Posted: 26 Jul 2016 Contributor: Therese Palmere
Social Media Best Practices for Small and Medium Business
In the United States, the average American checks social media a staggering seventeen times a day. Billions of people across the globe spend hours scrolling through their favorite feeds and looking at popular profiles. In a recent article Businesses Insider writes, “Social platforms have become the new leaders in the digital media industry”.
Social media has become a common element across all marketing strategies. Companies leverage these platforms because they help businesses interact with consumers while increasing brand awareness. If you’re looking to gain some extra likes or raise your following, here are some best practices to keep in mind when developing your social media presence.
Social media accounts are an extension of your business. Just as your company has a specific niche, so should your profiles. Post about relevant trends, related areas of interest, or updates in your market. Followers want to see consistency in your posts and look to you as an authority for information. Of course there’s always wiggle room to comment on popular items and current news, but just remember to tie it back to your industry.
Keep a Schedule
Social media marketing requires a strategy. Post too much and you’re over-doing it. Post too little and suddenly your content gets drowned out. Each site has a different frequency when it comes to posts. For example, 10 sequentially uploaded photos on Instagram would be a little unusual and could result in a loss of followers. On the other hand, 10 consecutive Tweets per day is ideal, and actually increases engagement. Find a balance that works for your business and the social media platforms you’ve selected.
Another thing to consider- when posting on social media is timing. Certain hours yield more likes, shares, and comments depending on the culture of the platform. Determine when users are most engaged on different sites and plan your posts accordingly to increase the amount of your impressions. You can track this information in the analytics section of each platform.
Be an active member in your community by reaching out. Social media advertising is a great way to increase brand awareness, but it’s also about interaction… so don’t be afraid to interact! If you notice a user regularly engaging with your content, say hello back by liking one of their related posts or commenting to say thank you. Be aware of the recent activity on your page and show some appreciation for your followers. Your behavior on social media will reflect how some consumers view your business so leave a good impression by being friendly and customer centric.
See Through Their Eyes
Consumers love showing support for brands through social media. Coffee lovers everywhere enjoy showing off their favorite drink featuring the Starbucks logo on Facebook and Instagram. Nike’s hashtag #JustDoIt regularly pops up underneath exercise and sports related posts for motivation.
Small businesses everywhere find ways to distinguish themselves on these platforms whether it’s with a personalized hashtag, a geofilter, or even somewhere in the restaurant customers regularly take photos. Give your audience an opportunity to integrate your brand into their lives. Start with a # specific campaign to encourage tagging, send out giveaways with your logo items with a note encouraging users to share on social media.
Even product packaging is a great opportunity to incorporate hashtags and social media call-outs for those individuals who like to feature “flatlays”, styling, and review of their favorite products.
Take Notes from the Pros
The benefits of social media can be enormous. Start-ups transform from faceless brands to icons. Small-town beauty artists have blown up thanks to YouTube and Instagram. A ten second video can be the difference between 50 followers and 50,000. Be creative and draw ideas from everywhere. And don’t just look and forget – keep notes to help you organized and follow up by re-creating your own versions of these posts. Here are some famous accounts to help you gain a little inspiration.
Byron Katie Inspires
Byron Katie’s account on Twitter is famous for her inspirational and motivational quotes that help you make it through the day. Scroll through her tweets to see how she helps lift spirits.
Jenn Im Dominates YouTube
Jenn Im is the face of a popular YouTube fashion channel, Clothesencounters. Based in California, the young beauty guru has over 1.5 million subscribers and 1.3 million followers on Instagram. Watch her videos to see how she made it big with the help of social media.
Nike Football Reaches Goals
Nike’s Instagram account Nikefootball (soccer), has over 20 million followers. Check out how this company uses social media to appeal to different audiences.
Hopefully these accounts peaked your interest and helped inspire some ideas about how to improve your company’s social profiles. If not, go explore and check out other pages to see what may or may not work for your business.
Navigating social media can be a bit difficult. If you find yourself overwhelmed and uninterested, maybe hiring a social media marketing agency is the way for you. However, if you’re ready to take the challenge of developing your social presence, just remember to keep these things in mind:
1. Stay focused, post about relevant trends and topics
2. Keep a schedule, consistency is key
3. Respond, engage with your consumers
4. Give customers the opportunity to integrate your business into their lives
5. Explore the social platforms you’re becoming a part of and get inspired!