Small Business Social Media Tips
Social media is a must for modern businesses: and if you’re not keen on the idea or roll your eyes at the idea of multiple outlets just remember that these are multiple avenues for marketing, communication and connecting with your clients in new ways. Two billion people are now actively using Facebook and if used correctly, that is a lot of new business you could be tapping into!
Here are some tips to help you out:
Social media is great if you use it correctly and just like in ‘real world’ business, you need a marketing plan in social media too and using a management platform can be a very useful tool. Depending on your business you may have the ‘bare minimum’ social media accounts but they still need to be managed. Time is always a factor with social media and so these management platforms can really help you collect together your posts and even help you save time by scheduling them well in advance.
Some management tools are free or with monthly fees. A good place to start is with hootsuite.
2 Get Personal
Social media is always there, it’s always online and doesn’t disappear when you’re not in the office hours. It’s a way that your customers can connect with you at any time so you can build relationships and ‘get personal’.
Like Paul McCartney used to sing, “let ’em in” to be part of what you’re trying to build. Posting pictures each day of what’s going on, successes and fun things that have happened in the office that day. Having an Instagram account can really show off what you’re about; let your customers in so they feel connected to your business.
3 “We are the World”
Small businesses usually thrive when they are strong communities that in turn share that with the wider community; your social media can widen your community to people across the globe! If you’re business is involved in local events like farmers markets or charity events it shows you out and about, being community and demonstrating it’s not just about the grind but that you can make and a difference, and people can make a difference to you.
4 Back and Forth
The double-edged sword nature of social media is that it is instant and anyone can have their say on anything; smaller businesses can’t always budget to have a dedicated social media manager and you can’t realistically ‘play’ around on these mediums all day.
A good tip is to have regular pit-stops into your Facebook, Twitter and whatever accounts you have to see if anyone is commenting on your posts, or sending you messages. With every ‘like’, comment and share of your posts there’s more chance for engagement and a further reach for your business so if someone comments, then comment back and say thank you for their response.
And also don’t forget to share your business’ posts on your own Facebook, keep on sharing!
5 Ignorance Isn’t Bliss
You can do everything right, you can be queen of customer service but no matter how hard you try you’ll get some negative reviews and comments from customers because this is exactly what social media does: it allows you to have your opinion. A lot of the time it isn’t the negative comment that drives customers away but you’re lack of response to it.
Don’t ignore the negatively: turn on ‘customer service mode’ and deal with it respectfully and compassionately. Try to understand their point of view and attempt to rectify the situation. People will see your response and realise that you are willing to make things right. Also, don’t always do it in the public forum – send a private message and get to the bottom of the situation.
6 We’re Not Saying Steal…
There’s so much content on social media that it can be hard to create totally original content and a lot of the time you don’t have the hours to spend on creating engaging posts to fuel your sales. The more interesting your content, the more likely it will be liked, shared and you’ll reach a greater audience.
So… if you don’t have the time, then share someone elses! It’s not illegal, it’s not immoral but add your own comment on something that will point people towards you, just make sure it relevant and don’t claim you created it when you didn’t (keep it real!).
Read a blog that’s relevant? Share it and say how this applies to you? Found a funny meme that’s on brand? Share it and let your followers and likers have a giggle too.
7 Get Ready for it…
Do your research and find the best time to send out your posts. Most social media networks have fantastic scheduling tools so you can prepare all your posts at the same time without having to remember each day! There are many different ideas of when to send out your posts and even different ideas on different mediums so have a quick look and see what’s best.
You don’t the best post you’ve ever written to go out at a time when it’s going to be completely ignored: timing is everything.
Signup to most social media is free so having a page instantly gives you another way of communication with your customers. Using Facebook, Twitter etc. as another marketing tool will take time and is ongoing, the way it evolves is changing so you need to be focused, relevant and ready to move with the changes.
To get the most out of social media, be social and let people know you’re more than making money – show them you’re a human being and that will pay off big time in the long run.