This week, Citrus Social owner Jessa Hochman was invited to speak to a group of entrepreneurs at JumpStart Inc. for their Growing Your Business Through Social Media event. Jessa was honored to have the chance to speak at this entrepreneur incubator and share strategies and lessons learned through her experience.

We wanted to share some of the highlights of Jessa’s presentation:

Growing your business through social media is not just a smart strategy, it is a necessary one. Marketing is no longer done through word-of-mouth or one-on-one interaction. Rather, the first place people turn when they need to find something, be it a product or a service, is online.

There are so many platforms available for your business to engage with customers. Jessa laid out the pros and cons of each platform.

Facebook is user-friendly and the largest of the social media platforms. But it also gives your customers 24/7 access, which can be tricky when dealing with negative comments that come at inopportune times.

Instagram is growing as a platform and has a lot of potential for a business that can share the right kinds of pictures and use the right hashtags to drive engagement.

Twitter can be great for a large business, but it’s often the platform we least recommend to small clients. It can be difficult to gain traction on this platform, but if you do use it, finding the right hashtags and capitalizing on trends are key components of success.

LinkedIn is a platform to connect with business professionals and share your skills and expertise. This is a great place to connect with other professionals to secure business and network.

Once you’ve chosen your platforms, get them fully ready before launching them.

Make sure your profile is fully filled out and you’re ready for people to start following. Then, you should follow people, such as similar businesses and followers of similar businesses. Use your network and invite friends and family to follow and interact with your pages.

It’s also important to decide on your brand’s voice and aesthetic for your page. Keeping these mostly consistent helps set you up for success and let’s your followers know what to expect from you.

Now, you need content for the pages.

From company updates to seasonal content to trendy topics, there are a lot of great places to start sharing. We also love celebrating your successes or highlighting employees on your pages. It humanizes your business and gives people something to cheer about. Live streaming, which is available on Facebook and Instagram, is also a great way to interact with your followers.

It’s also important to engage with your followers.

Ask questions, host giveaways, and respond to comments.

Make sure you take time to look at your analytics, which Facebook and Instagram provide for business pages.

See which posts did well and which weren’t as successful. You can build on your successes with posts that engage in the same way or are posted around the same days and times, using certain hashtags, and the like.

Bottom line: Social media is a great way for a small business to engage with consumers without spending a ton of money!

These platforms are free to set up a page and cheap to run paid advertising. And, as always, Citrus Social is happy to help you maximize your social media success! Thanks to JumpStart Inc. for having Jessa out to speak on Growing Your Business Through Social Media!