The transition from using social media as a hobby to a business platform was a difficult transition for professionals. It was like business owners woke up one day to find out they had another HUGE item on their to-do list.
But we as humans and entrepreneurs adapt. Unfortunately, so do the ways social networks work. If you looked at a list of social media marketing tips for small business from three years ago, you’d laugh out loud!
So how do you stay up to date when it seems next to impossible? We’ve got your guide.
Sit back, turn off your notifications for a few minutes and keep reading below.
1. Find Your Audience
There is a natural law of the universe that says people will always take the path of least resistance. In less scientific terms, that means no one wants to do extra work.
For this reason, we recommend that you go to where your online audience already is and post there, instead of begging people to come over to your platform.
If you’re marketing to young people, use Instagram. Ninety percent of Insta users are under the age of 35.
The same goes for Twitter. The age of the network provides a good guide to its age demographics. Generally, the newer the app, the longer it will take for older populations to catch on.
2. Don’t Overcommit
This is one of the social media marketing tips for small business we wish everyone knew. It’s better to do one thing well than to poorly manage multiple tasks at once.
By things, we mean social networks. Yes, it would be ideal to have a presence on every network your audience uses, but is that attainable? Probably not at first, especially if you are managing social media in-house.
Concentrate on the network with the highest engagement and expand to others slowly. This will give you time to get into the swing of things and you’ll have more users to carry over to the other site with you.
Be Wary of Snapchat
Unless your demographic is very young (under 25), skip Snapchat. The content only lasts for 24 hours and it’s taboo to re-use Snapchat posts.
Unless you have someone who can commit to creating and posting new content every day, leave snapping to the kids.
3. Hire An Expert
Young adults entering the workforce get a bad rep, but they’re not as bad as the news says (although they have killed the napkin industry… look it up). Sure, they love avocados too much (look that up, too!) but they understand social media. They’re the first generation who grew up with it!
Since they’re on their networks 24/7, these kids can spot a marketing trend from a mile away. Between reading up on trends and personally living them, you’ll be all set when you outsource your marketing to a team with some fresh and young minds.
If you have a small budget, you don’t have to find someone through LinkedIn. There may be a tech-savvy young family member who will gladly work for half of what a professional would make.
As far as social media marketing tips for small business go, its a win-win-win to hire a marketing firm that will handle your online presence for you. This allows you to really focus on the bulk of the business.
4. Front Load
You’ve heard that content is king, right? Well, when it comes to social media marketing tips for small businesses, consistent content is king.
Before you make your page or profile public, be sure you have at least a week’s worth of content to post when needed.
You’ll likely run into a few hiccups in your first week and it’ll be nice to have a queue while you deal with growing pains.
For your first posts, think about how you want your company’s narrative to be introduced. Are you going to start with products or show off the humans behind the wheel? Whatever you do, be sure there is a strategy when posting.
5. Keep a Queue
If you’re ever in a place where you’re ahead on posts, that’s great. Now write more! Instead of taking a break, throw those extra posts in a folder in case of emergency (ICE).
That way, if you have something come up or have extreme writer’s block, you can reach into the ICE content file and still have fresh content to post.
Make sure these posts stand the test of time! You don’t want to post a review of the iPhone 6 if we’re using the iPhone 10.
Reviews, opinions, and general education about your business or products are great options. Social media marketing tips for small business that make your life easier? That’s what we’re all about!
6. Post on Time
Remember when we said posting consistent content was one of the key social media marketing tips for small business? That also applies to the time of day too.
When it comes to posts, there are two schools of thought. The first is, post during high volume views and interact with customers. The second is more subtle and simply requires maintaining an online presence.
Let’s say you run a clothing store. While there may be some scientific data on times people like to shop, you’re more interested in getting your clothes exposure. It would make sense to post when traffic on your page is highest, or to boost your post so a larger audience sees it.
If you owned a restaurant, however, you’d want consumers to think of you at very specific times… like breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Or right before.
