Social media tips for small business
I’m well aware when you run a small business, whether its a company of one or several, quite often you are the one with ALL the responsibilities. All the jobs to do. With an endless and ever growing ‘To Do’ list. At that point social media will constantly fall to the bottom of that list simply due to the lack of time pressure. So I wanted to share some social media tips to help your small business.
I get it. I really do. It’s not a paying customer is it? However, being active on social media when you have a small business can get you seen by a bigger audience that can covert into paying customers. It makes sense that social media becomes part of your marketing strategy rather than an afterthought as something you feel you need to do.
So with time constraints in mind I thought I would share some social media tips to help. Some easy do’s and don’ts that will help you run your account in a smarter way rather than you have to work harder. So here are my favourite social media tips for small business.
OK let’s start with the ‘Don’ts’
1. DON’T POST AND GHOST. If you are going to post a photo to your grid and take the time to write a caption, then do not just pop it on there and disappear expecting all the magic to happen. Make sure you have time after you post to answer any comments made as soon as possible. This creates a mini conversation on it and shows Instagram that your post is of interest. If it recognises the activity on the post the algorithm will allow it to be seen by more accounts.
2.DO NOT JOIN FOLLOW LOOPS. This is a true bone of contention with me and something I’m asked to do in my DM’s on a regular basis. Let’s say the reason your social media drops to the bottom of your ‘to do’ list is because you are time short. It doesn’t make sense to waste the precious time you have by having to ( because of the follow loop rules) go through and like every post from all the participants. These will be empty likes on your account and theirs. They will not magically convert into paying customers. However, by spending that precious time properly engaging on other local business accounts because you genuinely like their products or services will get you seen by their audiences. Therefore, this will increase your visibility to a whole host of new potential customers. Makes more sense, right?
3.NOT USING HASHTAGS WISELY. I know, I know, the whole hashtag issue can be a real minefield. How many is best to use etc. This is always changing and can be hard to keep up with. So, for now I would advise you to look at the actual hashtags you are using rather than how many. Say for example, you have a seasonal product for Christmas. If you actually search the #Christmas hashtag yourself you will see there are over 164 million posts! 164 MILLION. So what are the actual chances your little post will be seen at all in amongst that number of accounts using it? But if you niche that topic down to a relevant product that you make, for example, #christmasbaubles you will see it only has around 157 thousand accounts using that hashtag. The number of people searching that particular hashtag goes down however, statistically the chances of your post actually being seen by people goes up. The audience is smaller but your chances of being seen improves dramatically. So be smart with your hashtags rather than worry about how many to use.
4. DO NOT OVERTHINK POSTS. Sometimes the pressure to post can be so much that you feel you have nothing valuable to say or show on your grid. Especially if you do not post on regular basis. That pressure can actually stop you from posting anything at all because you want it to be so good or just perfect. Stop right there! In order for your social media to work you need to post regularly. It doesn’t have to be every day. It could be 3 times a week with stories running in between. So with that in mind let go of perfection. Done will always be better than not because you’re waiting on it to be perfect.
Now for some ‘Do’s’
- SET ASIDE TIME FOR SOCIAL MEDIA. Hear me out here. Even just 15 minutes used wisely while you slurp your first coffee in the morning will make a difference to you account over time. If you can start with 15 minutes just twice a day to begin with it will become a habit and part of your natural work routine. Making sure you’re notifications are on for around 30 minutes or so after you post to your grid will help with answering initial first comments too. Going with the little and more often approach, and using all the tips will start to show on your account over time.
2. ANSWER EVERY COMMENT. Now for this I’m talking to the smaller accounts that obviously do not get hundreds of comments. If someone comments an your post and you answer quickly, not only does it double the activity on your post but that potential customer will see that you are interested and approachable. People will always buy from those they feel that they know, like and trust. Engaging with people on your social media starts that journey with potential customers. If you get a few comments on the post and you answer them quickly, then Instagram will see that particular post as being active and it will signal the algorithm to show the post to others. It can only be a win win for your account.
3. POST ON STORIES EVERYDAY. This is a brilliant way of keeping your account active even if you haven’t got a formulated grid post to use. Stories are a much more informal way of engaging on your account. People want to be entertained. Show behind the scenes, funny memes, things that have gone wrong that day, or products you have going out to customers. Use the stickers, the polls by asking questions such as ‘ this or that’ to gauge what customers prefer. Stories allow for customers to see your personality and your sense of humour which all helps them to trust you and what you are selling.
4. ENGAGE AND FOLLOW OTHER LOCAL BUSINESSES. Ok I don’t mean anyone in direct competition to you, but other small businesses in your local area or small businesses you have bought from yourself. Genuinely commenting on their posts will get your name in front of their followers who may in turn check out your account. By sharing an offer or a giveaway another local business is running will almost guarantee they will share to their own stories. Again this gets your business seen by their audience and if they then pop in to your DM’s to say thank you it can start a professional relationship. They may even take the time to return the favour to you too. This sort of engagement is much more beneficial to standard business follow loops with rules to abide by and the pressure that involves.
Now I realise these are literally just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to social media. I could list a lot more ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ that’s for sure. But I definitely think these are enough to get you started on the right path of getting your account to work harder for you without taking up all of your time. Lets face it time is always of the essence, no matter what we do. So when we have all the responsibilities that comes with running a small business anything that makes our life a little easier is definitely worth investing in, right?
If you would like some easy content ideas pop over to @justmebeingmrsb on Instagram for my post sharing 14 easy ideas to get the ball rolling and hopefully help you find your posting mojo again.