As a small business owner, social media presence is essential for exposure, branding, customer service, marketing, and all manner of other uses. The modern day business just doesn’t exist without being on social media. Unfortunately for the small business owner, however, it’s just another thing to have to think about.
Being social media savvy as a small business is about getting the benefits from these online platforms with minimal effort. It’s about working smarter and not harder. When it comes to social media and your business, you get out what you put in.
So, if you don’t have the time to become a social media guru yourself, and you aren’t quite ready to employ a social media manager, what are the best ways to invest your time and energy to get the most out of social media? Let’s have a look…
Use it or Lose it
A truth of social media marketing is that a poorly run account is more detrimental than not having an account at all. If, over the years, you’ve joined various platforms, set up a very basic account, and then forgotten all about them, it’s time to go and clean that up.
You don’t need to be on ALL social media platforms, you just need to be active on the ones you are on. So, chose the platforms that make most sense for your business and that you can dedicate the time to, and delete the rest.
Make your Branding Uniform
Now that you’ve whittled your accounts down to just the ones you’ll use (most likely Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, with perhaps one or two more thrown in depending on your business), it’s time to make sure that they all present the same company image to the audience. Make your profile pictures the same or similar, colors and fonts identical, and themes and content on-brand. When customers come across your presence online they should be met with a unified and consistent message.
Check out your Competition
Have a look at what your competitors are doing on social media – it’ll give you some of the best information you can find. What works for them? How are they engaging customers? What are they doing that you could improve on?
Leverage User Generated Content
When it comes to great effort versus reward ratios, it doesn’t get much better than user generated content. For the time-poor small business owner who doesn’t have much time to curate and post their own content, sharing customers’ posts is just about the best thing you can do. User generated content is one of the most effective ways of influencing people’s opinion of your business and generating social proof.
Promote your Social Media Offline
Tying into the previous point, by encouraging people to follow you, tag you, leave a review, or check-in to your business, you’re growing your social media without actually being on it. You can do this by simply adding your social media details to your business card, your receipts, or even on a sign at your business premises. Increasing your online following gives you greater reach, and if you encourage people to post about your business, there will be more user generated content for you to leverage.
Just because you posted something once, doesn’t mean you can’t post it again. You can and you should. Link your accounts so that you can post your tweets and your Instagram photos to your Facebook page. You’re creating content once but using it on multiple platforms – that’s multiple reward for the same amount of effort.
Use Throwback Thursday to repost old pictures or articles. Re-share content at a different day and time – your content will reach audiences that it didn’t reach last time.
Marketing on social media can reap huge rewards for little effort, but the flipside is that poorly run social media accounts can work against your brand and your business. Social media savvy small businesses use these listed tactics to run a beneficial online presence without investing too much time and effort. The savviest of small businesses, however, understand that with social media marketing, you get out what you put in, and the best way to reap the most rewards is to hand the reigns over to the professionals.