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5 Says To Improve Your Business’s Online Presence

With billions of users worldwide, social media is an almost inescapable part of life. If you’re like 70% of Americans, you probably use at least one social media site regularly, and time spent on social media is at an all-time high. But what about using social media for your business?  

As small business owners ourselves, we know social media can be intimidating. But it’s estimated that more than a third of Instagram and Twitter users follow and interact with brands, so social media can be a powerful tool. And it doesn’t have to be as expensive or time-consuming as you may think. If you’re not currently utilizing social media marketing for your business or want to refresh your strategy, here are five key tips to consider: 

Define your audience. 

The first step to any marketing strategy is determining who your audience is. It’s hard to have any kind of conversation when you don’t know who you’re talking to. Who is your product or service designed for? If you own an in-person business, what kind of people walk into your store or call your business? If you’re an online-only business, check your analytics for some demographic information. 

Consider both your current customers and who you’re hoping to reach. Defining your audience will also help you choose which social media platforms to focus on. Don’t waste your time on Twitter if your desired audience is mostly on Instagram! 

Use consistent, on-brand visuals. 

Keeping a consistent brand throughout your content can help make your profile stand out among the many businesses online. Keep the tone of your content relevant to your business, industry and what your audience wants to see. Use your business’s logo appropriately to build brand awareness. If you have other defined brand design elements, such as a particular font or color scheme, working these into your content can also help create a unified feel and make your profile more unique.  

But consistency does not mean you have to use only photos, only videos, or only graphics. Experiment with different formats and try new designs! Free online tools, such as Canva, give you access to a variety of templates, stock photos and graphics. 

Be active and engaged. 

Many social media networks use an algorithm to determine what users see when they open the app or website. This means that your followers aren’t guaranteed to see your posts, especially if you post infrequently. But by building a regular rhythm of posts, you’re more likely to get your content in front of your audience. It’s recommended to post a few times per week, up to 1-3 times a day. 

If that sounds like a lot of posts to make, start small with just one social network and one to two posts a week. Keep yourself accountable with a simple content calendar. Consider adding holiday posts, sharing sales or discounts, recognizing your employees and team members, or just simply showcasing your product or service. Not sure where to start? Check out some free templates available online. 

You can supplement your own content by interacting with your customers and other businesses. A strong review or relevant content from a local organization can become a great post. Just be sure to include appropriate credits when sharing others’ content. 

Network with people. 

Though Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and others have become powerful marketing tools, remember that at the core, these sites are social networks. They’re designed for people to connect with other people, have conversations and build relationships. Rather than just advertising your business, you’ll likely have better success if you use social media to connect with customers and other business owners. 

Follow relevant people and accounts, and engage with content by liking, commenting or sharing. This shows the algorithms that you’re active and encourages others to follow you back and engage with your content. Consider using relevant hashtags to join ongoing conversations and tagging relevant accounts in your posts. You can also try joining groups, such as on Facebook or LinkedIn. You may find some marketing opportunities—or some new friends along the way. 

Be yourself. 

One of the things customers often look for is authenticity. If you’re putting on a persona or trying to pretend to be something you’re not, it can make your content feel stiff, fake and untrustworthy. While you can learn from other successful accounts, don’t try to copy them. Make the content your own, and don’t be afraid to include some of your own individual personality! Especially for small businesses, human connections are often part of the appeal compared to big corporations. Let your customers see who you are and why your business is so important to you.  

Marketing—including social media marketing—is just one method of growing your business. If you’re looking to strengthen your business, consider working with a business advisor. Padgett’s nationwide network of advisors can help you find opportunities to grow. Find an office near you today! 

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