Social Media Best Practices for Today’s Small Business
If you own a small to medium-size business, then you know just how important it is to use social media. Today's generation is all about social media and the internet, and it's not dying down any time soon. More and more consumers are using the internet and social media platforms to make their purchases and to find answers to their questions about a service or product.
Without your engagement in the social media world, your business might risk failure
. That's why it's crucial for you to understand social media best practices for your small business. Continue reading below to find out more!
Have a Plan
Always start with a plan. You don't want to jump into social media by posting just about anything. You should have a solid strategy in place for how you're going to target your customers with online marketing.
A plan will also help you know if you're reaching certain goals or not. Create measurable goals, research your competition, and create a social media calendar. These are all ways to begin putting together a plan.
Be sure to have organic strategies in place. These are strategies that you don't have to pay for, but ideally, bring in more money. Organic social media strategies help make your business noticeable and is a way to engage with preexisting customers.
Paid strategies are just as important, so be sure your business has both. Paid social media strategies help your business promote new products or services and they help you reach a new target audience.
Decide on Social Media
Deciding on what social media to use isn't as simple as it seems. Some platforms work better than others and which platform you decide to use might be based on who your target audience is. Do your research and learn what social media platform your target audience spends most of their time using.
With that being said, Facebook should be your first go-to platform. You might believe that only older people are using Facebook today, but that's not exactly true. Yes, you might find an older audience using Facebook more than any other platform
, so if your target audience is older, you'll want to put the majority of your focus here.
However, if your target audience is the millennial generation, then you have more options to choose from but Facebook still remains a highly-used social media platform even for millennials. This is why you should start with Facebook and develop your Facebook business page well.
Once you have your Facebook business page developed, don't forget about the other platforms. Instagram and Snapchat are two other highly-used platforms perfect for reaching the millennial audience. Pinterest's main users are women and LinkedIn is a great platform for connecting with professionals.
The platforms that you use all depend on who your target audience is. Think about who you're trying to reach and where they spend the majority of their time.
Know Your Audience
Now, as mentioned before, you need to know your audience. If you don't have a target audience in mind, you won't be able to create an effective social media page. You need to know who you're targeting.
Once you know your audience, you'll need to dig deeper until you understand them. What other pages are they interacting with? What products do they buy the most of?
When are they online?
It cannot be stressed enough that responding quickly to your audience is essential in building a strong social media presence. The more you respond to your customers, the more willing they are to make a purchase. Customers online expect a business' social media page to be entertaining, a source for interesting information, and a place to find promotions.
Expand Your Audience
After you've established a solid customer base, you can begin to expand your audience. For example, if your target audience is doctors, you can then expand your audience to reach anyone interested in health. You can still have doctors as your main focus, but post more general content that would be informational for anyone trying to stay healthy.
Engage With Content
Once you've posted content, you'll want to be sure to engage with that content. Don't simply post a video and then call it a day. You must keep up with the content you post, engage with the content itself, and engage with the customers regarding the content.
Share Compelling Visuals
The content you post
should be compelling visuals. Be sure to post all kinds of content types as well. Don't only post videos and infographics.
Post videos, photos, GIFs, interesting facts, infographics, and more. Be sure to mix it up every once in a while to ensure your customers stay engaged and not bored.
Focus on Quality, Not Quantity
The next step is to focus on quality content rather than quantity. Customers can easily feel overwhelmed with online advertisements, so you don't want to push anything down their throats. Focus on high-quality posts instead.
Guard Your Reputation
Remember to always guard your reputation. Social media is a wonderful place to expand your business and grow. However, it's also a place where a business can ultimately plummet.
Guard your reputation at all times. Always be mindful of what you post and take care to address any concerns a customer might have. Promote good customer service and you're already a step ahead.
As you guard and build your reputation, you want to build relationships with your customers as well. Over time, you will build these relationships by engaging with them on your social media platform. This is one of the many benefits of having a social media page for your business: direct communication with customers.
Ask them for suggestions, ask them what they like most, and ask them what could be improved on.
Be proactive when it comes to social listening. This means not only monitoring what is being said about your business on your social media page but also monitoring what is being said about your business throughout the internet as a whole. If there is any negativity, this is the best way to catch it and correct it.
Can You Handle These Social Media Best Practices?
Is your business strong enough to handle these social media best practices? Of course, it is! Follow these tips listed above and your business will be on its way to a successful social media marketing strategy.
Interested in more tips for small businesses? Check out our blog
on how to create a functional budget for your small business!