Updated: May 19, 2020
As a Digital Marketing Specialist for small businesses, I know that your social media presence for your business makes a difference. I also know you don’t have the time to learn every social media platform, never mind keep up with the everchanging algorithms.
I am here to say that while there are lots of things you can do to improve your profiles and engagement – there are simple things you can do right now that will make a huge difference.
1. First and foremost, before starting any social media strategy – always remember these quick tips:
Learn who your audience is – this can be anyone from potential customers or clients, people in your industry or people you want to make aware of your brand.
What is your brand’s voice? This is the voice that you will write your posts with, the type of images you use, and the overall aesthetic of your brand
Personality is everything – be yourself and be human – with your brand voice in mind.
Meaningful followers. Don’t worry about having 10,000 followers. All you need are a 100 or 200 that regularly engages with your brand.
Automate. Use a tool like Hootsuite, Later.com, or a handful of other schedulers that will make your life easier.
Facebook is equivalent to the old-fashioned yellow pages, remember those? You know your reach isn’t going to be what it used to be, but you need to have one to put yourself on the map.
Here are a few tips on making the most of your Facebook page:
Complete your profile. I am going to say that again, complete your profile. This is one of the easiest ways to jog the Facebook algorithm to really pinpoint who you are as a business and the niche and industry you are in as well as your location. This includes the About section, the “Our Story” section (you can name this whatever you wish – by the way), and the cover image/profile.
Don’t mind going on video? Facebook Live videos get six times the engagement than other posts or content.
Like other business pages as your page. If you don’t know how – YouTube how to. Like other people in your community, industry, influencers, and brands that you interact with.
Do I need Twitter? I hear this often from my clients. No, you don’t need it. In fact, whenever looking at a social media strategy – I recommend focusing on three to four platforms to start. Ask yourself these questions:
Is my account active and being engaged?
Am I a celebrity, personal brand as a person or is my audience the type that will be active on Twitter?
Is my industry the kind that trends on Twitter or needs to be able to post real-time announcements? Financial, sporting, political, and news outlets are expected to be on Twitter. The electric company and the train company need to make up to date outage posts. Is this you?
Can I commit to engaging regularly with my audience?
If yes, keep it. If not, don’t. If you aren’t sure – commit to consistently posting 1-2x per week for 6 months and reassess.
Think Pinterest is just for party planning, fashion and decorating? Think again. Pinterest isn’t a social media platform – surprise! It is a search engine. A strong one – in fact, it is one of the largest website traffic drivers in the world. It can drive traffic to your site, you can list your products on it, and your posts only gain traction instead of disappearing into a feed. You guessed it because every post is always searchable!
What else? Your blog might not rank in Google but guess what? Your blog graphic on Pinterest can rank first in Google images.
Have products to sell? According to Hootesuite, “Some 84% of weekly users use Pinterest to help decide what to buy.” Post your product URL in the pin, choose the photogenerated from your site, add title + description, choose a category and Pin it!
Is your audience mostly women, especially moms? “In the United States, 8 in every 10 moms is on the platform.” (Hootsuite).
Reuse all your social media content. Quotes? Pinners love them. Don’t forget to add the URL to your site in those pins. Tips. Photos of your business. Photos of your services. You name it you can pin it. Take all the content that you already spent so much time making and put it to work for you.
Follow other people and repin their pins. Be part of the community and it will love you back.
I saved the best for last. This is a hard one. The algorithm changes, the competitive nature, and the sheer quantity of content are overwhelming. However, it is worth it. It gives your business a human connection. This is where you can be silly in a story, post something inspiring like a sunset over the lake, or just post the cup of coffee you need to get you through the day.
To get the most of this platform:
Follow accounts from businesses in your community, influencers in your industry and businesses you interact with
Don’t expect to have 5000 followers. Be assured many people either got into the game at the beginning where this was possible – or they paid for them. Hopefully, you can gain a couple of a hundred meaningful followers that engage with your posts and your stories. Depending on your business or industry this can grow into the thousands over time.
Ditto for likes. Instagram has confirmed it is testing hiding likes and may do away with them all together. Instead, focus on impressions and reach. This can mean you are gaining brand awareness, which is important to the process. People need to see your brand multiple times before they even click to buy or go to your site.
Don’t worry so much about curating your feed. There are trends – you can look them up – that indicates that the curated aesthetic is dead. People want messy, they want real, and they want to know you are like them. This doesn’t mean to just post willy nilly. It means that you have flexibility, but your images and content should always be on-brand, in your brand voice and useful to your audience.
Finally, stories. Use them. Don’t know how? Learn to. Youtube it. Ask your grandkid. Just do it. According to Buffer, 500 million users use stories daily. This means your competition probably is and you're not even in the game. You can include calls to action, go live, or just be inspirational or funny. Go behind the scenes, feature a product in an in-depth way, or share your customer's experience and testimonial.
Jemile Nesimi-Hobson is the owner of Luna Rose Consulting, a digital marketing and social media coaching agency. She assists business owners in building a DIY social media marketing program by coaching them on everything from current trends to selecting platforms to creating content.