Social media is a great way to promote your business and brand. If you’re new to social media, have no fear – we have some pro tips to share with you. Read on for Megan Baker’s, Social Media Specialist at Sam Adams, tips on how to best use social media for your small business.
1. How Often Should You Post?
Sometimes less can be more. You don’t want to inundate your followers and fans with too many posts because they’ll tune out. Their feeds are already busy and you don’t want them to feel overwhelmed or like your brand is too aggressive. On the flip side, you don't want to post so infrequently that your prospective customers forget about you. The goal is to make it seem as if you’re having an ongoing conversation with your social media audience.
Megan Baker offers a sample schedule if you’re new to social media. A good rule of thumb is to post to your Facebook brand page 1-3 times per week. A rule of thumb for Twitter is to post 1-3 times per day. More frequent posts on either site and you risk overloading fans and followers.
Note that this posting schedule doesn’t include answering questions or responding to comments. You’ll want to check all accounts 1-3 times per day to follow up on any questions or comments.
Try to respond directly within 24 hours to these questions or comments. This way you build an ongoing relationship with your followers and let them know immediately that they’re being heard.
2. Treat Each Platform Individually
Social media is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. What works very well on one social media forum may not perform as well on another. How do you know how to adjust content for each site?
Generally speaking, you should avoid the common mistake some newbies make by posting identical content across all channels. You can tweak content for each channel to complement that particular channel.
What works well on Facebook may not be a good fit for Instagram. For example, sale information with dates and times about your retail store may be great on Facebook, but not on the more visually-inclined Instagram. Instagram is best for behind-the-scenes look at the business or product promotion, since that platform is focused on images and videos. You can also use one platform to point followers to another – like putting up a Facebook post letting people know about your cool new video on Instagram and providing an easy link.
While you don’t want your content to be identical, you do want it to be consistent. Change up the graphics and posts, but keep the messaging on-brand. For example, if you use a logo on your Facebook posts, make sure that your logo is also on your Twitter and Instagram. Brand repetition breeds familiarity, which builds name recognition.
It will take some trial and error to play around with the various platforms to find what works best for your audience. Don’t be afraid to experiment! There’s no right or wrong; it’s just a matter of finding your best branding strategies and platforms for your unique business.
3. Use High-Quality Content
No matter which social media platform you’re using or what content you’re posting, quality is key. Social media users are savvier than ever and they’re increasingly discerning in their tastes. What makes high-quality content?
- All photos should be crisp, clear and well-framed
- All captions should be clear and include a call to action
- Use proper grammar and exclude jargon or shorthand
- Use a natural, organic voice so it doesn’t sound like a sales pitch
- Use content that is specifically relevant and interesting to your audience
- Use unique and original content – no copycats!
Creating high-quality visual and text content increases the likelihood that your posts will be shared. The more your content spreads, the better!
You’ll also want to include a mix of content. Obviously you’ll want to share information about your brand. You can post about old and new products, promotions, your story, events, and other brand-specific content but you’ll also want to go beyond that.
Use your platforms to share things your customers will find interesting – maybe it’s a funny cat video or an interesting article. Make your brand bigger than just your products and your customers will appreciate it. You’re showing that you understand them (and getting valuable data about what they like and don’t like). You can also use your social media platforms to call out other brands or individuals that are doing new or interesting work or supporting good causes. Again, you’re making your brand feel less commercial and more like something your customers want as part of their lifestyle. The right balance of branded and non-branded content will be different for every business, so you’ll have to do some trial and error to find your sweet spot.
The Bottom Line
Social media is a must for today’s small businesses. Modern, technologically savvy customers expect to be able to find your business and interact with it on social media. If you’re not already familiar with the social media world, that’s ok! Just dig in and look around to see what other brands are doing and get ideas for what might work for you. Then try it out! Over time, you’ll find what works best for you and your customers.
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