Using social media for business isn’t easy. You may find that there are tons of rules and everyone has different ways of doing things. Plus these platforms stay changing things. The best advice I can give you is to take in the information and try it out to see what works best for you, your business, and audience. Remember what may work for one person may not work for you. Either way, here are my best social media tips for small businesses.
Ten Social Media Tips for Small Businesses
When using social media to market your small business, you are more than likely on several platforms. These tips I’m sharing with you can be applied to all, if not most.
Tip #1: separate your business and personal
If you feel the need to have your account private, then you may need to have two separate pages. It’s easier now to switch between multiple accounts via Instagram without the need of sign-in and out. There’s no need to befriend everyone on your Facebook Profile. You can create a private (or public) page or group for your business and invite people to interact with you there. Platforms like Linkedin are more for professional contacts, so there’s no need to have two accounts.
Tip #2: don’t make your page private
You do not want to put any barriers in place for people to connect with your business. There is no reason why your business page should be private. What are you posting that must be hidden? Unless it’s adult content. For example you are a consultant for Kandi’s Bedroom Kandi. That I can understand because minors do use Instagram. Other than that, having a private page is sending the message that you are not opening for business.
No one is going to wait for you to see their request and approve it so they can see what your are posting. And if you follow them with a private page, they may not even follow you back. If you are worried about managing your business social media accounts, then maybe you should think about hiring a virtual assistant or a social media manager.
Tip #3: do not buy followers
First of all the followers you will get will be fake, therefore a waste of money. Your business can’t make money from people who don’t exist or are not interested in what you’re selling. You want to build a following organically so they can connect with you and your story. When you do this it’s easier to convert them to a client or consumer.
Tip #4: don’t play the “follow to unfollow” game
Speaking of followers, please do not follow just to unfollow when as soon as they follow you back. This is not the game you want to play. What’s stopping that same person from unfollowing you back once they notice that you have unfollowed. How would they know? There are apps that provided this information or they can just go through their list of followers. One last note, do not make it a priority of keeping track of who unfollows you. Although, there is one thing that you should do (see my next tip).
Tip #5: clean out your followers
I suggested that you don’t follow to unfollow. However, it is okay to unfollow when someone is posting content that no longer interest you. If they have gone inactive for months, it’s okay to unfollow then as well. Also don’t forget to follow some new people every now and then. This way you can have your timeline full of information that you like and want to engage with.
Tip #6: do engage with people
Engagement is important. Just posting isn’t enough. So go one step further and comment on that video you are watching, reply to that tweet you just read or that post you just saw on Instagram. However, when you leave comments – avoid just leaving a nice pic or leaving an emoji. Put some effort into the comment and show that you actually look at the content. Also reply back to the comments that are left on your postings. Try and do it for every single one you get (definitely in the beginning).
Tip #7: post consistently
Now, I’m going to be honest, I need to take my own advice because there times I get stuck with coming up with content. In order to grow our audiences on social media we need to provide them with content to read and engaged with. If we don’t they will unfollow and therefore we lose the chance to convert them to a client or consumer.
Tip #8: schedule post in advance as much as possible
We juggle many things so don’t feel bad that you cannot be on social media all day, every day. A great way to maximize your time is to do a little batching. Sit down and plan out you posts for a week or two, take the necessary photos and write your captions. Then you can use apps like Hootsuite, Later (referral link), or Planoly (referral link) to schedule out your posts in advance depending on the platform.
However don’t forget number six – it always good practice to log-on and engaged (there goes that word again). So be sure to respond to comments left on your photos/videos/tweets, return likes that you received, like and comment on other people’s posts/videos/tweets, etc. My last tip is probably the most important one of all.
Tip #9: use DMs wisely
DM stands for direct message. On platforms like Twitter and Instagram you can send someone a private message or DM. Please stay away from sending out non-personal Auto DMs to every new person that follows you. For example, I received one of these messages on one of my Instagram profiles and it started with “Hey Monetize”.
My name is not Monetize. See on Instagram where it asks for your name, most people use keywords or maybe a description of what they do. Which is what I did, it’s another way to market yourself. Therefore, when you use an auto message, it’s a failed. In my reply to the person was a suggestion that they try a more genuine approach of connecting with their new followers. I never got a reply back, another fail.
Tip #10: don’t feel like you need to be everywhere all the time
So there’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Periscope, Snapchat, just to name a few. My original advice here would have been to find out where your target audience hang out and go there. Make sure you secure your name on the other platforms but don’t stress yourself out trying to be active on every single one. However, according to Gary Vee, the new rule is 79/21. You spend most of your time on one platform and you “taste” or use the others. He explains it way better than I can in the post – The 79 / 21 Rule to Build a Long Term Business. You may want to check it out.
So that’s my top ten social media tips for small businesses. Like I mentioned before, take in the information, but use what you can and see what works for you.