i
Hero Images Inc. / Alamy

Social media tips for small businesses

Understand the basics of social media marketing and see your online presence grow. If you’re part of a small business, social media is a great, affordable way to build your brand. It helps you spread the word about your company and allows you to connect with new and existing customers.

What social sites you decide to use, and which one you focus on, will depend on what type of business you are. Here’s a quick rundown of the main social sites and what they’re good for…

Facebook

  • Great for engaging with a wide range of people
  • Should be doing about 3-5 posts a week on a company page, great if you don’t have a lot of time
  • Ideal place to showcase images, plan events and create promotional offers and share longer updates
  • Facebook choose what they show to people who like your page depending on its popularity. The more people who like it, the more people will see it
  • Opportunity to promote your page and posts through paid advertising
  • Provides in depth analytics

Twitter

  • Great for engaging with a big audience
  • 3-6 posts a day is ideal, but they are shorter and more ‘of the moment’ than Facebook. A good plan and tools like TweetDeck which you can use to schedule tweets will help make this manageable
  • Great for linking to website, blogs and external content
  • The newsfeed changes fast so the more you tweet the more likely your followers are to see it
  • Opportunity to promote your page and tweets through paid advertising
  • Provides a variety of analytics

Instagram

  • This won’t suit all businesses but it’s increasingly popular so use it if you can.
  • You can only share images so you’ll need to think about your strategy carefully.
  • If your product doesn’t lend itself to a whole Instagram account, does your team? You can grow your brand by sharing fun and interesting snip-its from your office.

Pinterest

  • As with Instagram this is a really image heavy social site.
  • Share images of your product being used, and encourage your customers to do the same.
  • Getting your name out there is the most important thing at this stage.

LinkedIn

  • If brand growth is your goal then we wouldn’t recommend LinkedIn when you’re starting out.
  • It is a great place to make contacts and share your professional experience though.

Now you know what the options are, what’s next?

1. Have an ideas session

Get everyone together and write down your thoughts and ideas about social media for your business.  A couple of questions you might want to answer…

  • Why are you using social media? What are you hoping to achieve from it?
  • What social sites do you like using? What do you share, like or comment on?
  • What would make you want to engage with a brand on social media?
  • How much content do you create in house and how much external content will you need to use?

2. Come up with objectives and build a strategy

You need to consider the following when building your strategy…

  • Decide who your target audience is and think about what they want to see.
  • Be realistic about how much time you have to dedicate to social media and plan your strategy accordingly
  • Think about who will be writing the posts? What is the tone of voice? How do you want your business to come across?
  • How will you use social to engage with others? Have a target to follow 10 new people per month and comment on at least one post a day. This will help you reach new audiences.

Use all the information from your ideas session and strategy building to decide on your objectives. What do you want to get from social media? Is it to have a certain number of followers, to build levels of engagement, or to use it as a customer service tool?

 3. Don’t let your strategy become outdated

Once you have come up with your strategy don’t forget to evaluate and experiment as you go. Things are always changing with social media so it’s important you keep up to date and figure out what works best for you.

Sign up to relevant newsletters to stay up to date. We recommend …

You might also like some of our other blogs