Ever since the words “social media” became a big topic, it seems like everyone has had a specific opinion on it and what it’s good for. It also seems like the basics, and those claims of the benefits, change every day. Did you know that Facebook started off as a network solely for college students? Now, many small businesses are eschewing websites in favor of just having a few well-maintained social media pages. If you’re not already using social media for your advertising and marketing, read on to find out how to get started.

Know Your Needs and Goals

Running a successful marketing campaign on social media can be a whole lot more involved, and expensive, than just starting and maintaining a page. The first step is to take a look at where your business and its finances are, and where you want them to be. If your goal is to increase subscribers to your newsletter, that campaign is going to look different than a company whose goal is to increase their business so they can start selling popsicles out of a store rather than their house. Depending on what your goals are, you need to be aware of the costs. Do some research and come up with a hard-and-fast number that’s your limit, or you might find yourself spending more than you expect.

Know Yourself and Audience

The next step is to identify where you’re going to advertise. A social media advertising campaign for that popsicle company is probably going to do a lot better on a site like Facebook or Nextdoor than on LinkedIn – you want to know what platforms your target audience uses. This is also the step where you want to start defining the campaign itself. Consistency here will be helpful, since you want people to recognize who you are and what you do. The words you choose to use, the colors, all of that will impact how potential customers and clients react to the ads they see. 

Know Your Platforms and Strategies

After you’ve identified your target audience and how the campaign works, the next step is to do your research regarding how you’re able to advertise on various platforms. Not only do platforms have various different means of advertising, they also have different costs and restrictions for those options as well. Spend some time looking at the options and identify what works best for you.