As a small business, how often do you consider your social media? It’s often easy to regard this as the “When I have a moment” task when so much else is claiming your time. If that’s the case, you might be missing out.

Social media is a cost-effective way to engage and forge relationships with existing and potential customers, build brand awareness, drive sales and direct traffic back to your website. But it requires an active, well-managed online presence to ensure your content is interesting, useful and engaging to achieve the maximum impact. For a small business, it’s not so much about how many followers you have, but what engagement you have with them.

Here are 6 social media tips

1. Always have a plan

Before posting anything, you need to define your marketing goals. Take time to create a strategic social media plan. This not only ensures that your online content supports your business objectives, but also enables you to curate and schedule your content so it is varied across platforms and posted at the most appropriate times: post too much and you risk alienating followers; post too little and you lose engagement.

2. Look at the competition

See how your competitors are using social media and see what does and doesn’t work. Look at other businesses beyond your sector for inspiration and see what might be applicable for your products or services.

3. Know your audience

Compile data on your existing customers, create surveys and polls to gain more feedback, and use your social media analytics to understand customer habits better.

While sales numbers are obviously a valuable metric, you should also know such information as the social media that drives traffic to your website and the engagement rates for individual posts. Such metrics can help you to create buyer personas on your target audience and to develop your social media strategy.

4. Choose your platforms

You may already have a Facebook page, but other platforms may help to expand your customer base or reach different audiences. You need to know, however, which platforms are most relevant to your target audience and adjust the tone and presentation of your content accordingly.

A one-size-fits-all approach won’t work. Facebook, for instance, is a more conversational platform while the B2B users of LinkedIn are looking for information, insights and business-related updates. Instagram is the place for good quality photos, images or short videos that embody your brand values and personality while YouTube could be the place for an instructional video.

5. Have the right content

Authenticity and consistency are vital for any small business and your content has to reflect your brand’s voice, tone and personality. Simply offering a sales pitch will turn off potential followers. You need to offer value through sharing your expertise, insights and experiences with a light, engaging touch. Both text and images need to be relevant, inclusive and accessible to your intended audiences.

6. Quality, not quantity

Don’t let the choice of social channels overwhelm you. It’s more important to start off creating good, relevant and engaging content for a couple of chosen platforms than to try to have a presence on every single one. Having three to four really strong, engaging posts per week is more effective than posting every day with hastily compiled or old content that doesn’t resonate with customers.

Whether you need to review your existing social media and analytics, create buyer personas, help with content generation or require a social media strategy, contact us today to see how we can help.