THE IMPORTANCE OF USING SOCIAL MEDIA FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS
Used correctly, social media is a wonderful FREE marketing resource that all small business owners should be using. If you are not utilising it to your advantage, you can guarantee your competition will be and winning your potential clients because of it.
Social media can help you to: -
1. Reach new customers.
2. Keep your existing clients up-to-date with your business’ news, opening times and offers.
3. Show off your services and industry knowledge.
4. Help clients know, like and trust you.
5. Lead potential clients to your website.
Here are some top tips to help you use your social media platforms successfully so that you grow in confidence (and followers!) and ensure your business stays visible, whatever may be happening in the world!
Choose which social media platforms you are on wisely!
Don’t just jump on all social media platforms and start posting. Think about where your ideal customer is likely to be and then choose one or two of those platforms. Don’t spread yourself too thinly. If you only have time to concentrate on one platform, then do that and do it well, rather than doing two platforms averagely. Each platform will need slightly different content, so bear this in mind when working out how many social media platforms you want to commit to.
To build a good following and have good engagement on your posts you must be consistent and post regularly. Don’t think that getting good engagement is something you can achieve ‘overnight’. You need to be in this for the long haul. Plan ahead, which is where a good scheduler comes into play. Facebook has its own scheduling tool, and there are free versions for Hootsuite, Buffer and Planoly, to name just a few. With a little bit of research, you will find a tool that suits you and the social media platforms you want to post to. You could even use a spreadsheet to plan out your posts.
Plan out at least a week in advance. If you can, plan out a month in advance. That may seem like a lot, but if you set a few hours aside each month to do it, it will quickly become part of your monthly planning routine. Planning ahead means that you can make sure you are including a variety of posting styles, which will encourage, likes, comments and shares.
Ensure you have a good mix of content and posting styles
If you look on social media you will see that posts tend to fall into one of the following categories: entertaining, educational, motivating, and promotional. It is important to include a mix of these when you are planning out your posts for the week/month ahead.
Don’t just promote your business. Yes, you can promote your business and services in a post or two each week, but mix it up with some different style posts, such as a blog containing tips and useful advice or video footage of behind the scenes at your place of work, or some interesting facts about the other members of your team. Being creative about the way you post - using gifs, videos, polls, quotes – can encourage more engagement, which will help your post be seen by more people.
Engage with your followers
Engagement is key to building up a loyal following. If someone has taken the time to comment on your post, always respond to it. It shows that you have taken the time to read their comment and appreciate them. Remember, the more engagement you have on your posts, the more people will see your post. This also works by commenting and engaging on other people’s posts. Just spending 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the afternoon, commenting and engaging on your social media platforms, will help raise your profile’s visibility, which, over time, will improve the engagement rate on your posts.
True to your business and values.
Be engaging and keep your followers entertained.
Add value and knowledge to your followers’ lives.
Show yourself as an expert in your field.
In summary, my top 10 tips to help small businesses be successful on social media are: -
Work out which social media platform your potential clients are most likely to hang out on, and start there.
Use a social media scheduler to help you stay consistent.
Save posts you see on social media that you like, to inspire ideas for future posts.
Recycle content (evergreen posts). These are useful on days you can't think what to post.
Use Canva, or a similar online image editor, to create unique, branded images, gifs, and videos for posts.
Share interesting articles that are relevant to your business.
Share tips and advice that your followers will find useful. Can also use blogs or vlogs which will lead people to your website.
Quotes, polls, funny memes, and gifs can break up the more serious posts, and behind-the-scenes photos or videos of your office and other members of the team are always well received and help your followers get to know, like and trust you.
Don't forget to engage with your followers and always reply to any comments they have taken the time to post - it shows you appreciate their support.
If brave enough, include video lives (or pre-recorded videos if you'd rather) - it shows your followers and potential clients the person behind the business and is another way to help them get to know, like and trust you.
I hope this helps you feel more confident in using social media to grow your business. Most importantly have FUN and BE YOURSELF. After all, ‘you’ are the one thing that sets your business apart from all the other businesses out there!
If you are still not sure where to start with social media for your business, or perhaps you feel you don’t have enough time to be consistent and build engagement, then I would be very happy to discuss how we can support you.