You’ve launched your small business and decided to get social media marketing. Your website is live, and you have a considerable following on Facebook. Wondering what’s next? It’s time to build awareness and engagement for your brand. Many small businesses use social media as a tool to market their products. However, not many of them do this well. When running a business, you may not have the time to devote to posting relevant content, sponsoring paid ads and gaining organic reach. Here are some marketing solutions that can help you get the most out of your social media activities. Conduct an Audit of Your Social Media Activity Before you start to make any adjustments or changes to what you’re doing, it is necessary to conduct a social media audit. This involves determining who is already connected to you on social networks, and which platforms these people are active on. This will also give you an idea of how your social media presence measures up against your competitors and other small brands. There are several social media audit templates available online that will make this easy. Know Your Audience A critical aspect of succeeding on social media is determining the traits of your target audience. Without knowing as much as you can about them, you cannot create content that appeals to them. You’ll need to understand things like gender, age, location, average income, goals and pain points. One of the best ways to do this is by creating audience personas for your followers. You can conduct focus groups, surveys and customer interviews in order to collect demographic data. You can also identify trends regarding ages, behaviors, and occupations within the data you’ve collected. Find Your Core Social Networks Tackling every social network at once is a big mistake that many small businesses make. It’s a good thing to be eager, but you may be spreading your resources too thin. Instead, invest your time and effort into a few of the essentials, to begin with. If you’re unsure about what networks are right for you, you can do some research or conduct a social media marketing audit. This will help you find your core social networks and focus on these. Once you’ve done your research and solidified your audience personas, you will know which platforms your target audience gravitate towards. Include Images, Graphics and Videos Studies show that image-rich social content can drastically increase engagement. No matter what social platform you’re using, it’s important to use visual elements as much as possible in order to hold the interest of your audience. Visual content is highly effective with social media marketing due to its engagement value. It is easy to incorporate visuals such as videos, memes, GIFs and static images to content on social media. Just ensure that the visuals you’ve selected suit the content and will appeal to your audience. Focus your efforts on putting out quality content that will entertain them, make their lives easier and solve their problems. You can even post photographs of you and your employees at work which is a great way to connect with your audience. Choose Quality Over Quantity In an attempt to reach a large audience, it can be tempting to join as many social networks as possible and bombard your audience with content. But you're likely to get more quality interactions and engagement if you choose quality over quantity. There is very little to gain from spreading yourself too thin. When you’re more focused on meeting quotas, such as a certain number of posts per week or tweets per month, your quality is likely to suffer. Instead, if you go where your audience is and offer them value, you’re likely to be rewarded for it. The majority of your content shouldn’t be aimed at promoting your brand, but about delivering value to your audience. Monitor and Respond to All Related Social Media Activity In today’s digital world, conversing on social media networks can actually act as a substitute for face-to-face conversations. Responding directly to your audience will help you connect with them and also humanize your brand. If you don’t make an effort to engage with them, they will lose interest and stop giving you constructive feedback. Today most customers expect an immediate response from a brand when they post an issue on Facebook or Twitter. Social media can also be a great opportunity to showcase your brand’s unique personality. Final Thoughts It is easy to get frustrated if you don’t see a high engagement rate or a huge number of followers right away. But it is important to stay patient and go back to the basics if you do not see the results that you want. Choose the social networks that are best suited to your audience, build up your social presence and keep your broad business goals in mind to find social media marketing success.