Social Media Marketing Hacks: For Beginners

By Vimbai Samatha Mukaro, Founder of VIP Shopping AE

Starting a business or side hustle in the 21st century can be such a daunting experience! While social media has proved a blessing for small business owners in many ways; it has also presented new challenges that business owners before did not have to grapple with. All of a sudden you need to manage professional business pages on popular social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, in addition to running the day-to-day background processes like keeping your financial records up-to-date and managing actual sales. What’s more, there is the constant worry about content to post on your pages, how to craft and design visually appealing posts and pictures and generate enough interest to get a respectable amount of social media followers. To be honest, it’s easier for most of us to turn a blind eye and neglect the whole ordeal all together. All we simply do is open a Facebook and Instagram page; design a website or outsource the job, and then are satisfied to think we have hacked the bare minimum requirements for running a 21st century business. As a new small business owner, I have become all too familiar with the realities of trying to manage social media marketing, and that’s why I have decided to share a few tricks and tips to help someone rocking the same boat!

Invest in social media marketing courses. I cannot stress this enough. Rather than going in blindly, it would be wise to actually invest in affordable social media marketing courses to help you get your head around the concept. Thanks to the digital age, you do not need to find someone locally; there are lots of options available online.

Use Facebook advertising. You really need to focus on generating interest and raising awareness about your business. While you can rely on free advertising on your own personal page or encourage your friends and family to spread the word on theirs, this is simply not enough. Here’s a quick fact – very rarely will your own friends and family actually buy anything from you. Most of your clients will be complete strangers. Facebook advertising will help you to share your business page and concept with individuals who are not in your social circle and who will be more likely to support your business financially. You can thank me later.

Use free Applications and software programmes online to design social media images, videos and posts. There are a plethora of free software programmes online to help you design good quality, visually appealing images. My favourite is Canva for quality images and Lumen5 for videos; going as far as even investing in the paid versions, which have made my life the more easier. You can also try out others like Crello and Powtoons. These software programmes have free editable templates which you can use to design engaging posts, videos and images without outsourcing. They are also relatively easy to use and navigate around, offering as well a lovely range of diverse options.

Plan your social media calendar in advance. You can actually plan your social media posts in advance and design the accompanying images and content which may be posted at a later date. This will allow you to focus on background processes and the daily running of your business without compromising your social media marketing strategy. You can set aside some time to plan ahead and design all posts and images for the specified time period once a week or month. In order to track my social media calendar and automate my posts – I use Trello.com. This is another free software programme online that can make your life a whole lot easier.

Generate useful content. One of the social media marketing strategies I came across was that 80% of what you post should be free information and tid-bits that will add value to your ideal client in some way (obviously topics in line with your business) and only 20% on advertising your services and products. This is still something I am currently working on, having not quite reached the goal yet. In order to find out what your ideal client would be interested in – all you have to do is hang around where your target market likes to spend time on social media – join the groups and highlight the topics that they talk about – especially the ones which you know your business can address directly. You can then craft all your social media posts and content in line with those topics to ensure they grab the attention of your ideal clients.

There you have it – these are the few tricks and hacks I have used on my own social media marketing journey. I wish you all the best on your journey – and hope these tips will help you socialize more.

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