10 Social Media Tips for Small Businesses

20/Feb/2017 · 4 MINS READ

You’ve heard that social media marketing is the right way to move your small business forward, but you don’t see how on Earth to do it.

It all sounds so easy for brands like Coca-Cola with big budgets and even bigger reputations. Or Go Pro, a brand with endless opportunities for relevant content. But how can a local store or start-up hope to make a splash in the vast ocean of social media? Well, lucky for you, we’ve got ten great tips on how you can do just that!

1. Set the Right Goals

The most important part of starting off your business’s social media adventure is to keep your initial goals as realistic as possible. Though the Internet can make a video go viral out of seemingly nothing, it’s much more likely that your initial results will be more modest.

Social media are primarily a great tool for generating brand awareness, and aiming to gain a few followers a week is a great start. Once the numbers have started to come in, that’s when more expansive lead-generating and sales targets can be added into the mix. It’s important to remember that sometimes quality is better than quantity. Initially it’s nice to have a few thousand followers. But eventually you need to start making sure that your followers are relevant. Are they in your target area? Are they actually interested in your product.

2. Be Active

It’s no use just setting up social media pages for your small business and letting them sit there. To encourage customers to follow and interact with you, it’s important to have a regular stream of content (once a day, at the very least).

A great way to do this is to set up a content schedule, with your posts pre-planned about a week ahead of time. This gives you enough time to set up some great content, but also keeps it tuned into trending topics in your business’s industry

3. Don’t Just Self-Promote

Speaking of your industry – posting content about industry news and events is a great way to keep up a steady content stream. Most people simply won’t follow social media pages that only try to send them to sales pages, so sharing other content is a strong alternative.

For example, if you’re running a bakery, there’s no shortage of YouTube, Instagram and blog content out there that you can share on your business’s page. Not only will this encourage people to follow you, it will also let you create a strong voice for your business.

4. Build Relationships

When you start sharing content on your social media pages, you’ll find both consumers and other pages will start interacting with you, and it’s very much worth responding. Getting into conversations with your followers and other brands is the ultimate online networking tool, and the relationships you build could prove to be a huge bonus for your business. Aim to engage with your audience each day, and try to answer all their queries and thank them for their comments.

5. Ask for Feedback

And when you’ve built a strong relationship with your customers, your social media accounts are a great place to ask for feedback. Though not everything may turn out to be helpful, if lots of customers pass on the same piece of constructive criticism, then it’s an opportunity for you to take it on board.

This will show your followers you care about what they think, it will improve your business and will lead to greater returns in the future.

6. Make Use of Analytics Tools

At this stage, almost every social media platform comes with powerful analytics tools that will tell you a lot about your followers. You’ll have access to detailed demographics, you’ll know at what time of day they’re most likely to interact with you, and much more. Making use of these tools is relatively simple, and will teach you a lot about customer habits and improve your social media game.

7. Adapt Based on Those Tools

If knowing is half the battle, then using that knowledge is the other. By taking what you learn from your social media analytics tools, you can start improving your business’s performance on social media.

More women than men follow you? Start skewing your content more towards that audience.

Get more likes and comments around 8PM? Then start scheduling your posts for seven o’clock instead of two.

8. Coordinate your Social Channels

Though treating all social channels the same way would be a mistake (after all, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook are altogether very different), that doesn’t mean you can’t share similar content across all of them.

If you’ve got a great piece of video content, then post it across all your social media pages, but do be sure to tailor each post so that it best fits the platform it’s on. The same goes for the timing of your post. You might want to share the same content on different platforms on different days or weeks.

9. It’s Great to Sync with Other Marketing Content

Social media pages are also a great place to share other marketing content. If an influencer has written a blog post for you, it is absolutely in your best interests to also share it across social media platforms. Did you have a great piece of press for an experiential event you hosted? Or a live video you’d like to stream? Social media is the perfect platform to share it on. You might even have business news, announcements and updates to share.

Not only will social media boost those pieces of content, but you’ll also get to see what your followers think of them, which means you’ll be able to make more informed marketing decisions going forward.

10. Boost Results with Social Advertising

Once you’ve built a space for your business on social media, it might be time to reach out to a broader audience. When that time comes, you’ll need to find a way to get your business’s social content in front of people who don’t follow you already, and the best way to do that is through social advertising.

The best part is, ads on social media can be highly targeted and optimised according to how they are performing, and which audiences they resonate with the most.

And that’s the power of social media. Even if you’re the smallest of small businesses, these tips should help you start to build a social media strategy that will work for you.