22 Essential Small Business Social Media Tips to Increase Your Social Reach and Engagement!
Time to Get In On The Conversation!
You may have heard me say this before, but it is worth saying again. If you are a small business you can no longer afford not to be on social media. Whether you’re an early-stage startup or a small to medium-sized business that’s new to the social media game, our essential small business social media tips will get you started on the right foot.
Small businesses can no longer afford not to be on social media.
Social media is a time-consuming but important reality for any small business. Not only does it help increase your Google search rankings; it also gives your brand a human voice. This is your opportunity to provide a place for feedback and to manage the. Your customers are already online and talking about you to their friends and families. Join the conversation and make it work for you.
The first thing you need to understand is that it’s okay to start small. There are a lot of social networks out there, but you don’t have to be on all of them. In fact, it would be better if you were not. Unclear as to how Instagram can help your brand? Then avoid it for now. Not ready to tackle Twitter just yet? Skip it. No time to blog regularly? Don’t be overly concerned about it.
Which social platforms should you be on? What should you say about your brand? How often should you post? Will it be worth your time? We hope our small business social media tips give you at least some of the answers!
22 Small Business Social Media Tips
Tip 1: Decide Your Target Audience
You don’t need to be everywhere, especially in the beginning. So let’s talk strategy. You have limited time, most likely limited content, and you want to reach a very specific audience. So here is our quick, non-scientific breakdown of who uses which network:
- Teenagers gravitate towards Snapchat, YouTube, Tumblr, WhatsApp, Musical.ly and Instagram.
- Soon-to-be-wives and soon-to-be-moms are all about Pinterest.
- Young parents and grandparents alike can be found on Facebook.
- Business types and leaders rule LinkedIn.
- Influencers and bloggers love Twitter and Tumblr.
Select the network you target audience favors, and establish your branded profile. This includes claiming and optimizing your profile page and info.
Tip 2: Choose your Presence
Now that you know which networks are best for your target audience you need to determine which network is best for your small business. The goal here is to commit to only a few networks, at least for the beginning. You can always add more later!
Here are some non-scientific, but highly caffeinated, network insights:
- Instagram and Pinterest are great for highly visual companies that have access to lots of beautiful branded photography or products.
- Facebook and Twitter are great for businesses that generate a lot of unique editorial content that can be shared via a link.
- Vimeo, Snapchat, and YouTube are great for brands with access to professional-level production equipment and a sense of humor.
Tip 3: Select a Consistent Handle
Every social network requires a “handle” or name. You may already know us as @s5innovation. Make your handle consistent, and make you can actually claim it on all networks. Whatever you pick for Facebook should be used on Twitter and Instagram and Pinterest and any other network you sign up for. In theory, fans will start tagging you on Instagram and tweeting to you on Twitter. They can’t do that if your name or brand is confusing.
Tip 4: Set Realistic Goals
Small business social media is not like your own personal Facebook account! Absolutely everything you do on social media should be because it serves your business goals. Instead of focusing on selling on social media your social media goals should focus on engagement, growth and relationship building. If you do that sales are bound to follow.
Tip 5: Don’t Be Everywhere
It is simply impossible to be effective on every social media platform. Each social channel lends itself to a certain type of user, and your small business may not necessarily fit that user. Take for example Zomato and Instagram; they are great for restaurants and bars. But if you are an accountant LinkedIn is a much better network for you.
Tip 6: Use Social Media to Gain Trust
Trust is an important element in obtaining customer loyalty. Neglecting your social media presence is one way of losing potential customers or nurture current relationships. Gain the trust of your current and potential customers by creating social media profiles like a LinkedIn company page, Facebook business page, Twitter profile, or an Instagram account.
Putting a voice to your small business gives people incentive to trust your brand.
Tip 7: Use Management Tools
A favorite management tool is HootSuite, but we also use Agorapulse, AddThis, Commun.It, Klout, SproutSocial, Buffer and Tweetdeck depending on the intended purpose. Hootsuite allows you to manage several of your key platforms including GooglePlus, Facebook and Twitter but also add RSS feeds and link tracking. Hootsuite allows you to schedule posts into the future reducing time commitment and interruption to your busy day.
