As the owner or manager of a small business, you know that maximizing the effectiveness of your digital marketing resources is a crucial element of achieving success and growing your business, but where do you begin? You could hire an expensive marketing consultant, or indiscriminately spend a lot of money on digital advertising and search engine keywords, but both of those approaches require a large upfront investment and don’t guarantee success.

Identify And Adapt

Luckily, you can gain valuable insights into the successful digital marketing strategies of other small businesses without hiring an expensive consultant or spending a lot on costly advertising and keyword campaigns. Simply by identifying these businesses and the strategies they use to successfully leverage their websites, blogs and social media accounts, you can adapt many of these strategies to fit your own unique industry.

Force Yourself To Engage

Small businesses with mobile physical locations – mainly food trucks and carts – have successfully utilized Twitter to broadcast their current location and to connect with customers. Some of these businesses include PinkTank Food Truck of Denver and the creme brûlée man of San Francisco. By using the power of Twitter to immediately notify customers of their location, these mobile businesses are able to eliminate one of the biggest drawbacks of not having a set address.

A small business with a fixed physical address should not continually post its address to social media, but it’s still important to note the value of connecting with your followers on a timely basis. These food trucks are essentially forced to continually connect with their followers in order to provide up-to-date location information, and by virtue of that necessity they have developed extremely disciplined social media strategies. Ask yourself daily, “What have I done to connect with my Twitter followers today?”

Effectively Monitor Social Media

Last year, the social media dashboard service Hootsuite profiled Herschel Supply Co. of Vancouver, Canada, which manufactures various backpacks, bags, travel goods and accessories. Hootsuite noted that Herschel Supply was able to boost both their customer service satisfaction rate and overall positive brand sentiment partly by closely monitoring social media networks for mentions of their company, which allowed them to quickly address customer questions, concerns and complaints.

You don’t need to hire a full-time social media director or a third-party firm to constantly monitor social media networks – platforms and services such as Hootsuite, TweetDeck and others provide handy tools that anyone can use to continually monitor social media for mentions, ensuring a timely response to followers, clients and customers.

Become An Expert

Back in 2010, the technology news website Mashable profiled Liberty Bay Books, a small, niche bookseller in Poulsbo, Washington specializing in Scandinavian and nautical books. The owner of Liberty Bay Books was able to successfully leverage the power of social media in her community by becoming a “thought leader” on social media – pushing news and discussions about books, local events and other topics to her social media followers.

Just about all owners and managers of small businesses are subject matter experts, and it’s easy to put that knowledge and expertise to use on social media by answering questions, posting tutorials and engaging with groups and other online communities through social media. However, it is important to avoid controversial and contentious topics and discussions and any other activity that could alienate potential clients or customers.