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In my previous article, I was discussing how to start a new website for your small business and the benefits of doing it. And now in this blog post, let me tweak your online presence across the world. You might think, “How” and here are the best social media strategies for small business!
Social media — if you’re an up-and-coming entrepreneur, these words either make you curl up inside with fear and anxiety or jump with excitement for all that untapped potential. Whatever your reaction is, it is probably the reason why you’ve ended up on this page.
Whether you’re excited about social media or the thought of it induces a panic attack, there’s one thing you can’t deny — it is here to stay. In fact, because of the unprecedented, social distancing times we find ourselves in, social media has never been more important for your business success.
The responsibility of taking care of your social media accounts can be terrifying, especially if you’re working from home like most of us right now, but it can also be an exciting venture if you adopt the right mindset. Don’t worry; you’ve got this. And I’m going to help you by giving you a few tips.
I understand that you’re overwhelmed. You probably think that you don’t have what it takes to build a following. You do. Even if you don’t have celebrity-level charisma, you can garner lots of attention with your posts.
We’ll talk about a few hacks, from common-sense stuff to little-known tricks, that can help you up to your social media game and boost your following. These are going to play a particularly significant role in the weird situation we all find ourselves in when it is so important to stay connected to your audience via virtual pathways.
Thankfully, you can accuse social networks of many things, but being out of touch with trends is not one of them. The most important platforms understand the hardships that small businesses face due to the coronavirus and have developed new features helping entrepreneurs expand their reach.
These are not the topics of this post, per se, but let’s say our first tip is to explore what features each social media platform has developed during the pandemic and add them to your toolkit.
Today, I’m going to talk about all the ways you can reach new audiences and retain existing ones without an expert understanding of each social network’s algorithms or the marketing sharpness of Don Draper.
5 Social Media Strategies To Help Small Business Succeed
Below, you’ll find some of my favorite tips, essential to help you grow your small business’ social media presence and get the exposure you deserve. Let’s begin
1. Schedule Your Posts
If content really is king, scheduling software is his most trusted advisor, making his life more manageable and keeping him connected to his people effortlessly. It is also the court jester, making life at the court slightly more bearable for everyone.
If you’re like most people, you don’t enjoy having to post content multiple times during the day manually, and if you have an international audience, during the night as well. Thankfully, there’s a solution — social media scheduling and management software.
Many apps enable their users to write a bunch of posts ahead of time and schedule when they would like to post each. This frees up their days for other activities and their nights for sleeping or whatever.
I’m willing to bet that there’s an app that fits your management style and process perfectly, no matter how unconventional they may be. Most social management apps provide multiple tools you can use, such as analytics, allowing you to monitor all your social media accounts from one dashboard.
2. Trust The Hashtag
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, hashtags are an efficient way to reach new audiences on social media. That said, you should think of a hashtag as an elegant switchblade rather than a minigun. What I mean is that you should resist the temptation to throw the maximum number of hashtags to each of your posts, hoping that something will stick.
Don’t think too broadly. Sure, a popular hashtag like #tbt, #love, or #instagood could put your post in the mix with other, more popular accounts. Still, there’s a far more effective type of hashtag to use when targeting an audience as a business — niche hashtags.
Let’s take a New York web design company as an example. This company should consider using #nywebdesign or #newyorkwebdesign, along with more widely used hashtags like #webdesign or #design, to focus on the local audience. Or you can take into consideration other New York web design companies.
Don’t restrict hashtags to your posts alone. Feel free to add a few to your account bio as well. Along with a clickable link, Instagram recently added a feature that allows you to add clickable hashtags to your profile bio.
A well-placed hashtag can make your page more discoverable, and it can lead more users toward your branded content. This is one of the new features we mentioned in the intro that you should definitely add to your arsenal.
3. Promote Your Blog
Having a blog is essential in 2021, that too on WordPress CMS. It is not only a phenomenal way to keep your audience engaged and build a strong online business community but a perfect companion to your SEO strategy. If you still don’t have a blog, definitely look into starting one as soon as possible.
Now that your first blog post is online, you might think you have it all figured out. You’ll post a new article now and then, and the customers will start flocking in. While a blog is a great place to start, things are not quite that simple.
