How to use social media wisely as a small business
Social media can be an effective platform to improve brand awareness, demonstrate personality, increase traffic to your website and even generate new leads. However, without a strategic plan, social media management can be time-consuming and leave small businesses challenged by what platforms they should invest time in and how many resources to allocate.
To help give an insight into social media channels we’ve pulled together a list of popular platforms, their best features and our tips for each.
With over 2 billion Facebook users worldwide, it’s no surprise that this is the most popular social channel for businesses to promote on, but how can it be successful for small businesses?
Facebook provides a platform to engage with existing and potential customers through sharing useful content, pictures and videos. Most small businesses find that the first hurdle is having enough quality content to post regularly. If your updates are sporadic, this can leave your Facebook page looking unloved to potential customers. We recommend quality over quantity and to focus on useful not ‘salesy’ content for followers! Remember, it’s a two-way conversation on social media, so encourage your followers to share their opinions, comment on posts and do make sure you reply to messages you receive.
- Use video content where possible as it is always popular.
- Where possible post content that encourages users to click a link to learn more on your website.
- Consider using advertising – Facebook allows you advertise to the demographic you are trying to target, so you can reach the right people and get your message out there faster.
- Learn how to use profile and analytics tools to understand which posts perform the best and how many people you engage with.
Instagram is solely for photos and videos and allows ‘scrollers’ to engage with friends, celebrities, and brands. The visual impact of Instagram is most beneficial for B2Cs, especially those marketing visually appealing products such as clothing retailers, architects, and bridal boutiques.
A business that is purely B2B may find it more difficult to engage directly with potential customers. In this case, using Instagram to showcase what your company is up to and updates on new projects may be a more effective route, and can double as a gallery on your website!
Don’t forget the all-important hashtag! The use of relevant hashtags will draw in appropriate audiences and you’ll have yourself a #winner.
- Keep your content regular, on brand and consistent!
- Use appropriate hashtags that relate to your post, this will mean you engage with the people that are genuinely interested.
- If you are trying to increase your following, make sure you are communicating with other like-minded people and brands.
- There are likely to be certain days or times during the week that you will receive higher engagement levels. Instagram itself doesn’t have a scheduling option, so pick your times wisely or use a platform such as Hootsuite to remind you to post.
Similarly to Instagram, Twitter allows you to reach people directly and also broadcast to the masses. Content on Twitter should be short, sweet and engaging, and isn’t a particularly ‘salesy’ channel either. To be successful, it requires you to connect with others instantly, if people want a response immediately, that’s open for the world to see, they will likely jump to Twitter to get their voice heard. So think about if you can meet the needs of your potential customers.
- Don’t just tweet in your office hours. You can use a social media management system, like Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule updates if it’s easier.
- Search for certain mentions to identify business opportunities.
- Engage with others.
- Unlike Instagram, don’t go too mad on the hashtags, be more specific in your choice.
LinkedIn is a business and employment oriented social media platform. It allows professionals to connect with similar individuals and share updates on their job positions, company news and industry insights. If used correctly, LinkedIn can provide opportunities to connect with the decision makers in the business you hope to work with and therefore is perfect for service companies.
Aside from the business opportunities, we always recommend a presence on LinkedIn as it’s often considered the ‘professional’ thing to do. When recruiting new employees or looking for new work, contenders will often come to LinkedIn to check out the company.
- People like to see that a real person is behind the updates, so don’t always use ‘business talk’, make it more natural and add a bit of your personality!
- Use the ‘people you may know’ tool to find great connections
- Join and contribute to appropriate groups on LinkedIn
- Segment your connections to allow for more personalised content to be sent
- Create and share useful articles on your LinkedIn ‘homepage’ and the ‘Publisher’
How can CW Marketing help?
If you are interested in improving your social media, Georgie and Jess, our social media experts will be happy to help. Get in contact with us today to discuss your needs and the packages that we offer, we can work with you on a retained basis, or have options for one off work. Alternatively, we can run a short training session to get you up to speed with the basics. Call us on 01202 888200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.