With social media usage constantly on the rise, it’s imperative your small business learns how to capitalize on one of the world’s best digital marketing tools. It can seem tricky at first to manipulate the algorithms and figure out what your audience wants. But when you focus on simple, time-tried methods to boost your social media presence, you’ll start gaining traction. To get you started, here are our top 10 social media best practices for small businesses:
- Focus on the right platforms
- Build a community
- Jazz up your feed
- Use analytics to track performance
- Create organic and paid strategies
- Prioritize engagement
- Schedule your content
- Position yourself as an expert
- Put a face to your business
- Be patient
1. Focus on the right platforms
Who is your target audience and where do they spend most of their time online? When you’re first getting your social media campaign underway, it’s wise to study demographic trends to gain a better understanding of the best places to meet your audience.
Don’t automatically discount Facebook because it’s “phasing out” or TikTok because it’s not compatible with your brand. Perhaps most importantly, don’t limit yourself to one or two platforms—worldwide, the average millennial or Gen Z-er has an average of 8.4 social media accounts.
2. Build community
From Facebook groups to business partnerships, there are numerous ways to make your corner of the internet feel like home. Engage your audience through Twitter polls and Instagram stories, or hold contests or giveaways to encourage audience participation.
It’s the little things that will get your audience involved, like asking questions underneath your Instagram posts, hosting live streams, or creating dedicated hashtags.
3. Jazz up your feed
It’s great to have a branded posting style, but be sure your feed doesn’t get too dull. If you post a lot of infographics and text, balance them out with pictures and videos every now and then. Not only will this diversify your feed, but it will also appeal to different segments of your audience.
4. Use analytics to track performance
Social media engagement is becoming more measurable with every passing day. Make use of analytics tools like the one Hootsuite offers to determine when your audience is most active and which social strategies are most effective. As you experiment with your social media strategy, you could even try out A/B testing to make little changes that boost engagement dramatically.
5. Create both organic and paid strategies
Paid or unpaid? It’s a big question, and the answer is usually both. The two tactics serve different purposes, but they complement each other nicely.
For instance, paid social media allows you to promote your products and services to new audiences, while unpaid strategies work best for building your business’s reputation and engaging with your existing followers.
6. Prioritize engagement
There’s nothing more important than starting direct conversations with your audience. After all, that’s why social media was built.
Being responsive and offering promotions are among the top ways to boost audience engagement. But there’s a fine line between being helpful and being spammy, so don’t overload your followers with promotional content or excessive tweetstorms.
Related: The Secret to Going Viral
7. Schedule your content
As a small business owner, your time is extremely valuable. An automated content scheduling tool like Later can eliminate many of the manual tasks associated with social media management.
By scheduling posts in advance, you free up time for direct engagement and ensure you’re hitting all of your posting targets when your audience is most active. For best results, stick to a consistent post frequency for each platform.
8. Position yourself as an expert
Providing value to your audience without a sales spin is one of the best ways to attract attention on social media. Maybe you can link to a business blog with authoritative thought leadership content or offer helpful industry tips to your customer base.
No matter what strategy you choose, guard your social media reputation carefully, since it could make or break your business prospects.
9. Put a face to your business
Social media is one way of making your business more personable. You can use tools like Canva to create professional-looking graphics, but relying only on text or stock images won’t give your audience the full picture. Add a human touch to your marketing strategy by introducing your team and establishing personal connections through friendly, familiar faces. This is especially important for local businesses.
10. Be patient
Social media growth doesn’t happen overnight. And with new platforms emerging every day, it can feel like you’re just barely keeping up with your business’s social media strategy. But rest assured, time spent building your social presence is time well-spent.
Continue experimenting with new strategies and social channels, and more importantly, adopt a social media strategy that’s realistic. Avoid adopting a plan that’s too ambitious—overcommitting and underdelivering on your social media strategy could signify to your customers that you’re unreliable. With consistent effort and a little time, your social media channels will deliver valuable results.
Unlock the potential of social media for your small business
Social media is an important tool for connecting with your audience and securing conversions for your small business. With these 10 social media management best practices in your toolbox, you’ll be connecting with your customers in new and creative ways.
Since a comprehensive marketing strategy is best, you may also be interested in learning more about how your social media strategy can go hand-in-hand with email marketing best practices, as well as the difference between email marketing and social media.