A Beginner’s Guide to Being a Social Media Savvy Small Business

Social media isn’t for everyone. While there are many who enjoy posting on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, there are many others who use these platforms seldom, if at all. The brightness of the social media limelight attracts a certain type of moth.

Social media is an absolute must for any small business when it comes to marketing. It’s nothing short of a revolution – never before have businesses had access to such deep information on their advertising audience, and never before have campaigns been able to be so precisely directed to the right people. Social media marketing is infinitely more efficient and effective than traditional advertising – that’s a fact.

If you’re traditionally a social-media-shy type, this puts you in a bit of a pickle. You don’t have the resources to hire professional help, so it’s up to you to steer the social ship. You need to get involved with social media in the interests of your business’s future, but you don’t really know where to start.

Thankfully, appearing social media savvy is easier than you think. You don’t have to be a tech expert of Facebook fanatic to grow your online presence. It’s simply a matter of following these five simple steps:

1) Post content that’s relevant and interesting

Seemingly a no-brainer, but it’s remarkable how many accounting firms will post a torrent of cat memes or car dealerships will offer up an opinion on sport. The content that you post should be relevant to your business or your industry, and should aim to engage the audience. People have liked your page because they see it as providing some form of value – be sure to hold up your end of the bargain. Aim to educate or entertain with every post.

2) Automate the things that can be automated

If social media isn’t really your thing then the upkeep of your business’s profile can be a real grind. Thankfully utilities such as Hootsuite and Buffer have heard your cries and are on hand to minimise the effort. These tools allow you to control all of your social accounts from one screen, posting across platforms simultaneously, replying to comments in an instant, and checking and comparing engagement numbers in moments. Just be careful when posting and commenting across all platforms at once though; hashtags and links work differently on Instagram, for example, than they will on Facebook.

3) Engage and respond

Aloofness is not commonly cited as an endearing trait. If you offer up a bit of content to your followers and they engage with it, you need to engage back. Respond to commenters, even if that response is limited to ‘Great!’ or ‘Thanks so much!’

Engagement will foster a sense of community on your profile, and will help to further the reach of your posts. You need to start a conversation, but also keep it going.

4) Post at least 2-3 times per week

Posting frequency is a contentious issue on social media, and the ideal will vary depending on your audience. But at a minimum, you want to post at least 2-3 times a week. This will help to ensure that your business is always fresh in your followers’ minds, and will stop your profile looking stale and unloved.

5) Sponsor the good stuff

All major social platforms now have the option to pay for a sponsored post. This allows your business to get in front of a huge amount of ultra-relevant eyes, and all for just a few bucks. Rather than sponsor an untried post, it’s far wiser to pay to get an already successful post in front of a fresh audience. Find a popular post that will still speak to those who aren’t familiar with your business, and spend a few dollars to get it on the feeds of a few thousand users.

And if all else fails…

6) Think about hiring help

You’ve already admitted that social media isn’t your thing. Couldn’t someone else do it? While you’re not exactly a multi-national with a crack team of social media marketers on hand, hiring a student as an intern for just a few hours a week could be your reasonably priced saving grace. Social media is a whole lot of fun for a whole lot of people, particularly the younger generations who have grown up with it, so finding a cost-efficient social media officer might be easier than you think!

So sure, you might not exactly be the Stephen Hawking of Facebook, but by getting a handle on the fundamentals of social media you can offer up more than a passing impression of competence.

And your business will be all the better for it.

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