Social media is a great way for small businesses to reach out and directly speak to their customers. Making the most out of these social interactions leads to better, longer and more personal relationships between customer and business.
Customers who feel heard and valued by a business are far more likely to turn around and recommend that business to their friends. And, that relationship can tip the scales when they make their own buying decisions.
So how can small business maximize their social media platforms? Here are a few tips and tricks to boost your social media game.
1. Understand your goal.
One of the first questions we ask our clients is, “What is your goal? What do you want to come out the other end of this?” It is vital to take the time to get clear on exactly what the goal is. Are you trying to boost your overall brand awareness? Grow your social media followers? Increase engagement with your website? Make online sales? Drive traffic to your brick and mortar business?
There is no right answer to this question, but the answer will impact how your run your social media platforms. Your primary goal may shift over time, but understanding what your goal is right this red-hot minute will help you develop a solid social media plan.
2. Research your competition.
Look at the social media accounts of businesses or services like yours. Pay attention to the ones that have low numbers and the ones that are doing well.
You’ll quickly see which businesses are using their social media presence to meet goals and which ones have a social media presence simply because someone told them they had to be on social media.
Once you see what is working for these businesses, figure out how to take that information and put your own spin on it for your own social media presence.
3. Choose your platforms.
Now that you’ve determined your goal and have done your research, it’s time to choose your platforms. As tempting as it is to say “all of them,” not every social media platform will be awesome for your particular business. You probably noticed in your research that some businesses do better (i.e., have a larger following and/or more interactions) on just one or two platforms.
For businesses brand new to social media, it’s generally best to pick one platform and grow it. Once you’ve established your online business persona and following on one platform, you can experiment with other social media platforms.
4. Define your social media persona.
Your business social media persona is typically not the same as your personal social media persona. Keeping your social media persona, or the business’s “public face,” in line with your business goals and your customer base is the key here. If you run a quirky fashion boutique, then it might be a good call to focus on that in your social media. Again, there are no right answers here. It is a matter of what works for you and your business.
5. Know your Audience.
One of the biggest benefits of social media for small businesses is the chance to understand your audience. Using the analytics tools available, really dig into who your followers are on social media. This can help businesses talk directly and intelligently with their audience.
A quick way to get some good information on your audience is to run an ad or two and see what is working, what isn’t, and who the people are who engage with your ad. With a little data under your belt, you’re ready to move on to the next step.
6. Get Creative.
The main reason people flock to Social Media platforms is entertainment, pure and simple. Smart small business owners understand this and deliver at least as much entertainment as they do sales offers.
Healthy social media accounts understand this and offer a variety of creative content that is preferably both related to the business or service and still entertaining. Remember to post and re-post photos, memes, videos and articles that fit your business and online persona.
7. Get Social!
The single best thing a small business can do with their social media is to actively connect with customers and potential customers. Once your accounts are up and running, make sure to invite people to like your page or follow your account and remember to follow or like back. It’s also important to reply to comments, whether the comment is a positive one or a negative one. These social connections only work for you if you maintain those relationships.
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