As a business owner, you’re most likely a jack-of-all-trades. If you haven’t already, it’s time to add social media expert to your list. Getting the word out about your business doesn’t have to be difficult! Let us walk you through some important advice regarding social media for small business owners.
6 Small Tips with Big Impacts
Social media is all about engaging with your customers in fun, informal ways. It can be daunting to think about representing your brand in such a “casual” way. Start with what you are comfortable with and build from there. Figure out which social media platforms your customers use, and aim to post consistently on those sites. Only once you get comfortable — or develop shortcuts that speed up the process (see below) — you can build up and add another platform.
Planning is your friend.
If you wait until the day of to draft every Facebook post, Tweet and Instagram photo, you’re asking for trouble. Sign up for a social media planning app (check out Later and Hootsuite), then set aside time to plan out your posts for the upcoming week or two. Try breaking up your types of posts into categories, (about your product, how things are made, what you are doing around the office, community involvement, and so forth) then aim to post about every category each week.
Plan time each week to schedule your social media posts ahead of time. Don’t be so rigid in your plan that you miss opportunities to post about things as they happen – post event photos or timely content that makes sense for your business. Knowing you don’t have to come up with clever, informative or captivating content every day will help lessen the burden and generate a wide variety of content.
Learn more: Read about other ways to get organized.
Start a conversation.
Tossing out cutesy captions and information that’s only important to you won’t get you very far with your clientele. Instead, engage your customers with the information they want. If you have an ice cream shop, post your flavors of the day and see what old favorites your regulars want you to bring back.
Not sure where to start? Use tools like Instagram and Facebook polls to see what content your online followers want to see. You may be surprised that what you consider mundane could make for good content.
Video content is more popular than ever, and it can be a captivating way to reach your audience. (A lot of small businesses are having success using the Facebook Live feature because of its streaming capability.) Incorporating video is not as scary or daunting as you may think: The key is keeping things simple. Brainstorm an aspect of your business that makes sense to showcase via video: a behind-the-scenes look at how your products are made, a how-to on a complicated technique or even a closer look at your employees.
Your smartphone camera will get the job done. Pro tip: Be sure to turn your camera sideways to landscape mode before filming, and trim any awkward silences at the beginning or end of your video.
Make your spot Instagram-able.
If you have a brick and mortar business, look for opportunities to improve the look of your offerings and location. Add a quote to your mirror to create a selfie spot, or design a beautiful wall and encourage customers to stand in front for a photo.
Small discounts or freebies for posting photos can give another boost. Set up a Yelp or Facebook check-in reward, or put up a sign offering something on the house with an Instagram post.
Team up in your community.
Find a complementary business, and join forces on social media to spread the word to your combined clientele. If you’re a fitness facility, find a healthy restaurant nearby. Set up a discount on a post-workout meal after one of your classes, and you both win. The specifics, of course, depend on your business and those around you. Network with local entrepreneurs, and talk through ways you could benefit each other.
You’re spreading the word about the work you do, but are you protecting it? Talk to your Farm Bureau agent to ensure your business coverage is working hard for you.