As a small business owner, you may not have the resources to hire a Social Media Coordinator, nor the time to handle those responsibilities yourself. However, social media is definitely here to stay and, at this moment at least, it is an indispensable marketing and communication tool that can make or break your business. Here are just a few tips small business owners can employ to optimize their social media presence whilst working with limited resources.
1. Remember to drive traffic to your site
It’s great to build a presence on social media and gain followers based on your likable content; however, remember that the end goal is to direct traffic towards your site. What is the point of attaining followership if they’re more concerned with your tweets than your actual website, where your actual product and/or service information is? Your website or blog is the foundation of all of your social media marketing efforts: its content is what will ultimately help potential customers decide whether or not to do business with you. Thus, make sure to include links whenever you can — in your bios, photo captions, comments (when applicable), and so forth. If you are doing product promotion, be sure to mention where people can visit to purchase it if they’re interested. Remember that it is possible to promote your website without being overbearing!
2. Know your followers
Believe it or not, there is a base strategy behind all successful social media campaigns, and that is to connect with followers organically by understanding current and potential customers. Further, success on social media isn’t random. I can guarantee that those behind influential accounts have invested a lot of time in outlining their target audience. Therefore, you should start by figuring out your audience as well. The main characteristics you should be paying attention to is age, gender, interests, and location. If you’ve noticed, platforms such as Instagram take these factors into account when targeting for your paid ads. It would also be prudent to state what concerns of this target audience you would be able to address or solve. This is as simple as, for example, a women’s boutique clothing retailer in New York targeting female New Yorkers whose activity have indicated they’re interested in fashion. Lastly, now that you know you’ve figured out your target audience and their concerns, figure out which social networks they frequent most. All social media channels are not created equal! Each one has a particular main demographic and focus. For example, Twitter is focused on short, catchy blurbs while Instagram is a visual-based platform. It’s very important to understand what platforms are the best fit for you and your business so that you don’t waste precious time trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
3. Optimize your time
Time is money and money is time — and this adage is even more important to keep in mind when your resources are stretched.
Trust when I say that it’s worth devoting an hour (or a few) at the beginning of every week to schedule your shared content. This may sound tedious and exhausting, but it will be well worth it and is much better than floundering the day of trying to scrounge up material. Social media is all about content — and whether your content is predominantly visual or text, your audience will be drawn to accounts that are consistent and organized. If you leave your planning for the last minute, you risk missing a high-traffic hour, or worse, forgetting to post altogether. Don’t let this happen to you-you can even use low-cost or free scheduling tools to help guide you, so there’s no excuse!
4. Share and retweet away, but add your own thoughts!
You may not always have new content to share, and that’s ok. Curation is a great and (most importantly) fast way to connect with your audience. However, if you’re hard pressed for time or new, original content, you should at least add some of your own comments and thoughts to what you share. The post of interest may not always be something that’s within your field of expertise, but it shouldn’t take too much effort to think of a few words to add before sharing with your followers. A few things you can do is respond with your own opinion, ask a question, or even tag another like-minded business owner whom you think would also enjoy the post.
To help organize and not trip over yourself, set up a process by which you can collect and schedule your shared content. At the beginning of the week, try and plan when to post the content alongside your original material. There are even tools available that will comb the internet in your stead and organize it for your reposting.
While curating remember for what and whom you’re posting for: your brand and your audience. Consider the relevance of what you’re sharing and whether it will strike an interest in your readership. Regardless, always remember to inject a bit of your own personality into whatever you share!
Social media is key for businesses because it’s an accessible, cheap tool that has the power to connect you to dozens of potential customers as well as strengthen your relationship with current ones. Best of all, social media isn’t rocket science; although the finesse that goes into making the most out of it is a science in and of itself, it’s one that can be easily picked up with time and practice.