As a small business owner you probably already know how important it is to have a presence on social media. After all, everyone is on social media these days. Your grandma has a Facebook page, your kid’s daycare uses Instagram, you’re constantly seeing Snapchats from your favorite restaurant…you get the idea. But the ever-changing world of social media can be confusing for business owners, especially those who aren’t typically doing the majority of their business over the internet.
There are a few basic practices that hold true no matter what industry you’re in or who your business serves. Follow these rules of engagement for social media, and you’ll be on your way to providing a great experience before your customers even walk through the door.
Have a social media plan.
Even if you are using social media for personal use on a daily basis, it’s easy for the practice to fall to the wayside when it comes to posting for your business if you don’t have a plan ahead of time. Take some time at the beginning of each week to decide what you’ll post on social media. It will save you time in the long run, and you won’t have to worry about forgetting to post or finding time each day to think about your social media strategy.
Ever visited a business Facebook page looking for information on a product or service, just to see that they haven’t posted in months? Are they even still open? Did they forget that they have a Facebook account? Consistency is so important when it comes to building trust with your audience. Whether you post daily or weekly, stay consistent in your strategy and your followers will know what to expect from you.
Have a variety of content.
Nobody wants to be sold to all the time. For small business owners, part of your appeal comes by showing off a little bit of yourself in your brand. Your followers want to know what makes you unique, what values are the cornerstone of your business, and of course, how good your meme game is. Make sure your content includes a good mixture of fun and engaging posts that balance out your advertisements and promotional posts. Share an inside peek into the daily life of your employees, quotes from your favorite author, or a picture of yourself with your family every now and then and your followers will look forward to seeing your posts in their feeds.
Utilize social media tools.
While it may be hard to keep up with the ever-changing features of the most popular social media platforms, it’s important to reach your audience in a variety of ways. Posting on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn seem to be the most popular ways for businesses to get information out to their audience. Differentiate yourself by adding some variety to your social media strategy. Post fun and informal updates to your Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat stories. Share industry relevant articles on LinkedIn. Go “Live” on Facebook once a week or so with tips interesting information that your followers can interact with in real-time. Don’t feel like you have to do everything all the time, but adding some variety to your strategy will ensure that you are reaching as many people as possible.
Respond to customer reviews.
It can be difficult to get customers to take time out of their busy days to leave a review of your business. When they do, take time to acknowledge the feedback. Whether you are responding to a negative review or thanking someone for a positive one, your customers will appreciate knowing that their feedback has been heard. Others will be more likely to leave a review when they see that you’ve acknowledged past feedback, both positive and negative.
Now that you know some basic best practices for engaging your audience through social media, get out there and start posting away! What are your go-to tips for creating a positive online presence for your business?