Expert tips for small businesses and new brands getting started on social media
It’s no secret that social media is a powerful and cost-effective marketing tool for businesses of all types and sizes. Billions of users are constantly engaging on social platforms, which is an opportunity and a challenge for small businesses or new brands.
While it can be relatively easy to learn how to manage your social media, it’s also very easy to feel your efforts being wasted and your message getting lost in the vast and hectic social spaces.
For this reason, we’ll guide you through some social media marketing essentials to help get you started on the right foot.
Set Up Your Accounts
1. Before anything, choose your social platforms wisely: Define which ones have the most advantages for your business based on their functionalities and type of users they attract.
- If millenials are your main audience, Instagram should probably be one of the main platforms to focus on.
- If you opened a new shop or sell local services, you’ll definitely want to consider build up your profile on Google My Business.
- For event-based businesses, leveraging Facebook’s event marketing features is wise.
Take the time to research which platforms best support your business goals and the different features that benefit you.
2. While you don’t need to be active on every social platform, it is a good idea to claim your @username on as many as possible. It’s best to have the same @username across all platforms to unify your marketing and for users to find you more easily.
3. Take the time to fill out your profile with as many details as possible: Business bio, company background, contact deets, and other relevant information about your products or services. The settings and options differ from one platform to another, some allow you to input more information than others. Try to find a tone that suits each one while remaining consistent with your message. For example, your tone will be more formal on LinkedIn and more fun on Instagram.
4. Dress up your profiles: Place your profile image, cover image, and other media the platform allows you set in. Not everyone is a graphic designer, luckily there are very user friendly tools such as Canva to craft sharp looking designs without being a professional. Many of these tools already size your canvas to the exact ratio for any purpose and platform, and also come with templates you can customize to your brand image.
Develop a Relevant Content Strategy
Some small businesses have an easier time generating content than others, such as entertainment venues who rarely run out of stories to share. The challenge comes when you need to build a storyline to integrate the promotion of your product or services, and deliver them in a way that compels your key audience. Your strategy will largely differ depending on what type of business or brand you are marketing. In any case, here are some helpful hints that can help you “find your voice” on social media.
1. Know your crowd: Think of your ideal audience, like geographics and demographics that characterize your potential customers. What type of content do they like to engage with? You’ll know if you should perhaps focus on live stories, videos, blogs, and what topics are both related to your business and their interests. This helps you find ways to contribute insightful content that also highlights the benefits of your products or services.
2. Educate and entertain: Share your knowledge while keeping it fun and simple. People like to learn useful tips and get advice from experts. Show them what you do with before/after project photos, short video tutorials, fun facts, or infographics to name a few examples. Sometimes the best marketing approach is raising awareness about a subject that is directly related to the growth of your brand or business.
3. Curate content: Don’t talk about yourself only. Sharing quality content posted by other users or interesting articles from other websites is a great way to maintain activity, associate with influential users you echo by showing your support. Milanote is an awesome note taking and project planning app we use ourselves and highly recommend. They have an awesome Social Media Calendar Template that will greatly help plan and schedule your posts.
Post Planner is another app that not only helps you syndicate and schedule posts, it helps you find and organize top rated social content you can share, and many other useful features with some of the lowest pricing when compared to similar apps.
4. Promote and advertise: Share special offers, contests and giveaways that will encourage people to take action: shop, sign-up, share a post or a photo, etc. Platforms like Facebook have easy-to-use advertising tools that are optimized for different objectives, and make it fairly simple to manage paid campaigns. Promoting yourself through fan generated content such as product reviews and client testimonials. Promotional posts should not usually take more than 25% of your social media content to create a good balance between social and marketing.
Not a designer? Not a problem. You can create short videos and animated posts with apps like Ripl, which already gives you several templates to start from.
Need some cool stock photos but don’t want to pay for them? Check out Unsplash or PikWizard for tons of free quality images that will certainly come in handy! Test and discover apps that help you achieve awesome results with little effort, like InShot, GIF Maker and many more.
Monitor Activity & Engage With Users
Engaging with your audience is just as important as sharing good content. Download the apps needed to receive the notifications that matter, such as direct messages from users asking about your products/services, or @mentions and comments allowing you respond and record feedback. Take some time to reply, like, share, and comment on posts that mention your brand or business.
Need Help with Your Social Media Marketing Strategy?
There’s only so much you can do when you and your team already manage day-to-day business operations on a full-time schedule. When it comes to maximizing the potential of your social media marketing, we have experience and solutions to empower brands and businesses of all types and sizes. We provide effective content strategy and development with account management and reporting on all relevant KPIs. Need influential networking to amplify your message? We do that. Targeted ad campaigns? We’ll make the most of your budget to obtain a healthy ROI. Also, we are fun to work with!
Need Help with Your Social Media Marketing Strategy?
Find out more about our social media marketing services and contact us for consultation with our experts.