While most people are familiar with social media, managing your company profile is different. Many business owners use social media as just another means of promoting marketing material. But this is the wrong approach. Here are some essential social media tips for small business owners.
1. Choose the social media channels that your customers use
If you’re not on the right channels, you’re doing it wrong. Figure out where your target customers hang out and go to them. Get accustomed with those channels whether it’s Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest and give them content they love. Don’t make the mistake to be everything for everyone. Focus your efforts on one or two channels where fewer but ideal customers are already on.
2. Find inspiration for posts from big competitors
Established brands are a great source of inspiration. Plan your social media content based on what the big players are doing or posting, but don’t take it too far. Inspiration does not mean copying. Follow their channels and visit their pages often so you can check what posts worked best for them. Look for their best performing posts and take notes. Monitoring websites in your niche and signing up for newsletters is also a great way to find relevant content to share.
3. More entertainment, less marketing
Yes, the main point of your social media channels is to promote your products/services, but don’t do it directly. While it’s OK to share a few promotional posts every now and them, give your followers entertaining, informative or useful content first. If you promotional content also has those values, then kudos to you. Engagement (the number of clicks, likes and shares) and thus more brand awareness is what matters in the end. Conversions will naturally follow.
4. Use high quality visuals
Images greatly increase social media engagement. A recent study shows that Facebook posts with images receive 2.3 times more engagement and Twitter updates with images receive 150% more retweets. Of course, you should use your own images or stock photos. Don’t steal images from the web! To polish your images, use free tools like Canva or PicMonkey if Photoshop isn’t an option for you.
5. Create a posting plan and post on a regular basis
Posting consistently is key to letting potential customers and loyal followers know you’re “alive” and care about offering useful content. Make a posting plan for the next week or month and follow it. A few posts per week should be enough at first. If you’re getting a good engagement rate (more than 5%), try posting more often. And don’t worry about spending too much time on posting – use a scheduling tool like Hootsuite or Buffer. They allow you to schedule posts on all your channels days, weeks or months in advance.
6. Get engaged with your audience and local businesses
When in Rome, do as Romans do – so be social on social media. Respond to comments (good or bad), react to mentions, answer questions, and respond ASAP. Let your followers know you’re listening and they’ll fell more connected with you. In addition to this, find local organizations or businesses and interact with them, as well. Mention them and repost their content to grab their attention. This way, you can attract their audience to you.
7. Interact with influencers in your industry
A retweet or a share from an influencer can increase your content visibility and boost your website traffic. But how do you get influencers to share your content? Begin by sharing their content and engaging in topics that you are an expert in. Identify smaller influencers at first and try to make lasting relationships with them. Then, aim to reach your top influencers in the long run.
8. Use built-in analytics tools
Take advantage of the free analytics tools that are built in every major social media channel. These tools can help you learn which posts work and which don’t. However, we know it’s easy to get lost in all those metrics and numbers. Start by measuring the impressions and engagement rate. You can learn the most about your posts in those metrics.
Finally, be patient. Building an effective social media presence takes time. As long as you plan your strategy and are consistent in your efforts, you’re on the right track.