Social media is everywhere, and yet many small businesses are not using it to its full marketing potential. Maybe it’s the mystery of how to get likes, what to say, who is actually seeing the posts… Or maybe it’s because business owners don’t want free marketing with incredible cost per conversion rates and self controlled brand awareness?
It can be intimidating adding one more aspect of business operations to think about, but once you get past the learning curve of each platform, social media is an incredible tool that all businesses, no matter the size, need to be on in 2018. Here are 16 social media tips for small businesses to help you get started!
Make a name
Your business name, of course. But your business name may already be taken on one or several platforms. Whatever you choose, make sure your @ handle is easy to find when customers are looking for your business. If you can, try and make it clever!
Make sure you have a business account
This is chosen in the first stage of setting up any page. Without a business page, you won’t be able to run paid ads, view analytics or customize your profile page for a business setting. And not just on major social media accounts, Google Business and Yelp are just two of the many other places potential customers will look for reviews before handing over their money.
Post with a consistent voice
That’s not to say every post should be repetitive and boring, but customers will come to expect something from your social media posts just as they expect consistency from your business. Are your posts entertaining, educational, inspirational?
Post quality images
Nothing blurry or dark, please. If you want to go above and beyond, many pages have an overall aesthetic, such as HUM nutrition who change the color theme of their posts every 9 images. Not all posts are about the product, they’re there to fit the target audience’s lifestyle. If you need help creating graphics, sites like Canva are great if you don’t know photoshop.
Not everyone is a caption wizard. But your post should be worth posting about. Whether it’s a funny jingle, clever quote, industry news, promotions and deals, new products, or holiday hours, make sure the post is sending the right message, not just repeatedly saying “buy from us buy from us!” AND DON’T FORGET TO HASHTAG!!! That is one of the easiest ways to get discovered by people looking for your services!
Allow a peek into office or shop culture
Having fun mopping and dancing with music while closing on a Friday night? Volunteering to clean up a park? Company softball game? People love to support kind, honest and fun businesses.
Post regularly or followers won’t deem your account worth following, but not too much that you’re spamming them. Respond to comments, interact with users who tag you or use your brand hashtag. And while it’s technically not illegal to use robots to do this for you…. it’s obvious when your page is leaving an impersonal, automated comment. Here you can see Farmer’s Dog personally replied to a post about their company, while the comments below that are random robot generated emojis.
Optimize for mobile
Double check that your images are high res enough for both desk top and mobile, and that your header is cropped properly on both devices. Also, make sure your logo in the profile picture is clear enough to be read on mobile devices.
Social media advertising makes it extremely easy to target people based on age, gender, location, interests, and more. You can reach the audience you want very easily, just make sure your add is ready to grab their attention and convert your business.
Partner with other local businesses
Another great marketing technique by Brewnuts, they partnered with two local artists to create a donut themed piece for a giveaway contest. By linking all three accounts, asking to tag unlimited friends and offering a bonus repost entry, all of the accounts gain more followers and brand awareness, increasing business and sales.
Another form of paid advertising, influencers and micro-influencers are a revolutionary marketing technique taking brands by storm. Mirco-influencers are great for promoting local businesses and spreading brand awareness. For more on influencer marketing, read our other article.
No time to regularly post? Use a management tool! Depending on how intensive you want to get, some are free. Tweetdeck is free for twitter, Facebook comes with scheduling features, and other applications like Buffer offer a free trial for all platforms (including linked in and Pinterest) so you can see if you like the UI before paying. If you see good ROI on social media, management tools may be worth the subscription (or hiring a freelance marketer!)
Start a blog
Or maybe a vlog! You can attract more people to your site with more landing pages and links created through blog posts. Having a section of how-to’s establishes the company’s expertise even further. A specialized contractor could create a step-by-step video on building a table, or a veterinarian could write a post about how to keep your dogs safe on summer hikes. OneHope Wine gets creative with drink recipes and parties!
Utilize your friends and personal network for your business profile
That says it all. If your friends support you, they should support your business with a page like or follow! Reassure them you’ll remember them when you’ve made it big 😉
Embrace the angry customers
Deal with them professionally. Try and speak with them 1-1 in a direct message or email so it isn’t public, but know that whatever you type can be screenshotted and posted. Social media is a great way to help customers, but is also a platform for them to vent.
Wayfair is excellent at taking upset tweets to private grounds to handle the situation.
Add links to everything
Your your website, business emails, other social media accounts. Make your business an easy to access, seamless experience.
You might not find your stride right away. You might find another type of posting works best. Or more traffic comes from a different platform. Don’t be afraid to branch out, and if you are inactive on an account, post about it so people don’t expect to reach you.
Social media is constantly evolving, so it’s up to you if you want to jump on every new trend, or wait for others to figure it out before trying it yourself. All of the new platforms can seem overwhelming and time consuming, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll see why so many businesses are utilizing the free platforms to increase business and build customer relationships.