialog, and encourage them to take action. Content provides value for your customers. Content is king!

A common fallacy in business is that Social Media is free and occurs in your spare time. Yes, it is true that Social Media accounts are free, but updating the Content takes time and effort. Social Media detritus includes abandoned Facebook pages, blogs with only one post, inactive Twitter accounts, etc. You need to manage the work involved, figure out where the time and effort is coming from, and decide who is going to be in charge of your Social Media marketing.

Do you have a Business Plan? Do you have an overall Marketing Plan? Have you determined Social Media is one of your options, but are not sure how to do it? Sign up online http://tarrantsbdc.org for one of our classes, or call 817-515-2603 to schedule an appointment with a Business Advisor.

By Deb Liptak

Business Advisor, Tarrant SBDC