Tip 8: Repurpose Content
Think about the ways you can repurpose the content you already have and the steps you can take to create new content. Take new lifestyle shots and share the images on Instagram. Create branded graphics for Facebook. Think outside the box and create posts that address problems, concerns, or interests your customers share.
If you have a low-budget and no branded content to share, consider starting a blog. Share peeks behind the scenes, ways your product or business is helpful in the real world, and showcase client stories, and how you helped them succeed.
Tip 9: Mix It Up
On every social network, you need a different mix of self-promotion, testimonials, and randomness as well as original content that’s of value to your consumers. Self-promotion includes links to your website, peeks behind the scenes, and news about your business. Testimonials can be pulled from a Yelp or Facebook page. Mix it up and include funny photos and shared content from other. This is your chance to get creative, folks.
Tip 10: Be Active
You cannot simply create a profile and then forget about it. Actually creating and posting regular and interesting content that align with your goals is vital for engagement, growth and overall social media value. The easiest way to continue to add value and grow your presence it to constantly add new content your audience finds of value. Another is to find new followers influencers and engage with your following by sharing their content.
Tip 11: Be Consistent
You can make an impact and grow your social following in as little as one hour per week. Facebook’s scheduling feature lets you queue up posts up to six months in advance. Social media dashboards like Agorapulse, Buffer, Hootsuite, and SproutSocial let you queue up content. In theory, you could get months of content ready in one sitting. Here’s a quick guide to the bare minimum you should be posting for each network:
- Blogging once per week
- Posting on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Vine three times per week
- Tweeting ten times per week
- Pinning 20 times per week
Abandoned presences are worse than no presence at all. When you enter the social media space, you’re building a relationship with your audience, potential customers, and brand enthusiasts. Don’t let them down.
Tip 12: Add Value
This is perhaps the most important small business social media tip, give people a reason to follow you. It is not enough to say you can provide the best service or product; you need to add value and uncover a desire to be connected with you. This could be anything from providing cool, unique content to linking to other cool sites. Whatever your values add, make sure they fit with your goals and work for your small business.
Tip 13: Sharing is Caring
One of our small business social media tips is to set aside at least ten minutes each day to read your social media feeds. No matter what network you use, you better be actively following influencers, experts, marketers, brands, companies, and publications in your industry.
You have to engage in social media to win at social media.
Retweet their articles, like their posts, share their updates, comment on their blogs, or link to their content. Social media dashboards like Agorapulse, Hootsuite, Commun.It, and SproutSocial allow you to create themed feeds from your Twitter Lists or hashtags.
Tip 14: Increase Your Reach
Paid Facebook and Twitter advertising have made it possible for small businesses to increase their reach through targeted ads and sponsored messaging. Social media marketing provides businesses with an opportunity to reach customers across the world—as opposed to more traditional advertising, which is generally only visible to limited people for a limited time.
Tip 15: Become One of Them
Every industry has a unique presence online. There will be hashtags. Some favor tweet-ups. Others use memes. You need to research this kind of thing so you can become a part of your community. They will welcome you with open arms when you play the game and look at social media as a two-way conversation. You’ll get more followers and make important connections in the process.
Tip 16: Adapt and Evolve
Social media is new, dynamic and constantly changing, and so should your approach to social media. Everything you read and learn about small business social media is a guide, best practices or expert insight. It is to be valued, assessed but definitely not taken as gospel. If you read that posting to Facebook between 1pm and 3pm is best, but your engagement is stronger on posts between 9am and 11am, then make the logical decision and adapt.
Tip 17: Use Facebook To Improve Customer Support
Providing customer support can be expensive and time-consuming, especially for a small business. But with social networks like Facebook, you have an outlet to effectively solve customer problems. With the availability to post on your Facebook wall or send private messages, customers can connect directly to companies if and when they have a problem or feedback.