For example, a restaurant pushing a take-out special would do well to post around 4 o’clock.
Targeting consumers right before they have to go home to their families would remind them they could get something quick on the way home.
Try out each method or a mix of both, then stick to what works!
Use Scheduling Tools
Now that you know what times work best for your consumers (and it can change!) make sure you never miss prime time.
Thankfully, you don’t have to release each post live at the exact time. Social networks and online tools have settings for automated posts and even automated emails.
Simply upload the post however far in advance you want, then schedule it to release at the right time. Now you can go to dinner without keeping your phone face-up on the table.
7. Be Human
Now that you know the logistics of posting content, let’s talk about creating it.
Far too many businesses under post because they’re scared it won’t be perfect. However, with so many opinions online, no post is perfect for an entire audience or subject.
When you’re creating posts, do your best and have a distinct brand voice. Don’t be scared to share a meme or two, so long as it’s targeted to your audience.
We’re not saying that you should forego editing altogether, that’d be crazy. Just don’t overdo it and post like a machine would. Install an editing app (like Grammarly) on your browser to catch mistakes, and keep a personable and honest voice.
Even when outsourcing social media posts to a content marketing firm, be sure to either post or relay information that the firm wouldn’t know. They can create engaging content all day long, but they’ll never be able to tell personal stories like your own staff or customers can.
8. Engage, Engage, Engage
If location is the most important thing in real estate, engagement is the most important thing in social media marketing. Gone are the days where you could expect consumers to buy products just because you showed it to them. There’s too much market saturation for that!
Brands have to create a brand that makes customers feel like friends. Your brand needs to be something individuals can get to know, something more than a list of products or services.
Keep this in mind when you’re creating content for your website and social media. Is anyone going to engage with or learn something from your post? This is key.
In this social media driven world, people get real validation from online attention. Even if you’re just starting out, there’s a thrill in getting attention from an “official” page.
So, when people engage with your content, give them a virtual pat on the back. Like their comment (etc) as fast as you can and do your best to create a personal reply.
They’ll remember your interaction and get a little taste of recognition from a brand, and you’ll be following social media marketing best practices while providing positive affirmations.
Ok . . . Don’t actually steal it, but certainly, take ideas from other similar companies. Keeping your enemies close is a good tactic online too.
Follow your competition on your personal networks and pay attention to what’s working for them.
Are they having a sale you could match? Maybe they’re having a contest and it’s getting lots of attention. Now you know what your population likes without doing intense research!
9. Build Your Own Community
While we do recommend building your own brand and marketing strategy, there are bound to be other businesses in your community that go hand in hand with your own.
Are you a ski rental place that could pair up with a local charter bus in the area? Or a restaurant with a bookstore next door that could market together & encourage people to buy a book and have a literary lunch date?
There is power in numbers and networking, even online!
10. Blog Like Crazy
If blogging isn’t listed as one of the social media marketing tips for small business in a list you’re reading, disregard that source entirely. Blogs are entirely too important as content landing pages and for SEO purposes. They simply must be a part of your content strategy.
If you’re working with anything other than LinkedIn or Reddit, you’re going to have restrictions on content size. On Facebook, for example, you can’t boost any image that is more than 20% text, which looks like next to nothing.
You need a place where people can go for more information. Think of your social media post as the preview to any branded original content. You need them to see the preview on your networks, then click to read the full content on your blog, ultimately increasing traffic to your website.
Social Media Marketing Tips for Small Business: Tying Them Together
You can use all of these social media marketing tips for small business, but if you don’t stay true to your brand it’s no use. Before you start a business, let alone create a social media presence, take some time to figure out your brand and voice.
This can be a big task. It’s hard for someone so deep in the business details to see the bigger picture from an outsider’s perspective. That’s where you need professional help.
We can help you create your brand, your social media presence, and even coach you through building a website primed to generate leads. Check out the case studies on our site, then sign up for a free consultation. You have nothing to lose and followers to gain.
What are you waiting for? Call MarketCrest today.