There are many ways small businesses can benefit from using social media, such as building community, engaging fans, and growing interest in your products and services. Here are a few social media basics for small businesses that you need to master in order to reach interested consumers and drive growth, so your social media efforts can start to pay off.
1. Choose the Right Platform(s)
Regardless of your business industry, building a robust social media presence is vital. It’s important, especially if your resources are limited, to use your social media efforts on the sites that will generate the biggest return in terms of awareness, engagement, and clicks.
If you’re not exactly sure where your target consumers are spending their time, we recommend starting with Facebook. That’s because it’s the most widely used social media site, with 1.65 billon active users, and its users are very active, with 66% of them logging on daily and 50 minutes a day on the site on average. If this resonates with your personal social media use, chances are it resonates with your target audience, too.
2. Post Engaging Content
All social media platforms are content driven, although the type of content varies from site to site. But as a small business, you may not have a robust content marketing plan to tap into for social media. In fact, you may even be struggling to create and share social media content daily.
- Create more content. But don’t just leave the content creation up to your marketing team, especially if it is small. Expand your content creation capabilities by leveraging content creators from other departments or outside of your business who can contribute new perspectives and fresh voices to your content marketing.
- Stand out in the Facebook News Feed. Competition for organic space on social media sites like Facebook is higher than ever, but you can start to cut through the clutter with interesting headlines, images, and videos for your posts. Tap into your team or agency, look at engaging content from others in your space, and try different formats on your own status updates. For limited budgets, you can use royalty-free images and stock photos to liven up your social media posts. If you’re still not moving the needle, think about adding Facebook advertising to your social media marketing strategy.
- Keep SEO in mind. Did you know that robust, active social media profiles and content like videos, images, and posts can show up in organic search results? When creating content for social media, don’t miss out on potential search engine optimization opportunities. Optimizing social media content for SEO keywords related to your business name, products, and services can make that content have an even bigger impact on your business’ organic results.
3. Share & Respond
- Engage in the conversation. Social media is not a one-way channel. In order to drive up engagement with fans, followers, and prospects, you also need to participate in conversations started by others. If people are commenting on your posts, @-mentioning you, or posting directly on your profile, don’t ignore it! Keep it going with a response – whether you’re attending to a negative comment, answering a question, or thanking someone for their feedback. You can also get involved with conversations outside of your particular business; maybe there is a local community or industry organization on social media where you can join in the conversation and drive even more awareness of your business and visits to your social pages or website.
- Curate and share others’ content. You don’t have to be the originator of your content in order to benefit from it. In addition to content you create, you can also share content about your business or industry, such as an article you were quoted in, a public product or service review, an industry trend: share it on your social media channels, which can increase both the variety of content on your channels and your authority in your field. Just be careful not to pass others’ content as your own – always give credit and link back to the original source. The more you share, the more chances you’ll have to drive engagement and activity from consumers on your social pages.
- Ask employees to share, too. Asking your employees to share your content from their personal social media accounts can help amplify the reach and engagement of your native posts beyond your own fans and followers.
Elevate Your Social Media Marketing Strategy
No matter what your social media strategy entails, it’s vital to keep it going. Even if you’re just focused on one or two channels, the constantly changing nature of social media gives you a lot of chances to try new content formats, test different topics, and flex your creative muscles.
What advice do you have for maximizing local business’ social media efforts? Let us know in the comments.