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There are a number of ways that small businesses can maximize their marketing efforts. Here are my five fundamentals.

One – Identify your core audience

The easiest way to do this is to utilize your existing data. A goldmine of information can be found in the check in or check out forms people fill out at your business. Where are they coming from to visit your business or practice? What are their specific needs?
You can also go online to scrutinize your existing social media accounts. Which channels have the most interaction? The most feedback? The most reviews?

If you don’t have your own social media platforms, take a look at those of your competitors. See what they are doing in terms of social media and learn how their customers are interacting with their brand. Then mimic what’s working for them.

Two – Have a plan

Once you know your core audience, determine how to best approach them with relevant content, whether that be videos, blog posts or photos.

The frequency of your interaction with customers is sometimes determined by the platform. For instance, Instagram recommends posting several times a day. An e-mail campaign, on the other hand, would be employed far less frequently.

Three – Create a content calendar

Solidifying your strategy in terms of a content calendar allows you to both visualize and execute the plan. If you find that you have to make adjustments, it is as simple as drag and drop depending on the platform.

Having the calendar allows you to spend less time stressing about the ‘when’, so you can focus your time on the ‘what’, which is the great content you will provide. There are a lot of content generating options out there, both paid and free.

Four – Invest in social media automation tools

Facebook offers you the tools, for free, to schedule your posts to be sent at pre-determined times. Other social media management platforms, like Buffer or HootSuite, cost money but in many cases are worth the splurge if you have extra funds.

These paid management platforms are far more robust in what they offer – like the ability to post content to several platforms simultaneously. They also provide metrics so you can see what’s working, and equally important, what’s not working. Above all, make sure you’re taking advantage of all your existing marketing tools – whatever platforms you use.

Five – Dedicate time to see if it’s working

Set aside 30 minutes a week to analyze your metrics. Every platform offers some type of administrative support to provide you with basic administration about the people who are visiting your pages. Do this whether you are paying for an outsource service or doing it in house. It will allow you to course correct and make better decisions with your marketing dollars.

That’s it! Now you have the fundamentals behind your 2019 marketing plan.

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