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Using social media for marketing can enable small business looking to further their reach to more customers. Your customers are interacting with brands through social media, therefore, having a strong social media marketing planand presence on the web is the key to tap into their interest. If implemented correctly, marketing with social media can bring remarkable success to your business.

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing, or SMM, is a form of internet marketing that implements various social media networks in order to achieve marketing communication and branding goals. Social media marketing primarily covers activities involving social sharing of content, videos, and images for marketing purposes.

At WordStream, we’ve created this guide to provide you with the social media marketing training you need to better your business. We want to give small businesses on short budgets an alternative to hiring a social media marketing agency or paying for social media marketing services.

With our Social Media Marketing 101 Guide below, you can begin developing your own social media marketing expert plan.

Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses: Learn Social Media Marketing 101

This education guide gives a basic overview on how to use social media for marketing, serving as a social media marketing for dummies manual. Read to learn about how to reap the benefits of using social media in marketing.

Social Media and Marketing: Start With a Plan

Before you begin creating social media marketing campaigns, consider your business’ goals. Starting a social media marketing campaign without a social strategy in mind is like wandering through a forest without a map—you’ll only end up lost.

Create a social media marketing plan and brainstorm about your goals: what are you hoping to achieve through social media marketing? Who is your target audience? Where would your target audience hang out and how would they use social media? What message do you want to send to your audience with social media marketing?

Social Media for Marketing: Developing Your Goals

Social media marketing can help with a number of goals, such as:

  • Website traffic
  • Conversions
  • Brand awareness
  • Creating a brand identity and positive brand association
  • Communication and interaction with key audiences

Only by establishing your goals can you measure your social media ROI.

Best Social Media Marketing Tips: Learn Marketing with Social Media

Here are some social media marketing tips to keep you on the right track across all your social media campaigns.

  • Planning – As discussed previously, building a social media marketing plan is essential. Consider keyword research and brainstorm content ideas that will interest your target audience.
  • Content is King — Consistent with other areas of online marketing, content reigns king when it comes to social media marketing. Make sure you are offering valuable information that your ideal customers will find interesting. Create a variety of content by implementing social media images, videos, and infographics in addition to classic text-based content.
  • Consistent Brand Image — Using social media for marketing enables your business to project your brand image across a variety of different social media platforms. While each platform has its own unique environment and voice, your business’ core identity should stay consistent.
  • Blog — Blogging is a great social media marketing tool that lets you share a wide array of information and content with readers. Your company blog can also serve as your social media marketing blog, in which you blog about your recent social media efforts, contests, and events.    
  • Links — While using social media for marketing relies primarily on your business sharing its own unique, original content to gain followers, fans, and devotees, it’s also great to link to outside articles as well. If other sources provide great, valuable information you think your target audience will enjoy, don’t be shy about linking to them. Linking to outside sources improves trust and reliability, and you may even get some links in return.
  • Track Competitors — It’s always important to keep an eye on competitors—they can provide valuable data for keyword research, where to get industry-related links, and other social media marketing insight. If your competitors are using a certain social media marketing technique that seems to be working for them, do the same thing, but do it better!
  • Measure Success with Analytics —You can’t determine the success of your social media marketing strategies without tracking data. Google Analytics can be used as a great social media marketing tool that will help you measure your triumphant social media marketing techniques, as well as determine which strategies are better off abandoned.  Attach tracking tags to your social media marketing campaigns so that you can properly monitor them.

Every day I pick out a quote that I carry around with me and really spend a lot of time thinking about it. I think about the meaning of that quote and all of the possible ways on how I can adopt that into my way of living.

Below are 20 leadership quotes that I have been paying close attention to as of late. I hope these quotes add value to your life and inspire you to become a better leader.

1. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." -- John Quincy Adams

2. “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” -- Jack Welch

3. “Great leaders are willing to sacrifice the numbers to save the people. Poor leaders sacrifice the people to save the numbers.” -- Simon Sinek

4. “Think about all the great leaders. Think about Obama. Think about Clinton. Think about all the people that we know who are very successful in business, in politics and religion. What are they? They tell purposeful stories. They move people to action by aiming at the heart.” -- Peter Guber

5. “Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers who can cut through argument, debate and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand.” -- Colin Powell

6. “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” -- Ronald Reagan

7. “The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not a bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.” -- Jim Rohn

8. “You manage things. You lead people.” -- U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Grave Murray Hopper

9. “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.” -- John Maxwell

10 “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” -- Warren Bennis

11. “Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.” -- Sam Walton

12. “People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader leads, and the boss drives.” -- Theodore Roosevelt

13. “It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.” -- Nelson Mandela

14. “Don’t find fault, find a remedy.” -- Henry Ford

Once an entrepreneur has successfully navigated the first few months of his or her startup phase, the focus typically shifts to a larger but more exciting challenge: “How do I grow my business?”

In various ways, business development represents another kind of startup phase, but this time with different goals, objectives and risks. An entrepreneur will not have the financial capacity to take on big risks at this stage and must therefore be more strategic and purposeful in his or her approach. The best option? Integrate virtual assistants into the plan to provide several advantages.

1. Realign your budget.

The number one reason people hire virtual assistants is to reduce their cost of business. Compared to a regular or full-time employee, a virtual assistant costs less because the business owner does not pay benefits.

Also, a virtual assistant, as a sole proprietor of his or own business, covers those expenses. Thus, you don't have to allocate funds for additional Internet bandwidth, power and rent. It's estimated that hiring virtual assistants can save you as much as 40 percent in business expenses.

These savings can then be re-aligned or re-channeled to other aspects of your business, such as a digital marketing campaign, or an upgrade to your operating systems.

2. Scale your business.

If your financials show that your volume of business has been steadily and constantly increasing, but turnaround time for deliverables has markedly slowed down, it may be time to scale up your business.

Scaling requires additional man- and woman-power to accommodate the increasing volume of work. At this point, the last thing you'll want to do is to impede your momentum due to poor service or inventory shortfalls. So, you'll be adding more people, but, due to wide cost differentials, full-time employees will likely be out of the question. 

Virtual assistants, however, will not only keep your incremental costs lower but keep your business flexible. How?

  • Virtual assistants do not have set work schedules; you can assign them to shifts that require greater attention.

  • You spend less time training because virtual assistants already have the experience and competency level to get the job done.

  • Since virtual assistants are on a contractual basis, they can be easily terminated and replaced.

When scaling up your business, working with a virtual assistance agency is your best option because its personnel have been selected for their experience and reviews from past and current clients. They can easily replace your current virtual assistant if that engagement does not yield productive results.