Social media can help small businesses reach out to both existing and potential customers. When you make use of it in the right way, social media can help boost sales. Some entrepreneurs have built entire companies and customer bases on social media. If you don’t take the trouble to get it right, however, social media for small businesses can end up being a waste of time, or end up alienating people. What follows are 9 tips on how to do the best you can with your small business social media presence.
Think About How Social Media Can Help with Your Marketing Objectives
Too often, business owners simply get on social media because they feel obligated to be there. Before you become involved in social media, it’s important to think about what exactly it is that you wish to see it do for your marketing. You need to plan for how exactly social media can help you widen your customer base, and improve customer satisfaction and perception. You need to gauge your efforts to see how successful you’ve been.
Build Reputation and Authority
Social media isn’t simply about building a name for yourself among customers. Social media destinations such as LinkedIn can also help you network with industry personalities, and build authority among them. Authority in the industry can help your business attract better employees.
Do your Best to Start Interesting Conversations
Facebook’s algorithm is designed to boost posts that attract user interaction. If you post something that no one responds to, Facebook stops showing it to people. With Facebook’s recent focus on promoting social posts over business posts, it can only be harder than ever for businesses to reach their followers. It can take insight into the way people’s minds work to know how to get them to respond to you. If you’re a car dealer, for instance, simply posting the image of a happy customer with their car isn’t likely to get much interaction. If you tell your followers that it’s the customer’s first car, however, and ask them to share their own stories of their first experience buying a car, it could invite responses.
It’s important to understand that social media isn’t just a website where you simply tell the world about your products, your history and about your special deals. It’s also a place where you get in touch with the people who have mattered the most to you in your journey as an entrepreneur. Whatever other entrepreneurs or managers have taught you along the way, it’s a good idea to thank them on social media. Not only does it tell everyone on your social media pages more about who you are, it’s a gesture, as well, to the people who have shaped you.
Advertising on Facebook can bring great results. It takes a learning curve to truly understand what works and what doesn’t, however. You need to do more than just pay attention to vanity metrics like follows, likes or impressions. Instead, you need to measure the results that you get, with Facebook Pixel, or Facebook lead ads. You should constantly measure your investment in Facebook advertising against the sales or leads that you generate, to make sure that your investment is worthwhile.
Focus on One Platform
While you should make sure that you claim accounts for your business on every major social platform, you should focus on the ones that most of your customers are on. Share content that you love and would like to pass on to your followers, and post original content occasionally, as well. It’s important to listen carefully to your followers to judge if you’re doing well and to tweak your approach when you see your followers’ attention flagging. You should try your best to understand what works with your audience, what doesn’t. You’re most likely to do this well when you’re focused on one social media network.
Build an Editorial Calendar
You can’t simply spontaneously post whatever comes to your mind and expect that your audience will be interested. You need to create a content strategy and an editorial calendar to make sure that you come up with the right kind of content at the right times to retain audience interest. A calendar can also help you think about how often you should post, and get you to commit to a schedule so that you never let too much time pass between posts.
Share Visual Posts More Than Text Posts
Images and video rule on social media. People are far more interested in the passive entertainment that these forms of content provide, than in actually reading. It can even help to develop a presence on platforms that focus on photos and videos, like Pinterest and Instagram.
Put Someone in Charge of Social Media
As a small business owner, you need to devote as much of your time as possible to run your business. If you try to manage your social media presence by yourself, you’re likely to struggle. It’s a much better idea to either hire someone to take charge of your social media or to outsource your social media management to a marketing agency.
Managing your company’s presence on social media can be much more work than it appears to be. It’s important that you commit your business to meaningful interactions with your customer base, however. When you truly establish a conversational relationship with your customer base, you will have customers who are far more likely to recommend you to their friends, and ones who stay loyal to you.
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