Simply put there is no silver bullet which will ensure success for your small business on social media. However, this should not unnerve you; a number of recent studies have shown an increase in the number of small businesses who are profiting as a result of their social media marketing efforts.
Small businesses may come up with several plausible excuses to justify their absence on social media. These excuses include lack of time, finances and knowledge. However social media may be the difference between a profitable and a non-profitable year for them.
Here’s a few tips to help small businesses maximise their impact on social media.
For anyone new to social media the top tip is consistency. The statistics mentioned above were in all likelihood enjoyed by businesses who increased the amount of time spent on social media and posted on a regular basis. But what does posting regularly actually mean? Depending on whose opinion you receive it can mean anything from every 30 minutes on Twitter to 0.5 posts a day on Facebook. A good general rule is to post once or twice a day on Facebook and around four times a day on Twitter. However, posting randomly is no good, you want to post at the times when your following is most active. Doing so greatly improves the likelihood that your posts are seen, therefore increasing the chances of engagement and increasing the likelihood of gaining new followers as a result.
The old proverb “failing to plan, is planning to fail” is especially true when it comes to social media. It it is extremely important to plan your posts. Posts can be planned a week or a month in advance and then stored using an Excel document or even in a notebook. Planning posts beforehand will save both time and energy.
Offer useful and helpful content
One sided conversations with businesses no longer appeal to people on social media. People are more interested in meaningful connections with the brands they like. An easy way of doing so is by providing your following with high quality content which is of use to your customers. This can be done by producing blogs to provide your following with information and to help you to be seen as a leading expert in your specific field. Social media also makes it incredibly easy for you to share your blog posts.
Log-in regularly and listen to your following
To ensure your posts reach your following when they are most active it is best to schedule in advance, as you may not always be able to be online during these times. However, this should not mean that you schedule posts and then forget about them. The nature of social media is to be social so it’s important to log into your accounts regularly, respond to any comments or questions, share and listen to what your following is talking about.
Select the right social channels
It can be all too easy to sign your small business up to all the main social media channels. This can actually be a mistake as you could be wasting time and energy if no perspective followers are seeing your content. It’s important to spend time finding out where your target audience hangs out on social media and target your efforts on these platforms.