You don’t need to be a huge corporation or hire a whole division of social media professionals to have a successful online presence. While you might not be going viral or garnering hundreds of thousands of likes and retweets, you can still use social media to improve your company’s online reach. With just a few tips and these guidelines, you can master the art of social media for small businesses!
- Identify your brand
You need to clearly communicate what it is you offer to customers and why you are different from the competition. Highlighting the aspects of your company that make you superior to other companies like you will attract more traffic. If someone sees your account but can’t easily identify what you offer, they aren’t going to stick around for long. This may seem obvious, but people form an opinion on a new account within seconds of clicking, so its up to you to make sure that is clear!
- Know your audience
When creating your content, you need to keep your ideal audience in mind. If the majority of your clientele are in their mid-20s, then Facebook might not be the first place they look to find information or buy. The opposite is true if your business attracts older clients, but you need to be more careful about the language you use. Knowing your audience is the first step to connecting with them online and driving them to your site or store.
- Quality over quantity, but not radio silence either!
The easiest way to lose those valuable followers you collect is to either abandon or overwhelm them. If you are bombarding your followers with irrelevant posts every day, they are likely to mute your content or unfollow altogether. On the other hand, if a new visitor only sees sporadic and irregular posts on your page when they visit, they likely won’t be subscribing. Posting in a consistent manner with engaging and relevant content is the best way to attract and keep online visitors. Try to implement the 80-20 rule. 80% of your content should be for informing, educating, or entertaining your audience. The remaining 20% can be promoting your brand or sell products. No one wants to see advertisements 100% of the time, but you also want visitors to know what you’re offering!
Some tools for managing socials and achieving these goals:
Use the social platforms’ built-in interactive tools
When your followers are clicking through their dozens of stories or tweets, it is easy to gloss over boring content. Mix up their feed by including polls, responsive prompts, or reactions that invite interaction between your brand and the client on the other end of the phone. Readers are more likely to engage with posts that include an additional step beyond just reading and moving on!
Respond quickly and build relationships
If you do receive messages over your social media channel, treat these interactions as you would any other customer inquiries. Respond quickly and professionally, and try to tell all the best aspects of your business or why they should be apart of it. Don’t let the more casual setting of DMs distract from the fact that this is someone who may be considering coming to your store or working with you further. Refrain from using shorthand, and be mindful of the fact that many platforms allow the sender to see when a recipient has read their message. Don’t let days go by before you return a message!
Utilize scheduling services
It can be difficult to remember to take the time and post on social media regularly, and nearly impossible to brainstorm creative content on the spot when you do remember. Luckily, there are workarounds for this problem. Many businesses use scheduling apps and services, and these allow you to plan ahead and queue all of your posts for the week or month at once. Services like Buffer and Later even offer your first account for free! This allows you to set aside just an hour per week (or however often you need) to knock those posts out of the way. Additionally, sitting down to do all of this at once allows you to take time and cultivate better content than you would if you are trying to create on-the-go. Take the time once a week and have better returns in the long run!
It would be amiss to say that there is a perfect formula for creating perfect social media content. However, implementing these tips will both make your life easier, and the experience of your visitors (and potential clients) much better!