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The Best Ways to Use Social Media for Small Businesses

by Naveen Agarwal
social media

Using social media to market your business is a no-brainer. After all, it’s free, easy to use, and has millions of users from all around the world. While most businesses understand the necessity of using social media, not everyone understands how to use it to their advantage. It’s not enough to create a profile and throw in a few posts every couple of months!

To make social media work for your business, you need to use it correctly. It’s an ongoing task that requires focus, consistency, and the ability to identify trends. So, whether you’ve only just created your business’s social media profiles or you just want to improve on them, here are the best ways to use social media for small businesses.

Define Your Goals 

Before you get started posting eye-catching images and sharing posts that match your brand, you must first define the goals you want to reach through using social media. Some common goals shared by small businesses on social media include increasing brand awareness and directing consumers to your website. While you shouldn’t rush the process, it’s also a good idea to have an idea of how quickly you wish to reach goals, such as a number of followers or an engagement percentage.

Reach Out to Influencers 

Influencers are one of the best ways to make your brand known, and they are all over social media. From Facebook to TikTok, you can’t open one of these sites without watching an influencer promote a new brand or product. It works, too. When a well-liked influencer in a similar niche to a business promotes their product, the business will then receive more orders than usual, as well as a huge boost in brand awareness. For small businesses, this can be a huge moneymaker. To make the most of this, look for Facebook influencer marketing and get started finding an influencer that fits your niche.

Share Your Blog Posts 

If you have a blog on your website (and you should), then it makes sense to share those blog posts on your social media accounts. Be aware of which ones to share them to, though – Facebook and Twitter often work well, whereas TikTok is more video-based, and not many people will click through to a blog. Make sure your blogs are high-quality, too, so that users who read them come to view your brand as a reliable source of information, thus increasing your reputation.

Post More Videos 

Videos have a high engagement rate, so it makes sense to post them more often on your social media accounts. Taking videos can often take a lot of work, especially compared to a written post; consider filming several at once and then spacing out when you post them. You can share other people’s videos, too, but make sure they fit in with your brand’s persona! If a business sells pet food, for example, it will make sense for them to share cute animal videos (which always gain plenty of attention). =

Consider Each Platform 

Each social media site is unique, which means you need to treat them differently when it comes to creating a profile, posting, and building followers. The average Instagram user won’t react the same way as the average Facebook user, after all. Different generations tend to frequent different platforms; for example, the younger generation uses TikTok a little more than, the older generation. So, consider the user base when deciding what to post and which one to use the most.

Follow the Trends 

Social media is all about trends, and you should hop on them, as it will increase your engagement. Don’t be late to the party – something trending one day might have vanished the next. It’s best to stay up to date with what’s going on in the world and how social media is reacting so that you can form posts that show you’re on-trend. Keep it relevant to your brand, though! A trending topic on video games won’t be relevant to a business selling lamps.

Tell Your Companies’ Story 

Every marketer knows that stories engage people, and social media is a great place to tell yours. Whether you want to write a lengthy Facebook post with an eye-catching picture attached or film a video documenting your journey from start to where you are now, showing people who you are as a small business will help them identify with you. Whether you’re filming a video or writing a post, make sure it’s high quality, as that will also reflect on your brand.

Respond to Feedback 

Feedback is often given on social media, which is handy for both business owners and customers alike. On Facebook, users can even give you ratings, allowing other users to see what others think of your product/service quality and customer service. It also means that you can respond to feedback, whether it’s positive or negative, and you absolutely should. Whether you’re replying to a kind tweet on Twitter or a disgruntled customer review on Facebook, make sure you respond politely and professionally.

Take Quality Pictures 

Quality is key when it comes to mastering social media, especially when it comes to photos. No matter how brilliant your product is, people will assume your business is sub-par if your social media only posts low-quality pictures. In fact, most people will scroll straight past. To avoid this, work on taking quality photos, whether that’s of your workspace to share on Instagram or a new product to showcase on all platforms. It makes a huge difference!

Track Your Progress

It’s not always easy to know whether your social media strategies are working, so track your progress to see what works and what doesn’t. There are plenty of websites and apps that allow you to track engagement, giving you an insight into your audience and what they are looking for.

Look at the Competition 

Social media allows easy access to the competition. You get to see what they sell, what they post, how they engage with their audience, and so much more. This insight is incredibly beneficial, as you can take ideas from your competition once you see what works and what doesn’t. Look at businesses that are similar to your own but slightly bigger. If you’re a small clothing company, for example, look at some of the bigger fashion brands and consider how they engage their audience.

Host Giveaways 

Giveaways are a great way to boost your engagement rates on social media. It makes sense – most people enjoy a freebie! Don’t worry, as you don’t have to hand out a load of your hard work; just one prize to the winner is enough to pique social media users’ interest. If you include sharing the post as part of the entering process, then you’ll quickly find the post circulating far more than your usual ones. Plus, you’ll likely earn a great reputation with the winner, who may even recommend your product to their friends.

Schedule Posts 

Consistency is key when it comes to mastering the social media game, but unfortunately, that takes a lot of time and effort. There are two options here – hire someone to manage your social media, which can be expensive for small businesses, or schedule posts so that you don’t have to come up with new ideas every day. By spending a few hours creating engaging posts and scheduling them, you’ll keep the attention of your followers. Remember, though, that you still need to check your social media accounts to engage with your audience and post about trending topics.

Engage with Others 

It’s not just feedback that you should engage with. By commenting, sharing, and generally engaging with other users’ profiles, your own profiles will gain more attention. Plus, it’ll help you create strong relationships online over time, which can help your business grow. Don’t just engage with any old account, though – make sure their interests match your brand. If you sell horror plushies, for example, you should engage with other horror fans on social media.

Keep it Varied and Interesting 

People grow tired of the same types of posts posted over and over again, which is why it’s so important to switch it up and keep it varied. Another thing to avoid is posting the same post on each social media site, as it comes across as lazy. Instead, keep each post fresh, interesting, and with a different type of message.

Be Authentic 

These days, social media is filled with inauthenticity, and users can often spot this from a mile away. For this reason, focus on posting authentic posts. If you’re hopping on a new eco-friendly trend, for example, make sure there’s a genuine interest behind it. By doing this, you’ll end up with more consistent social media platforms, which will, in turn, gain the trust of your audience.

As simple as social media sites may be to navigate, it can be a lot more challenging to make them work for your brand. By following this advice, though, you’ll soon find your engagement rates increase.

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