Today, social media is bridging the gap between business and consumer, making it easier to connect than ever before. Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest have created a web of value for small business owners by making it possible to reach a wide range of potential buyers at virtually no cost. The problem faced by many small business owners is the fact that they do not have the capital to invest in hiring a social media manager; leaving the duties of their business’s social media accounts in their own hands. I am going to discuss ways in which, you as a small business owner, can manage all of your accounts as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Similar to when you created your first business plan, create a social media plan. No, this isn’t to show potential investors, it is a way for you to gauge if what you are doing is actually working. Schedule times throughout the day to work on your social media campaign; be sure to set aside at least an hour to do so. Also, make sure to create realistic goals for yourself.  How many leads do you want to generate through social media this month? How many unique visitors do you want to drive to your site? Maybe you want to increase the conversion rate of visitors into buyers.  Whatever your goals may be, make sure to write them down and stick to them. It is very easy to become lost in the social media universe, wondering aimlessly from one site to the next.

Another way to avoid becoming a social media zombie is to figure out which sites are best for you and your business. A good way to figure this out is to answer the following questions:

1.)    Which social media sites are most relevant to my target demographic?

2.)    Which social media sites enable me to brand my products in clear & concise ways?

3.)    Which social media sites will produce the biggest payoff for my business?

I know there are probably a ton of questions swirling around up there; but for now, write out your social media goals and answer these questions. Tomorrow, I will go more in depth on how to manage your accounts, gauge your results, and essentially become a social media superstar. If you have any questions, feel free to comment on this post.