Social media can be a great tool for small businesses to tap into their target audience, build relationships with their customers and ultimately generate sales. But it can be overwhelming and difficult to know where to start.
Our top 10 social media tips for small businesses by Shout About Suffolk Hub member Nina Christensen of Strawberry Lemon Digital will help you navigate this highly effective marketing tool:
You’ve have your company name and domain but you don’t need to worry about social media until you’re ready to launch right? Wrong! Grab those accounts now.
Tools such as Namecheckr make this easier. Aim to have the same handle on each platform if possible (Twitter can often scupper this however as handles are only 15 characters long).
Secure at minimum Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (Pinterest also if you are a visual brand). You may not use them all but better that you have the handles than another business.
Committing to a social media activity can be daunting. Starting with a thought through plan makes it feel more achievable and avoids a haphazard approach. Include your goals, research competition and accounts you admire, define your tone of voice, image style and produce a calendar to follow.
Be realistic. Are you going to be able to post across all platforms well? Does every platform suit your business? Choose the platforms where your audience can be found.
Don’t just churn out sales posts. Think about what your audience wants to see/read in their personal social media space. What is likely to be valuable to them, make them stop and read rather than continue to scroll?
Social media isn’t just about pushing content and hoping that your audience will see it. You need to build relationships, invest in engagement and interact with your followers and your prospective followers regularly to grow and ultimately get a return from social media. Like, comment, follow – and make sure you always reply to comments on your posts and DM’s.
You are far better to post a good quality image and caption once a week than blast out low quality content 5 times a week. Try and take your own images where you can and intersperse them with well-chosen stock images. Craft interesting captions that give value to the audience. Don’t ask for people to share or like and try and avoid a sales message in every post.
Stories are a perfect opportunity to share some of your company personality. The posts can be less ‘perfect’ and should give more of a backstage insight into the brand. By having a story live it gives you another space where your audience are reminded of your brand.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to do all of the heavy lifting, there are some great tools available. I’m a big fan of Canva to create posts and Later to schedule them. You can put aside a day and schedule all of your posts for the next few weeks and concentrate on engagement throughout the month.
Every platform offers insights into your activity. Overtime you can start to see the type of posts that gain more traction and engagement and amend your plan accordingly. Don’t forget to also track through to website activity so you can see through to conversion.
Once you have your social media activity up and running consider testing paid advertising on the platforms. It is becoming harder and harder to organically gain traction through social media and a relatively low budget can help you reach your ideal audience through boosting posts or creative targeted ads.
Feeling a little overwhelmed by social media or want help with a plan? Nina from Strawberry Lemon Digital runs social media workshops, creates strategies and plans for businesses wanting a help getting started and offers a full social media management service for those who need a presence but struggle with the time.
Contact Nina at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow on Instagram for more tips – @strawberrylemondig
Nina Christensen, Founder Stawberry Lemon