Baron also notes that third-party tools, such as TweetDeck are good choices for the busy marketer. Not only are most of these tools inexpensive or free, but they help make this allotted social media time run more smoothly, as they can monitor a number of different tasks at once.

There are so many different sites and there’s so much opportunity, but each site is so different, she said. “[As a small business owner] you can’t be on social media all day so these tools help you post content quickly and easily.”

2. The Value of an Image

Images are cost effective, as they can be stock photos, business or customer submitted. They are also one of the most powerful social media tools a marketer can use.

When visiting social media sites, users often want to find information quickly and easily as they are often bombarded with text in status updates, notes, tweets and comments, so an image can be a welcome change.

When you’re on Facebook you’re not there for an 800 word article, you’re there for content you can share quickly and for content that catches your eye,” said Barone.

Image platforms that can be used include sites such as Instagram and Pinterest, but there are also tools, such as infographics that allow marketers  to tell customers about a product through a series of images and minimal text.

3. Analytics and Customer Trends

Making sure that information and other content is being posted and that the chosen social media channel is right for the business in question are both important parts of the small business social media road map, but these businesses also have to make sure content is engaging and connects with consumer trends.

As a social media site can give a customer insight into a company or brand, analytics can give that brand insight into the customer. Some sites such as Facebook and Pinterest have their own analytics tool, while other choices are Google Analytics and Socialbro for Twitter. In doing this, marketers can not only make sure they are meeting customer demand, but form more personal relationships with consumers and ensure that content is properly targeted.

Making a Social Impact

Marketing is no longer just for large business or large corporations. Small businesses can make an impact through social means and not have to worry about running over on a marketing budget. In being free or inexpensive, social media and third-party tools designed for these sites make it easy for even the smallest business to contend with its competition.

image courtesy of jeff Metzger (Shutterstock)