According to reports, there are approximately 4.62 billion social media users across the globe. That’s a lot of people. For small business owners, having a strong social media presence is an incredibly important piece of the puzzle for your success. Social Media is becoming one of the top sources for consumers to do brand research.
But for some, knowing where to start is overwhelming. Social media for personal use is an entirely different beast, so if you’re just starting to brave the whole new world of social media for your business, then these 12 social media tips and tricks for your small business are a great place to start.
Choose The Right Platforms
The first thing that you need to do is identify who your audience is. Who is your customer/client? Once you understand that, spend some time studying the demographics and user styles of the different platforms to see which platforms would be the best fit for where your brand will be able to engage with your specific audience best. Check out this digital trends report from Hootsuite where you’ll find each platform’s demographics broken down.
Technically, you could just put your brand on every social media platform, but that wouldn’t be worth the costs of time and effort to maintain properly. By narrowing down your platforms to one to three platforms that are best for your audience, you won’t be stretching yourself too thin for a small business and you’ll be able to connect with your customers better.
Create Your “Voice”
Is your brand professional? Casual? Edgy? Going back to who your audience is and what your business is, create a voice and write out a brand guideline. Make sure if you hire a social media coordinator that you also include things that you want to stay away from or that you want to jump in on (social issues, swearing, pop culture, memes, etc.)
You can also create a “voice” through branded and professional images. Branded images can speak volumes about what your voice is. They’re also a great visual cue for customers to bring your business to mind the moment they see them.
Create An Informative Profile That Isn’t Too Stuffy
Your social media profiles should be a snapshot of what your business is all about, without stuffing it full of buzzwords. You want to draw in potential clients, while also giving them everything they need to know when they visit your profile.
Pro-tip: Make sure you don’t leave those profile images empty!
Optimize Your Profiles for Customers
Many customers will engage with your business for the first time through social media. Many customers will also look to social media to find answers about your business. You don’t want them to have to look too far to get the answers, especially if they are in the early investigating stage of looking for a business to choose from.
Things to include
- A link to your website
- Business/Store hours
- What services/products you offer
- Contact information
- A way to shop
If there was just one secret to successfully using social media for your small business, it would be consistency. With ever-changing algorithms, one thing is true: posting regularly (whatever that looks like for you) is important. Regular posting lets consumers know that your business is still active and that you enjoy engaging with your audience.
Social Listening and Tracking
Social media is an incredible tool for understanding your audience better. For social listening, you can set up tools that help you monitor social media to see what consumers are saying about you, which helps to get an idea of what your brand’s reputation is.
Social tracking is especially important for businesses that sell products. Social tracking, such as Pixel, allows you to track when someone sees your posts and then visits your store to buy your product. It can be a really effective way to see what is working and what isn’t and to see what your customers want from you. Social tracking is easy to set up, but you usually need to be able to access your website’s code base to insert a piece of code.
Some common social listening tools:
Respond To Comments and DMs ASAP
Social media gives you a unique opportunity to connect with your customers on a one-on-one level and answer their questions and comments in a fast, efficient, and professional manner. While it’s professional, it feels personal for the consumer and can help them feel heard and valued.
Responding to questions can also help open your eyes to what your consumers want or to see if there are gaps in your profile’s information that people want to know.
Spread The Love
Social media gives you a very unique opportunity to connect directly with your customers. Show your appreciation for them! If they’ve posted positively about you or tagged you in a photo, like, comment and/or share their posts! Not only is it a way to engage directly and show your appreciation, but it also is great advertising for your brand to share those positive posts!
Plan Plan Plan
You need a social media calendar. Not only will it help you with consistency, but it can also help you create a strategy and ensure that you’re posting diverse content. You’re going to want a mix of informative content and engaging content. Once you have a calendar, you’ll find that the amount of time and effort that you actually have to put in lessens.
Some common social scheduling tools:
Use Visual Aids Whenever Possible
Social media is an incredibly visual experience. Videos and photos are so important and should be included whenever you can. Videos are especially important as customers have shown time and time again that they prefer to learn about products and services through video.
Make sure to take advantage of things like Reels and Stories. These short-form videos are snappy and quick but can be an important part of keeping your followers engaged and informed. Make sure to incorporate them into your social media strategy.
Lift Up Other Local Businesses
By sharing other businesses and lifting up other entrepreneurs, you’re making connections, showing that you’re a company that supports local, and demonstrating that you care about your customers. Plus, you’re giving those businesses the opportunity to reciprocate, which could potentially get your brand in front of new eyeballs!
Invite Your Clients to Provide Reviews
Reviews are one of the most influential pieces of social media. More and more people seek out reviews before making purchase decisions and most people trust online reviews just as much as they trust a recommendation from a friend or family member.
Find an easy way for customers or clients to provide you with a review. You can have a QR code that you slip into their order, send them a link directly after providing them with a service, or simply give them a friendly verbal reminder when you interact with them.