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How to Manage Social Media for Small Business: 12 Tips

Social media is ubiquitous. We stay connected to friends, keep family updated, and even get our news from social media. It can often feel like a “personal” thing though. By its name alone, it seems like something for after-business hours. Right? In this modern online world though, social media is an important tool for small business owners to take advantage of.

Consumers now rely on local groups to get purchasing advice. They’re influenced by ads and reviews on every social network they’re a part of. Most networks now have built-in shopping platforms. Many small business owners choose not to take advantage of social media networks for their business for a host of reasons. They’re too busy. Social media is intimidating or confusing with the constant changes and increasing complexity. Or, they just don’t like social media! Whatever your reasons, we have a few (relatively pain-free) recommendations for the average business owner.

  1. Just create a page
  2. In searching the web, many potential clients or customers may find your social media page before they find even your website. Often, consumers will look to social networks when they have questions about a business rather than checking a website. Currently, having a page on a few of the major social networks is a baseline expectation from your customers. Take that expectation seriously and start building your page. Make sure you’re using a clear and crisp logo, updating your profile picture, cover photo, business description, and contact info. If you have all the pieces ready to go, building your page will take less than an hour.

  3. Learn the platform you’re on
  4. Not every platform is the same. There are technical differences like the number of characters, but more importantly, users expect different styles of content on each platform. Facebook is highly interactive. LinkedIn is for business – posts perform well if they feature business advice and acknowledge the accomplishments of others. Twitter is super short form. Instagram is highly visual and a little more casual. Hashtags aren’t really for Facebook, but definitely for TikTok. Understand the audiences, interaction styles, and cadence that works best on each platform. Don’t feel like you must be on every one, just identify which networks best fit your audience and bandwidth, then start there. Adjust your style to suit the platform.

  5. Make it informative
  6. As previously stated, your customers may find your social page before they find your website. Consider – does your current page create the kind of first impression you want them to have? Make sure to keep your basic information like hours of operation up to date. Then, use your posts to create an informative experience akin to your website. Focus on regularly reintroducing your business and the value you offer. Introduce staff and update visitors on how your business may be recognizing upcoming holidays.

  7. Make it personal
  8. Posts featuring real people and their stories typically have the strongest performance. Take advantage of this trend by creating posts that talk about your staff and your clients. Then, tag those individuals to increase your reach. You can take this concept of staying personal further by considering your personal social profile. As a business owner, it is hard to separate yourself from your business. Embrace that concept and become the figurehead for your business. Techniques could include: Using your personal profile to reshare posts from your business page. Inviting your personal connections to follow your page. Adding a personal or behind-the-scenes style perspective to the content your share.

  9. Stay consistent
  10. The key to having a strong social presence is staying consistent. Not only will the social algorithm fail to show your content to your followers if you maintain a spotty posting schedule, but you also won’t be building your reputation and value to your customers. Before you start posting, consider all of the factors that will impact your ability to publish content, then choose how often you can realistically post each week. Once you’ve made that commitment, don’t deviate from it. You can slowly ramp up or back off slightly, but a sudden absence will hurt your page.
    You also want to stay consistent with the style of your content. Try to adhere to a consistent color palette and font with your posts. Remember, if a client visited your website, they’d get a cohesive impression of your brand, and playing around with too many styles on your social platform will feel disjointed.

  11. KISS – Keep it simple silly
  12. A part of staying consistent is setting realistic expectations for your social media plan. Don’t feel like you have to do it all! Start small and simple, then ramp up as you further understand the platforms you’re on and your bandwidth increases. It’s far more important to remain consistent than to post four times a day for a week, and then not at all for two months. It’s ok if you don’t have a videographer on staff to produce your videos. You don’t need to participate in every trend or create a work of art for every post to create a solid social media presence.

  13. Look for inspiration
  14. Do NOT copy content or ideas from other pages! DO look to pages you enjoy, content you respond to, or businesses with similar products or services for inspiration. Paying attention to these other pages may help you come up with your own posts. Look for trends you can participate in or a selling point that differentiates you. Understanding what your peers are doing and building off that will only strengthen your social presence.

  15. Engage
  16. Social media was developed around the concept of interaction and connection. That means your pages and posts will perform more strongly when you operate like a real person interacting with others. Make every effort to respond to every comment a post receives. If you can encourage an ongoing conversation in the comments, even better! Create posts or content that encourage your followers to comment or share with others. If you receive messages, respond to them as quickly as possible; within a few hours is recommended. It’s possible to program in templated responses to common questions. This can make the process of responding quicker, easier, and more on-brand.

  17. Join groups
  18. On your personal profiles, begin joining groups where your audience may be active. This could be a mom’s group for your childcare business or a local community exchange. Don’t spam group members but respond to requests for business recommendations or information that may be relevant to your business. Think about it as providing value to the group you’re a part of rather than advertising.

  19. Be authentic and timely
  20. Growing your social media following should be a core goal of building a social media plan. And nothing will make your followers lose interest in your page like a steady stream of advertisements. Your content should feel entertaining and informative – like a real person posted it, not a faceless corporation. You can achieve this through a mixture of content scheduled in advance and raw photos or videos posted right as the moment happens. For instance, Padgett will post a photo of a staff outing one day and a well-researched blog about an upcoming tax change the next.

  21. Take advantage of tools and resources
  22. The internet is full of educational resources on social media. You can find scheduling templates, content calendars, and posting tips for every industry and skill level. There are even free courses on managing social media on networks like LinkedIn. Websites like Canva offer a free design tool with a wide range of templates and graphics for creating posts. Use these professionally developed templates to create beautiful posts with minimal effort. Apps on your phone allow you to easily edit photos or shoot videos.
    And most importantly, remember that if you HATE social media, you don’t have to be the one to manage it. Think about delegating the responsibility to an employee. Just remember to give them the time and resources they need to help.

  23. Find a partner
  24. This may all sound like a lot to manage, but it doesn’t have to be. Setting aside as little as fifteen minutes a day to focus on social media can be effective. However, if you’re ready to take further advantage of social media, like exploring ads, consider finding a professional to work with. We speak regularly about the value of finding a partner in your business finances. The same can be said for your social presence.

We encourage you to contact us with any questions.

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