Getting started in social media marketing for your Small Business can seem overwhelming. You may feel that you need to develop intricate strategies to reach different target audiences across various platforms. You can spend weeks developing appropriate content, and outlining schedules to post at the right time to reach them. You can exhaust huge ad budgets trying to make an immediate impression and build a following. Or, you can choose to keep things simple. Start small. Take things in chunks and look for organic growth.

That is the approach that we have taken. It doesn’t happen over night, but by building up your social media presence over time you have a chance to gather learnings that can positively impact all of your future campaigns.

Here are a few easy tips to help you get started.

1. Identify and find your audience – After playing around across various social media platforms, we ultimately found Twitter to be the best way to reach our audience. Your target audience may end up being on Facebook or LinkedIn. And while we need to maintain a steady presence across the three platforms, we focus our efforts on Twitter. Social Media takes time, and it is better to kill it in the right place than to do OK everywhere.

2. Post consistently, post often – Your followers have given you direct access to their feed, why waste it!?! If you want to stay top of mind, you need to post regularly; every day, multiple times a day if possible. Followers are online different times throughout the day, and you want to make sure your content is there to greet them when they log on.

3. Don’t be afraid to promote others – People love to have their posts liked or retweeted. Promoting competitors, vendors or industry experts can make them more likely to return the favor. Plus, by sharing relevant content from a variety of sources, you become a reliable source to your followers, and can be seen as an expert in your own right over time.

4. Become part of the conversation – Hashtags give you an instant way to become part of the conversation. It’s easy to determine what topics are trending in your area, and where your business can fit in. Using hashtags ensure that people outside of your group of followers get access to your content, and your business.

5. It’s not how many, but who – Like any new social media campaign, we started off with a small number of followers. Over the last few months of consistent tweeting, retweeting and liking, we have not only grown our overall number, but have managed to attract some followers who have incredibly impressive digital presence. We were thrilled when one of our followers retweeted our content out to his 76,000 followers!

Plan to give yourself 4-6 months to really get your footing. Your work in this space will start off small, but can quickly grow. Building a social media presence organically, vs just throwing a huge budget to buy followers and likes, will ensure that it is more authentic and sustainable. Your business is in it for the long haul, you want to ensure that your audience is as well.