Social media is a necessity if you want to stay in front of your audience. As we’re bombarded by tweets, posts, and #hashtags daily, how do you rise to the top with your small business? Learn how to start, survive and succeed on the top social media platforms, writes Amanda Larson, Lead Marketer, Teacup
Social media is an unavoidable force, devouring us every day as we consume an endless stream of status updates, tweets, memes, GIFS, blogs and posts. Businesses know their consumers spend daily time on these platforms forcing every type of company to have a social presence. Staying top of mind is not just vital to attracting customers but surviving. As a small business owner, how do you break through the noise and reach your audience?
The social media world has its titans: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Next in line, still boasting millions of followers, are sites like Youtube, Reddit, StumbleUpon, and Quora. Even still, there are countless others like Snapchat, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google+, Flickr, or Periscope. The list goes on and on, but for time’s sake, we’ll just focus on the leaders.
How can you, a small business owner, market on these platforms? Here is a guide on how to navigate the waters of social media and have a prominent, and successful, presence online.
When talking social media, Facebook is one of the biggest titans out there. With 2 billion users, it’s a major hub for all businesses. Facebook can serve as a gateway to guide traffic to your website, blog or services – content to content. The best ways for your small businesses to market on Facebook is harnessing the platform for its original purpose – personal updates. Keep your content personable and give your audience the “behind-the-scenes” view of your business. Introduce your employees, interview your founder, or share the passion behind your product(s). Facebook’s free business tools give great insights to post engagements, sharing, and demographics. Keep an eye on your page’s metrics and see who is viewing and liking your posts, then take it a step further by “boosting” posts to these audiences . Facebook advertising is an intellectual way to market to your target audience and gain some new fans. It’s best used when confined to a geographic space, especially if you have a local business. One last tip – don’t be afraid to check out your competitors and learn from their success (or mistakes!).
Taking on Twitter
Twitter was made famous for celebrity rants and #hashtags, so it’s a place for personality. We like to think of Twitter like a supermini blog. Give light updates, show some personality and create or participate in live discussions. Because tweets are so short and sweet, it’s easy (and fun) to post on the fly. However, with this platform, you need to commit, so either tweet regularly or schedule your tweets in advance. Keep a good balance between work and play content, and feel free to @mention another user directly! Strike up some casual conversation, share a compliment or ask a question. There are plenty of benefits to prospecting new customers on Twitter, but consider if it’s right for you!
Looping in LinkedIn
The most professional platform out there, it’s 500 million users regard LinkedIn as a place to network, share career advice, and post business-related content. This is the place to build relationships and connections – so if you’re merely selling or advertising, you might struggle. Look at this platform as a social strategy for your B2B online presence. Consider asking a complimentary business about a new partnership, reach out to someone for mentorship, or post an interview. To get started, update your personal profile and business page regularly and gain recommendations to increase credibility. Demonstrate the value of your small business and post things that are educational or beneficial to readers. Keep the “feel-good” content for other sites .
Instagram in an Instant
All about visuals, Instagram gained its 800 million users by removing the text for nothing but eye-catching images. You may feel like it’s the social media of “cool kids” – and you’re not wrong as almost 46% of its users are under 34 years old. If you like taking photos and want to appeal to the younger generation, let’s get started. Balance your posts between informative and fun, and take those artsy photos you’ve always wanted to try out. With new Instagram Stories, it’s easy to post daily, quick updates or promote something new without cluttering your grid. Once you gain some traction, host a contest or giveaway by promoting people to follow and share your post. Since it’s all images, #hashtags are a big part of the discovery so be sure to use relevant and popular ones. To find these, check out similar accounts and try following complimentary brands. Connect to your other social accounts to easy cross-platform sharing. Above all else, keep it real and make it pretty (#Filters).
Now that you know how to survive on these platforms, choose which are most useful (or practical) for your audience. Before starting any social media strategy, take a moment to analyze what’s best for your audience, and you. You may think to yourself; Do I have enough visual content for Instagram? Am I clever enough for Twitter? Can I really commit to LinkedIn? You need the best version of yourself and your brand out there. No matter what platform(s) you choose, be authentic to yourself, share your brand’s voice, and engage with others! #GoodLuck.