The first thing you’ll want to do is promote your blog on your social media accounts with every chance you get. Use the scheduling software we talked about before and set up a few posts about your blog.
Include a clickable link as well, if possible. Instagram might give you some trouble with this, but it is effortless on Facebook and Twitter. This makes it easier for your audience to find your blog posts, boosting your blog views and website traffic.
4. Don’t Turn Your Nose Up at Influencers
Influencer marketing is really hot right now. This type of social media marketing is based on advertising and product placement from users with a large following in a particular industry — hence influencers.
This term has recently garnered much not-so-pleasant attention, and many small business owners look at influencer marketing with some disdain and even timidity. Some think that the term influencer is reserved for the Kardashians of this world and aren’t too keen to associate their brands with the lifestyle represented in these types of posts.
Others think that influencer marketing is too expensive, again assuming that an influencer must have millions of followers and charge a fortune to promote your brand on their profile.
However, neither of these viewpoints reflects the truth.
While someone like Kylie Jenner will charge over $1M per post, you don’t need to think that big just yet. Focus on micro-influencers for now. These are people or organizations that focus on a specific niche or topic you’d like to target, and they have anywhere from a couple thousand to a few tens of thousands of followers.
Partnering with a micro-influencer will give you the chance to get the benefits of influencer marketing without having to pay a fortune or being associated with the wrong crowd. If you’re starting a business in a particular industry or niche, you probably follow a few micro-influencers yourself, so start there.
If you need more, try searching hashtags related to your sphere (remember tip number two) and look for popular profiles. Once you have a few potential candidates in mind, reach out to them. This could not be very safe, especially if it’s someone you’ve been following for a while, but it’s the only way to find out if they’d be interested in working with you. Don’t let the fear of rejection stop you ever.
Chances are you’ll find at least a few micro-influencers willing to work with you, some for cash, others for a simple exchange of posts. This is a compelling way to reach a new audience.
5. Understand that There’s an Ideal Time to Post
You’ve just come up with the Instagram post of the decade, but it’s 2 AM on a Tuesday. Should you post it? Probably not. Unless you have millions of followers worldwide, your best bet is to try and figure out the perfect posting time for your audience.
It’s easy to find out during which periods of the day most users scroll through each social media platform — the platforms themselves even have guidelines on this. However, these won’t necessarily help if they don’t address your particular demographic. No audience has the same habits, and putting them all in the same basket will cause you nothing but trouble.
To understand the ideal time to post, start with an informed guess. Post a few things in different time slots that you think should garner the most traffic, such as lunch break or early evening. Pay attention to which times bring results and develop your approach from there.
Again, take advantage of the scheduling tools you learned about in tip number one. That said, this isn’t a set-and-forget kind of thing. You’ll have to pay attention to major world events, holidays, and other things which can change everyone’s daily schedules and, by extension, the perfect posting times. Adjust your scheduling strategy according to these changes, and you’re guaranteed to have great results.
5. Focus on Engagement, Not on Vanity Metrics
Vanity metrics are straightforward to buy into. The number of followers you have and the number of likes each of your posts get will likely be the first things you use to measure your content’s success. In reality, your number one focus should be engagement.
Sure, many likes and followers show that you must be doing something right, but the only way to see that your audience is genuinely interested in your posts comes in the form of comments and shares. If your followers care about what you have to say, they’ll comment with their thoughts or share the post with their friends and family.
Thankfully, social networks offer many free analytics that shows you exactly which posts earned the most engagement. Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook all provide tools that help you understand what type of content your audience responds to.
Remember the strategy that we talked about when discussing potential posting times? Use it here as well. Experiment with the types of content you post, and continually adapt and adjust to what your followers engage with the most.
Don’t think you’re alone in worrying about how to handle your social media strategy during these weird times. While it certainly seems like an impossible task at first, staying connected with your community is not all that difficult if you know where to begin.
Add a few of these tips to your social media toolkit, and I promise your followers will remain engaged, even if they’re all locked up in their homes. After you build the WordPress site for your small business, I would suggest you follow these strategies and boost your web presence.