What’s preventing small businesses from getting social media marketing done (right)?  Entrepreneurs are tight on time and are usually in the practice of whatever their business is, not marketing. They know social media marketing is an important tool in their marketing toolbox, but they’re just not getting their social media marketing done. If this sounds like a familiar scenario, you’ll be happy to know there are really only three big things that hold entrepreneurs back from achieving social media success with their businesses, and there are things you can do to help get it done.

1) Not having a plan

Most small business owners don’t have a updated business plan, let alone a marketing or social media plan. This sets them off on the wrong foot with social media marketing right away. Without a plan, you don’t know what you should post, or when, or even how well it’s working for you when you do. Social media can feel like a waste of time. But consistent work on social media over a period of time does yield success (we see it every day!)

What can you do about it?

Every small business owner should have a marketing plan and a social media plan within that marketing plan. It should outline who their target audience is, what social media platforms will be used to reach that target audience and what goals they expect to achieve, among other things. This strategy should go into details like what types of messages will be communicated and how it should be communicated, using photos, graphics, words and videos

And from there, a small business owner can plan social media marketing activities on a simple spreadsheet or calendar that allows them to see at a glance, what weekly tasks they need to complete. With this weekly visual planner, it’s easy to overcome the second obstacle to small business social media marketing success. You can get the social media marketing planning calendar at this download link:

2) Not having enough time

There isn’t an entrepreneur out there who is spending enough time on their business, let alone their marketing. Universally, they agree it’s important, but they don’t commit to it long enough to see results, or deep enough to move the needle. Why? Time!  As an entrepreneur for more than 25 years, I understand this all too well. But I’ve been successful in business over that time because I found time – and I made time.

What can you do about it?

Start and end your day with social media marketing – even ten minutes as you start your day and ten minutes to finish it. By carving out specific time (before you get busy with the real work that you actually do all day) you will see progress. Most social posts can be scheduled with either in-app tools or even free or low-cost scheduling tools.

In just 5 minutes per day, walk around your business and take pictures of what’s going on, from things on the screen to products in progress.

Take photos at random moments to save for future social posts

Use your social planning calendar to map out time to do the larger social posts (such as live or recorded video)

Plan a longer social media session on your calendar so you can do live or recorded video or create graphical posts (with layered text and photos). You’ll need about an hour during your work week to produce these longer types of content, whereas simple photos can take just a few seconds to post.

3) Not having the right tools to do the job

From graphic design to cameras and phone mounts for tripods, a basic set of equipment (both digital and tactile) are required for social media marketing that works.

Digital tools:

  • Canva – for graphic creation
  • Photoshop – for photo editing

Tactile tools:

  • Mobile phone
  • Digital SLR camera
  • Mobile phone mount for tripod
  • Tripod
  • Lighting
  • Studio or product setup area

What can you do about it?

A basic setup of mobile phone, tripod and mount will get you started. The tripod with mount allows you to do live and recorded video with your mobile phone

For most small businesses, a combination of on-the-fly photos (the bike shop that posts photos of customers with their new bikes, or the mom-and-baby retailer who posts detail photos of new products on the shelves) and recorded or live video will be the majority of social post styles. For business-to-business customers, sharing blog posts, video blog posts and infographics will be most of your created content

Your vendors that you buy your products from will have sample photos (although your own are more authentic) that you can use.

Canva is a graphic editing tool that provides sized layouts in a variety of styles that can be updated with your logo and photo to create a semi-custom social media post that has more polish than just a photo post.

Photoshop (or photo editing tool with your DSLR) is good for brightening up photos, cropping and even collaging photos into one image.

If you create a plan, have the right tools to create the things your plan needs, and use snippets of time at the beginning and end of your business day, you can create a robust and sustainable social media marketing presence that your customers will love. Consistency is key. While many big brands find it hard to break through, your personal relationship with your customers helps you; customers do love you, and they want to hear from you regularly.

Need a social media marketing plan?  If you’re looking to get a social media strategy in the works, here’s what goes into a social media strategy.

Get a jump start on planning social media marketing right now with a handy template that let’s you plan your social media posts by week, across all popular social channels: