7 Top Social Media Practices for Small Business
Social media has been helping small business make money for years. It’s a great marketing platform and allows them to compete with huge corporate brands, if done correctly. These days it seems that ever Tom, Dick and Sally has a platform for their business. So, how do you stand out? It’s quite simple really - You have to be better.
Let’s discuss the the 7 top social media best practices that you can incorporate into your small business to have a successful social media presence. Don’t join the crowd. Stand apart and here’s how you can do it:
Always Create High Quality Content
A lot of people who have small businesses fall into the trap of assuming that, since it is just social media, they don’t have to put in much effort. They can’t be more wrong.
Regardless of the social network you choose, what matters most is the content. Have you seen how big businesses handle their social media platform? They usually have high quality, engaging videos and images. Their captions are written to draw followers in.
Don’t let your small business become an excuse. If anything, social media allows you to have a level playground with other bigger companies. There are free and ridiculously cheap apps that allow you to create quality content right on your phone. Take advantage of them.
To create content that your followers will love, keep in mind what is relevant to your target audience. They can be important announcements about the brand or about issues related to the sector that involves your business. They could be hilarious or curious. You could seek your followers’ opinions.
Don’t forget to engage with your followers in the comment section. Be witty, charming and most importantly be honest. Keep the conversation lively, and see how your followers engage with you. It is called social media for a reason. Keep it social.
Whatever you do, focus on encouraging a relationship with the public and don’t be overly salesy. Make content that creates a close connection with your audience. There are countless people and brands trying to sell their products or services, stand out by not being another sales man.
Create a Social Media Plan
Great social media comes with a plan. Think carefully: What message do I want to send? Who do I want to reach? How do I generate a positive impact? What language do I use? How much content should be published per day and on what platform? Everything has to be very well designed and planned before entering any social media campaign.
There are several applications that can help you outline weekly or monthly contents and will allow you to schedule your content in advance. This is of vital importance if you want to keep a clear track of brand activities on different social media platforms.
You don’t even need a dedicated content managing application (if you are starting our and strapped for cash). You can keep track in a simple Excel document or a Word Document. The important thing is to be aware of what is required in the short, medium and long term.
Schedule Your Content
You’ll probably notice that this sounds similar to the previous suggestion. That’s because they do go hand-in-hand. Once you have decided on your plan and your content, you will have to get that onto your social media platform and out to your audience.
Running a small business is time consuming and we all get lost in the everyday things we need to handle. By scheduling your posts ahead of time and at the right time, you are guaranteed consistency. All the AI’s and algorithms love consistency. Regular and timely posting helps create a bond between you and your followers. They will know exactly when to expect your posts . Building consistency builds brand trust.
Engage, Comment and Address Issues
The person following you on social media may not be your customer yet, however, by engaging with them and building trust you will change that.
Both your customers and potential customers are important. There are many followers currently watching how you interact with the public. Social networks enhance the interaction between users and businesses. But keep in mind that this closeness can be a double-edged sword.
You’ve heard the saying, “The customer is always right”. A client, poorly treated or ignored, can easily become an enemy. You can be sure that they’ll tell everyone about it and what’s worse; your lack of customer service skills will be spread over social media for all to see, which could generate a bad reputation for your business.
Follow Your Competitions’ Social Networks
Social media is about finding your voice and seeing what resonates with your audience and a lot can be learned by watching your competitors. No (wo)man is an island, and your small business is not the custodian of all the trade secrets in your industry. Do yourself a favor, keep an open mind, learn from your competitors and watch the industry closely for new trends.
What are they doing right? What kind of content is generating the most responses from their followers? These are some of the questions you should be asking yourself. This does not mean that you need to copy your competitors, learn and adapt. Be true to yourself.
There is a lot to learn from the wins and mistakes of your competitors on social media. Experience is the best teacher, but learning from the experience of others is less hurtful. Pay special attention to the crises they go through and identify the reasons behind them, so that you can avoid them.
Watch Your Spellings
We have all seen that awful post where someone has made a (small) spelling error and the message is completely drowned out by the noise of people correcting them. While it might appear all right to use short form words on social media platforms like Twitter, it is advisable to write your words fully and correctly. A post with grammatical errors can become a nightmare.
If possible, invest in an online review service, or make sure you have a member on the team with excellent spelling to check the work.
Use URL Shorteners
It’s important to take into account the links you share. Avoid publishing complete links , especially the long, extended ones, to your website or sales page.Use a URL shortener, like Bitly, to keep things neat and tidy.
When you post these links, the service allows you to track the clicks and shares that the link is generating. You can see which websites those clicks are coming from and learn how your content is being read, shared and distributed, valuable information to measure a new campaign or service.
Tracking your links with URL shorteners is a simple way to maximize the time and resources you invest into the social media aspect of your business.
These are some best practices that will help you improve your social media campaigns and position your brand on the road to success.