By Pratik Dholakiya, business.com writer
Every business, no matter how small, can reap the returns of social media. Here's how.You'd think that having a social media strategy for your business – large or small – would be a no-brainer. While business owners and marketing professionals undoubtedly agree that social media is important for business, it's surprising that quarter of small businesses still have no social media presence at all!
Excuses like not having enough time to devote to creating a social media strategy are frankly invalid. With such great tools available, as well as increasing measurability of the returns of social media marketing, it is critical that your business has a bulletproof social media plan in place.
Here's how to do it.
1. Learn what's trendingIf there's one word that can be used to describe social media, it's "fast-paced." What is "in" one day could very well be gone the next. Staying up to date with trends, while not being overly trendy, can be difficult.
If you are running social media for your business, you need to be in tune with the news, language and culture of each platform as it develops. Consistently monitor hashtags and widely shared content. Additionally, be sure you are regularly reading social media blogs to stay informed: Social Media Today and Social Media Examiner are two that will always keep you on top of your game.
For inspiration on the types of posts that would be best for your business, start by getting a feel for trending topics across the web. Using a social media listening tool like Brandwatch, you can search brand names or competitors. You can also find conversations taking place in your industry about your brand and your competitors.
Following social media influencers also helps you keep a finger on the pulse, too. These individuals are influential for a reason, so follow their example and learn from them. See what types of content they share and how they engage with their audience. Observing these leaders will give you an example of how to run your social media account successfully, and it will hopefully help you avoid common mistakes.
2. Keep a bank of timeless posts