Creating a small business social media presence.
Everyone talks about how important a small business social media presence is. But how do you get started
Not all business owners are familiar with or use social media that much, if you don’t use it much personally then knowing where to start in promoting your business can be baffling and each social media platform is a new learning curve.
Below are some quick thoughts and considerations to help you get started in the right direction for creating your social media presence.
This isn’t a ‘how to create a small business social media presence in 5 minutes’ article.
It takes time and energy to set your business up the right way on social media. Each social media presence is another digital signpost or brochure for your business and needs to represent your business and brand professionally. But once done right, it can create a foundation to serve your business for many years and an important touch point for communicating with your customers.
Not all social media networks are the same, and they won’t all suit your business. For many tourism businesses they would prioritise Tripadvisor over Twitter. If you are a personal trainer then you most likely find it easiest to connect with your customers on Facebook.
- Consider the different social media networks and decide where would best serve your business to focus your time and energy.
- Decide how much time each week you have to put towards social media marketing.
- Put together a quick process for how you will find and create the content that you will share on social media.
More social media networks also equal more time to maintain, so making wise choices are important.
We recommend you start with just three. This forces you to choose carefully, limits the learning curve and is achievable (time-wise) to maintain for a small business. Consider these elements: time, resources and audience.
- Time – How much time do you have to put in?
- Resources – What resources (personnel, skills and content) do you have?
- Audience – Who is your audience and where are they spending their time?
For a great summary of what the most popular social media networks can deliver read this article on “How to Choose the Best Social Media Platform for Your Business”
Fill out your social media profiles.
Each social media network will require you to fill in a profile. This is effectively your ‘sign post’ on that social media network, so you want it to communicate your business, service or product effectively and professionally. This means it is important to full complete your social media, rather than leave it half completed.
Your social media profile is where you can show potential customers exactly what you do, stand yourself apart from your competitors and point our the best way to buy your product or get in touch with you.
Each profile also requires different sized images. Usually a ‘profile’ image and a banner image are the starting points but this varies from network to network. “It has to set you apart, but still reflect approachability. Make you look accomplished, but not braggy. Appear professional, with just a touch of the personal. Bonus points for a bit of humor thrown in, because hey, social media is fun!” – Courtney Seiter, Buffer App: How to Write a Professional Bio for Social Media
Write in a voice and tone that suits your business and your audience.
Does your brand have a tone already? If you are an adventure tourism company how you communicate with your adventurous travellers planning their next big trip will be vastly different to a plumbers, an accountant or a religious organisation. Write to suit your audience. This isn’t the simplest concept to convey, or understand – especially if you are someone who finds writing a challenge, so consider hiring a professional copy-writer to help you or read this excellent article on finding your brand’s voice.
Make a plan.
Make a plan for how often you will publish to social media, how you will monitor your social media and measure the results of your social media efforts. This comes back to those three crucial elements: time, resources and audience. How much time do you have to put in? Enough to write one post per week and share it, plus perhaps two or three other posts? Is your social media strategy more important to your business marketing and therefore you want to place a more concerted effort into it?
When should you post is really very simple… are your customers going to be using the social media when they are at work, on their lunch break, on the train home? Or are they in a different time zone?
What you will post will a) depend on the content resources you have (imagery, information or news items) and b) other content you have to hand that your audience will find interesting, such as news items from other sources around the web. Remember, images get a lot more air time on social media. They can take a little more time and commitment to create, but the results can be worth it: “On Facebook, photos get 53% more likes, 104% more comments and 84% more click-throughs on links than text-based posts.” – Buffer App.
Remember also that we are discussing social media NETWORKS. There is an opportunity to network with other social media users to share their content strategically, have you got customers that it would be appropriate to share their news? Is there a local charity event you could take the time to promote?
Analyse, test and repeat.
This can be as simple as “what did my audience respond to the most?” or you can spend more time looking in detail at the analytics provided by the different social media networks. Google Analytics can show you where visitors from your site came from, and if a particular social media network is sending more traffic your way – this can save you time compared to looking at the analytics for each network individually. You can also drill down on these analytics for more detailed analysis and to examine the correlation with your social media activities.
The best way to keep on top of reporting is with an automated reporting system that sends you a weekly report to save you time. Get in touch if you like this idea and would like to know more.
We hope you find some of the above helpful. Of course, this is the starting point and it can seem complex but with a little help you can easily get setup and headed in the write direction. If you would like some advice Get Online Australia offers social media marketing services as part of our digital marketing support packages.