10 Social Media Tips for Small Businesses
Believe it or not, more than 3 billion people across the globe use social media.
With such a vast audience, small businesses can take advantage of social media to really build their brand and expand their reach. However, actually knowing how to use it properly is critical — or else you could be wasting your time altogether.
Below, Reputation Mart’s social media experts have put together some pro tips to help you get started.
#1. Study your strongest competitors
What are your leading competitors doing on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? How are they engaging their audience and driving traffic to their site(s)?
Taking inspiration from your biggest rivals in your niche will help you get a concrete idea of what to do and what not to do. For example, what kind of articles, blog posts, news stories and videos do they tend to share? Which generate the highest number of shares and comments?
Take notes and try to emulate the best examples in your own social media campaign.
#2. Know your limits
There are more social networks out there than you can realistically handle, unless you’re a global giant with a huge team dedicated to running your accounts. Even then, being part of more than a few may not be necessary.
For small businesses, knowing your limits is vital. Start with just a couple of social accounts and take the time to build these up. Focus on engaging users and establishing a solid group of followers. Otherwise, if you take on too many networks and try to maintain an active presence on all, you’ll spread yourself too thin.
#3. Research your target audience
Do you know where your ideal customers are likely to be hanging out online? Are your buyers more prone to spending hours scrolling through their Facebook feeds or is SnapChat more their thing?
Invest in researching the social habits of your target audience and channel your resources into the most relevant network. This makes it slightly easier to reach prospects most likely to convert, rather than trying to appeal to those who might be elsewhere.
#4. Focus on entertainment rather than constant marketing
Of course, you want to promote your small business and build your brand. But if you keep filling feeds with an endless slew of promotional materials, people will lose interest — fast.
You have to pay attention to the kind of content your target audience responds to and try to incorporate this into your strategy. People use social media to be entertained and perhaps learn more about the world, rather than seeing the same thinly-veiled ads again and again.
#5. Embrace the power of visuals
Posts containing images are more likely to get shared on social media. Text-heavy posts are less engaging and easier to scroll past, while visuals make a bigger immediate impact.
Make sure you use dynamic images as often as possible and try to keep them original. People are used to seeing the same stock photography again and again, so if you need to rely on them, at least choose ones that are less obvious. There’s plenty of beautiful stock images out there.
When posting videos, try to keep them as short as possible. The longer they are, the harder it is to sustain viewer interest.
#6. Be responsive on all types of engagement
It’s essential that you post responses to people’s comments or mentions. If you let both good and bad interactions with your brand go neglected for too long, you could end up damaging your reputation.
Whether it’s a question, a positive comment or a complaint, respond to it as soon as you can. Even if you don’t have time to get back to all users posting positive things, simply ‘liking’ or ‘favoriting’ their comment can be enough. They’ll appreciate that you’ve at least acknowledged them.
#7. Run competitions and polls
Hosting competitions and polls is a terrific way to encourage more engagement. Make the entry criteria simple and offer a tantalizing prize, whether it’s a bundle of free products from your brand or a discount with an affiliate.
Many competitions on Facebook and Twitter ask entrants to like and / or share the post, along with placing a comment. This is a simple, effective way to get your posts appearing on more feeds, potentially reaching prospects who wouldn’t see your content otherwise.
#8. Boost engagement and reach with hashtags
The humble hashtag has blossomed into a key player on social networks, primarily Twitter.
Whether hashtags are used in games (such as ‘changing a movie title with one letter’) or to promote worthy causes, they’re incredibly effective tools. You have to make sure you keep them concise, though, as longer ones are harder to read.
Avoid using too many in a single post too — this can look a little desperate or suggest you’re not really sure what you’re doing.
#9. Get involved with trends and show a sense of humor
Don’t be afraid to show your human side on social media. Yes, you’re running a business and have to remain professional in your interactions with followers, but people want companies to be more transparent today.
Get involved with trends and be willing to create posts designed to do little more than raise a smile. You just need to make sure anything you post is appropriate and unlikely to cause offence.
#10. Stay active on all fronts
Part of the reason small businesses have to keep their number of social media accounts low is that it’s much easier to stay active.
Social accounts that have been left untouched for weeks, months or years never look good to customers, especially if they want to reach out to you. Try to stay as visible on your priority networks as possible.
Any small business can take inspiration from these pro tips, but Reputation Mart’s experts will help you take it much, much further. We’ll boost your small business’s visibility and engagement to grow your audience, no matter what your niche.
Want to learn more? Just get in touch!
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