Social Media for Small Business - Where do I start?

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As more and more people are taking the plunge into entrepreneurship, whether it be a side hobby, a creative endeavour you are exploring after retirement, or a full on brick and mortar retail location, it is insanely overwhelming to start and run a business on your own.   For many the world of online marketing and social media is a scary road to navigate, and with new social networks and modes of B2C communication continuously evolving, It can be hard to know where to start and where your business belongs in the mix.  

No matter your business, here are a few tips to getting started with a well rounded marketing strategy, and how to use social media to execute it.

Define Your Ideal Customer

It is very important to first and foremost identify the "ideal customer" for your business. WHO you are marketing to directly will impact WHAT message/value statement you create and HOW you will deliver this message to the audience.  The Ideal Customer helps shape many aspects of your business from marketing material (both traditional and online) including tone, content and what social profiles you will choose for your business, to pricing and customer service tactics to attract and speak to your target market.

This article from Autopilot has a great summary of questions to ask to define your ideal client, along with detailed information on how to get great answers for those questions and how they will impact your business messaging, and I've summarized them here:

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If you're a visual learner, or need some more specific prompts to get your target market identified, I also created this worksheet to help!  It'll help you outline some brands, values and behaviours of your ideal customer and its available for download here:

 

TIP: Remember to BE SUPER SPECIFIC in your answers to these questions.  E.g. Where does your client get their information?  A general answer like "blogs" isn't distinctive enough, but when you provide another layer of detail, it becomes clear who you're talking to. Really drill down.  When your ideal client is researching a topic, where do they go? Blogs? Google? Facebook? Twitter? Magazines? Newspapers? Write your findings in a sentence for clarity: "When Dave looks for information, he goes to informative podcasts like Joe Rogan and Duncan Trussell." or "When Deanna is looking for information, she goes to Twitter and searches local news outlets in her city."

My next blog will be detailing how to communicate your story to your ideal client via different social platforms. 

I encourage you to also check out this blog post I wrote on different social media profiles by demographic, so you can get an idea of what profiles you'll want to focus on for your business.