Social media can be a powerful tool to help small businesses market themselves and engage with customers. Creating social media profiles is a great first step, but don’t let rookie mistakes hold your business back. Here's a list of social media do's and don'ts to help you post like a pro.
- Post Consistently
Social media is a great tool for any brand, but it can only be beneficial if it is utilized correctly. Create a content calendar each month and aim to post daily on each platform. Users can’t engage with your brand on social media if there is nothing to interact with.
- Utilize the best platforms for your business
The demographic that uses each social media platform might not be your target audience. For example, 60% of Snapchat users are under the age of 24. Pinterest and Instagram are visual platforms, which might not lend itself to every business. Similarly, Snapchat and Youtube take quite a bit of legwork to maintain. These are details to think through before creating an account on every single platform that exists. For maximum engagement, place content where you are most likely to target current and potential customers, and use a platform your business has time to manage. For a breakdown of the demographics of social media by platform users click here.
Facebook and Twitter both offer the ability to create custom campaigns with various objectives such as click conversions or more followers. Simply chose the demographic and the area to target, create an eye-catching post, and see the results with free analytics. Don’t feel the need to invest tons of money on advertising, either. Try out a few $5 posts and see which ad worked the best and why. Then maybe invest a little more money for larger results once a method has seen success.
- Ignore interactions
Take the time to respond to comments or tweets – the good and bad. 72% of people are more likely to make a future purchase from a small business after they interact with them on Twitter. Facebook and Twitter are built for users to interact with each other. While a “thank you” tweet might seem small, it does stand out and begins to build a relationship.
- Have a platform and not post on it
It looks unprofessional to have a Twitter account that hasn’t tweeted since 2010. If there isn’t time to manage a social media account, delete it. Every touch point with users makes an impression. Don’t let a disregarded social media account that pops up on a Google search be your lasting impression.
- Post aimlessly
Avoid simply posting to post. Write down the goal of each social media platform for your business. Is Twitter a customer service tool? Is LinkedIn a place for thought leadership? Is Instagram where products will be showcased? It’s OK to replicate content for each platform, but it should be repurposed and not repeated. Use each platform to accomplish a specific goal and tailor the content for each specific account.
Social media can be the best marketing tool for a small business if it is used correctly and efficiently. Stay tuned for more posts throughout the summer on how small businesses should utilize social media.
Morgan Trachtman is Detail & Design’s latest intern. She recently graduated from UNC Chapel Hill where she majored in Journalism and Mass Communication in the School of Media and Journalism. She volunteers with Girls on the Run and helps manage the GOTR social media accounts. Her goal is to one day own her own business that has a positive impact on the community around her.