Social media is an excellent tool that all small businesses should be using to build brand awareness, engage and build customer relationships, and even make direct sales. But, considering it seems like there is a new social network every month and the amount of social media users has recently topped 4.2 billion, getting started and cutting through the noise can seem overwhelming. Keep reading to learn 12 simple tips for social media for small businesses that you can start implementing today.
You will never succeed at social media (or anything for that matter) if you wander aimlessly, just hoping for success. Instead, you need to create a plan of action to help you get to your defined goals. To get started on a plan, you should set a few goals, research your competition, and pull inspiration from outstanding social media channels. A social media calendar is an excellent tool to ensure you stay organized and that you post to the right channels at the right time.
The good news is that in order to be successful on social media, it’s not necessary to be wildly popular on every single platform. Do some research to find out what platforms your target demographic uses and what aligns best with your brand while allowing you to showcase your business in the way that suits your message the best. For example, if you write books and you are extremely shy, forcing yourself to do TikTok dances likely is not the best route. Instead, look at Twitter, where you can put your magic with words to work and inspire millions of users.
If you want to stand out on social media, you need to produce outstanding content! When your content stands out, you maximize the number of eyeballs on your products and your website— and the chances of people making orders.
Engagement is incredibly important on social media. Any time a user comments on your post, reply. Anytime a user sends a message, reply. You want these potential customers to see that you are responsive and listen to their needs.
Also, engage with what people you follow are posting. Even small encouraging comments like “love it!” — will draw more eyes to your page.
If you want people to engage with your social media pages, you have to let them know where to find you. Put your social icons on the bottom of each page on your website and in your email signature to make your presence known.
Social media is not a “set it and forget it” type of platform. If you get really excited and start posting a lot when you launch your page, and then your page never sees the light of day again— that’s a failed social media effort. You must consistently post to grow your following and continue to position yourself as a reputable, valuable company. You can schedule your posts ahead of time to ensure consistency.
We have come a long way since only being able to send out a 140 character Tweet. These days, social media platforms are jam-packed with built-in features. Take advantage of these. For example, Instagram allows you to place “ask me anything” on your story, allowing potential customers 24 hours to directly message you with any questions. When you answer these questions, they automatically get posted to your story for all of your followers to see. Polls are another great feature to gauge where your audience stands on a number of issues from what you’re offering, what they’d like to see you offer, and everything in between.
When you make a sale, ask your customers to share the product or their experience on social media and tag you. This will increase your exposure and give your customers’ followers see a direct path to your front door via your social media page.
We’re not saying you need to take part in every new “challenge” or dance that’s trending but stay abreast with what’s going on so that if a trend that suits your brand pops up, you can jump on it.
We understand that if you find that your audience engages and loves videos, you will want to give them what they want. While it is important to listen to your audience, there’s nothing wrong with mixing in different formats from time to time. You never know what else your audience may love. Post videos, photos, GIFs, Stories, and so forth.
Use contests and branded hashtags to collect information and user-generated content. Then, repost what your customers are posting and tag them. This shows that you are personable and engage with your customers— something they love!
And then refine it! As you implement your social media strategy, it’s essential that you track what’s working and what isn’t. That way, you can make the necessary tweaks until you find a super engaging strategy that your customers and potential customers love.
Being successful as a small business on social media can definitely be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Follow the above strategies and watch your presence, and following bloom.