Tip 18: Build a GoogleMyBusiness Page
GoogleMyBusiness has a variety of benefits for local small businesses, not least its ability to increase visibility and search engine ranking. For businesses on GoogleMyBusiness all of your content is indexed by Google and influences your search engine ranking. If you have a local business location you should also get a Location Page in addition to your Brand Page. Users can call and get direction to your location directly from your GoogleMyBusiness profile from a mobile device.
Tip 19: Expand Your Professional Network on LinkedIn
One of the most important professional social networks, where all businesses, big or small, should have a presence, is LinkedIn. LinkedIn allows businesses to provide authenticity and credibility of their brand through a business page that houses information covering the basics of who, what, and where of your business. It also allows small businesses to be in a space where professionals, potential investors, and customers are on.
Tip 20: Encourage Feedback
Starting conversations is one of our key small business social media tips. Social media pages like Yelp, Zomato, Google and even Facebook are great for facilitating user reviews. Encouraging feedback is a powerful tool that leverages social proofing to add value and authenticate your business. If someone has rated your delicious Gnocchi as the best in Seattle, users will read this and take notice.
Social media works best as a two-way conversation between brands and consumers.
One thing: You are not always going to get nice reviews. Users are more likely to remember a bad experience than a good one. But don’t be too concerned, a bad review can be seen as an opportunity to improve, counter offer and show your followers that you are customer focused and reactive.
Tip 21: It’s Not About You
Social media is not your opportunity to constantly ask people to sign up or buy your product or service. Social media is a place where small businesses maintain relationships, build trust, influence purchasing intent and remain top of mind so when a need arises your brand will be at the front of consumer’s minds. Always remember the Pareto Principle, focus 20% of your content on direct self-promotion and 80% on other content.
Tip 22: Share Your Social Presence
The last of our small business social media tips is frequently overlooked. Initially only you will know you have a social presence. So slap, smear, and massage those clickable social icons, vanity URLs, or usernames on your home page, business cards, email signatures, marketing materials, and everywhere else you are found. Don’t even bother setting up your small business social network if you’re not going to let people know how to find you.
Integrating Small Business Social Media Tips
Social media is not a stand-alone tool; it needs to be integrated with the rest of your digital marketing strategy. Social media helps direct traffic to your website, influences your SEO and boosts your overall digital effectiveness. But it is only one aspect of an effective and engaging digital marketing strategy.
Social media needs to be integrated with your digital marketing strategy.
Some Additional Social Media Tips and Resources
If you are new to social media marketing or simply want to brush up on your social media game you may like these posts from our ESPRESSO Shots Blog:
- Social Media Best Practices You Should Follow
- Social Media Demographics – Do You Know Your Audience?
- Uh Oh! Did You Remember to Optimize Your Social Media Profiles?
- Social Media Lead Generation Tips You Can Use Now!
- Social Media Is Like a Cocktail Party! If You Want Engagement You Can’t Just Stand There!
- Help! Which Of All The Social Apps and Sites Will Best Promote My Business?
Of course, some of you don’t really care about our small business social media tips. You just don’t get or even like small business social media. The absolute last thing you want to do is social media anything. Don’t worry; you can still implement our small business social media tips. You simply have to hire a professional to do it for you.
I recommend that you start with a professional social media strategist. Have them help you develop an overall social media marketing strategy, create an editorial calendar for your social channels and blog, and curate some initial content. Once you have a strategy and editorial calendar it will be easier for a social media marketer to continue this for you.
We Help Small Businesses with Social Media!
Here at ESPRESSO.digital, we offer a full range of small business social media marketing services, including digital marketing, content strategy and creation and organic social media strategies.
Say hello and learn more about our social media marketing services, and how our team can help you implement our small business social media tips in your small business marketing strategy.
Can you think of anything else you would add to our small business social media tips? Please leave your comments below so our audience can benefit as well, and grab our feed so you don’t miss our next post! And help your audience become better social media marketers by sharing our small business social media tips with them!
Thank you! We appreciate your help to end bad business websites, one pixel at a time!
By Gregor Schmidt
Co-Founder / Digital Barista