The world of social media can be daunting, especially when it comes to knowing how to use it to promote your small business. Which platforms should I be using to attract the right customers? How frequently should I share posts? What content is most appealing, and how do you keep it feeling fresh? The list goes on. It can be overwhelming, but you need not blaze the trail. Here are a few simple tips and tricks that will have you “influencing” in no time.
Your first step to success is making sure that your business has a recognizable brand. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to put together a robust marketing plan or create an extensive catalog of graphics; there are simple things you can do yourself to make an impact.
The free website and app Canva is a treasure of a resource for making logos, social content, and re-sizing images for each platform. Utilizing the same logo across all of your sites and social media accounts is something that many take for granted, butit helps immensely by showing customers they’ve arrived at their destination.
Setting your logo as your profile picture is optimal, and you can utilize the cover photo (on platforms that have one) to feature seasonal items and discount offerings as they come and go. In addition, make sure to use the same description in each of your social bios or descriptions to ensure continuity across all your communications tools.
As counter intuitive as it may seem, you really don’t need to have an account on every single social media platform. It is important to understand that each platform has a certain major demographic that utilizes it, which you can use to your advantage. Keep in mind these are not strict parameters, but can help you know where to focus your time. According to Hootsuite, the demographics shake out to:
In addition to knowing who is using which platform, it is also important for you to know how to use them. Facebook can be used to post videos and highlight updates on your website, and Twitter is great for simple, lighthearted content. Instagram is perfect for high quality photos of your products, whereas TikTok is great for sharing behind the scenes videos of how you make them (or, what it’s like to work at your business).
Knowing how to use these channels, and using one or two of them well, will benefit you much more than using all of them poorly. Plus, you’ll save yourself time.
You know the saying a picture is worth a thousand words? It’s still true! Simply having social media accounts means nothing without quality content, but posting a large amount of lackluster content is almost as bad as not posting anything at all.
Featuring quality photos and visuals has never been easier with the vast number of resources available online and on your phone. Sites likes Pexels, Unsplash, and Pixabay have a vast amount of creative and beautiful stock photos available to use for free.
People crave stories, especially when they’re getting to know you. When you are posting, captions help tell the story. Find a balance between promoting and/or selling your products, and showing who you are as a business. Remember that social media can be a tool for relationship cultivation and a way to bring in new customers. Tell them your story, show who you are as business owners, why you are passionate about your products, and of course, how you rely upon (and support) your local community.
When it comes to interaction with your social media followers, quantity and quality are equally important. Whenever a follower or customer comments, be sure to like the comment or respond! If they ask a question, leave a concern, or message you directly, put together a professional response and offer to help resolve the issue. This is an easy way to directly communicate with your followers, build relationships, and continue to show who you are and what you stand for as a business. It also helps keep your “star rating” on sites like Google and Yelp high and reduces the chance of a preventable negative review.
When it comes to content, planning ahead is your friend. Creating a content calendar is a simple way to streamline the process and save you time in the long run, and it’s easy to use. There are plenty of templates online that you can utilize to create your own content calendar, or you can fire-up Excel and make your own from scratch. After you have created a content calendar in which you plan out your photos, captions, and hashtags, the next step is scheduling posts, which you can do ahead of time. Hootsuite is one of the many social media management tools available online. Sites like this will help you schedule posts, monitor all of your channels, and track analytics.