Many organizations are turning to social media platforms to research, understand, and engage their audiences. Proactive and professional social media engagement will establish trust, credibility, and likability. Here are 21 helpful and effective social media marketing tips for small businesses.
General Social Media Best Practices for Small Businesses
1.) Tag Your Guest Bloggers and Notable People
Build an online network of supporters through recognizing the positive contributions and amazing accomplishments of others. Social media messages provide the perfect opportunity to tag individuals who are business friends, industry experts, and marketing influencers. The easiest way to do this is to simply tag the person or business you quote in the social message.
2.) Use Multiple Social Media Platforms
The more social media platforms you use, the more opportunities you create for people to inquire about your company. Using different social media platforms allows you multiple entry points for customers to find you, and it also allows you more opportunities to share information. Most importantly, it increases the likelihood that people will share what you have posted, and that leads to growth within the company.
3.) Be clear on your target audience
Knowing your audience is the prerequisite to a winning inbound marketing strategy. The objective in your social publishing is to share content that resonates and interests your audience. This is how you attract them to your brand.
The best way to having a clear understanding of who your audience is and their needs, pains, and problems is by establishing buyer personas. Through buyer personas, you’ll paint a clear picture of your ideal customer, serving as a guide to your entire content strategy.
4.) Optimally Schedule Your Posts
Every social media network experiences contrasting times of peak activity across different platforms. For example, Instagram is used 24/7 at any location, Facebook is used at work and at home at various hours, and LinkedIn is primarily accessed during business hours. Scheduling your social media posts at the ideal time will increase audience engagement. Don’t forget; the majority of the U.S. population lives in the Central and Eastern time zones.
5.) Be Consistent
Consistency is the most important aspect of using social media, especially for marketing. A dormant social media account will lead to people forgetting about you. Your posts should have a consistent look and tone. By being consistent you will gain followers, grow your audience, and promote your business.
6.) Schedule Content in Advance
You can plan your social media posts in advance to remain proactive and consistent. Some tools allow bulk-scheduling where you can publish a group of content at a time, depending on the size of your social media campaign. This is a huge benefit because your social media marketing strategy can be working for you while you’re busy fulfilling other goals in your business.
Use social media management tools like CoSchedule, Buffer, or Hootsuite. These tools also have analytic features that will tell you which posts are receiving the most engagement, giving you solid data on which content to focus more on to create more responses.
7.) Manage Multiple Social Media Accounts from One Dashboard
Instead of logging into each of your social accounts to post your content, you can simply do it from one dashboard, giving you a holistic view of your social channels. This helps you to save time, monitor conversations around your brand so you can respond appropriately, and keeps you more in-tuned with your followers. The better you are at interacting in your networks, the more engaged your audience will be.
8.) Use Creative Content to Increase Engagement
Creativity is a great way to increase engagement. If you want to engage with potential customers, creative content is the way to go; technical and formal posts, while informative, can lose the interest of people quickly. Combining the two different kinds of posts will help show customers and other businesses the full spectrum which you cover.
9.) Create Effective Headlines
It’s always a good idea to employ emotional headlines to attract attention. Your headlines should ideally be under 70 characters in length, include a power word, and speak to a need your audience has. Improve your headlines by using a tool like this headline analyzer.
10.) Create clear, unobtrusive CTAs
Some businesses don't give CTAs nearly as much attention as they should. Without a strong CTA, followers won't click any of your links, and your campaign won't convert any leads.
The trick to writing an effective CTA is to make it clear and concise. According to this Business 2 Community article, you need terse text and a design that highlights your link:
"Use calls to action, but make what is surrounding them on the screen as unobtrusive as possible. This means brevity when it comes to text, and professional but low-key images around the call. This doesn’t take a long time to get right, and when you have finally managed to ensure that a bunch of your posts feature calls to action that don’t have a lot of distractions going on around them, you will get the knack if it."
There's a bit more too it than that, but start here and see if it makes any impact.
11.) Ramp up on visuals
Visuals ROCK on social media. In fact, content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images (Source: Hubspot). Visuals like infographics, memes, GIFs, high-definition images, and videos are highly effective in capturing attention and bringing authenticity to your brand.
12.) Use Video Messages to Drive Engagement
Hundreds of millions of Facebook users around the world watch over 100 million hours of videos every day. Sharing videos is an interactive way to engage audiences. The ideal video length will be between one to two minutes.
The most popular social media video categories include:
- Client testimonials
Try creating a video in one of those categories for your next post and let us know how it goes.
13.) Start a content series
If you notice a blog or video generates more attention than usual, then you shouldn't just assume it was an anomaly. Instead, you should capitalize on this interest and create an entire series around that topic. At worst, you'll have tons of new content to share on social media and at best, you'll have a successful, lead-generating series.
14.) Extend a Blog Post's Visibility
High quality blog content has a lot of time and research involved, so it can be disheartening to have a blog post fall out of social media usage after a week or so. To prevent this, create a plan on each post for multiple social media shares for a longer span of time, including relevant headlines to post, hashtags, and tips that you can put in posts. You can use social sharing tools like co-schedule or buffer to help you time your posts more affectively.
15.) Pass on Valuable Content
Original, innovative and entertaining social media content from other sources is an easy way to engage audiences. Some organizations struggle to continually produce new content, but audiences simply want accurate and unique information from authoritative sources.
Therefore, focus on sourcing experts and influencers who audiences will respond to and appreciate. When you come across content that you find valuable (like this article - we hope!), chances are your audience will find interest in it as well. So pass it on!
(Seriously - it only takes a second...)
16.) Re-share Content
Anyone can drastically increase views and click-throughs when content is re-posted. The easiest way to do this is to use a variety of message formats to share content.
First, ask close-ended questions to raise the audiences’ curiosity.
Second, ask controversial questions that challenge the readers’ beliefs or behavior.
Third, use humorous content with a tasteful meme or GIF.
17.) Create a hashtag specifically for testimonials
Testimonials are wonderful marketing material, yet some businesses let them collect virtual dust. To help users find them -- and you can be sure they're searching -- create a hashtag that groups them all together. Now, all your positive reviews will conveniently be in one place.
18.) Create LinkedIn Connections on the Spot
When trying to connect with someone on LinkedIn, it's important to do it right so they will respond. To do it right, send out a personalized invite. Keep your message short and sweet, but mention why you want to connect, mutual interests, or where the two of you met.
19.) Communicate Directly with Customers and Other Businesses
Social Media allows you to have a direct line of communication with your customers, or with other businesses you may want to do business with. If they contact you through social media, you are able to respond immediately. This leads to networking opportunities and success.
20.) Mute Trolls Without Them Knowing
Although, your focus should be on building relationships, not blocking them, trolls can occasionally be a headache for you and your followers. On Facebook, deleting their comments doesn't always work because they will just post another comment complaining about how their first comment was deleted. Banning them will prevent that, but you might get messages and complaints about the ban. To make everyone happy, simply "hide" the comment. Hidden comments can only be seen by the person who wrote it and their followers, so it doesn't disrupt people who enjoy your content.
21.) Don’t forget to be social!
Remember, social media is all about connecting, building relationships and communities, and getting to know your audience. Like, share, and comment on other’s posts. Create personalized experiences by personally inboxing your followers to gain real feedback on your content or product. These special touches will go a long way in separating you from the competition.
With most people now connected to at least one social media account, marketing on social media is more important than ever. These social media marketing hacks will help you get better and more efficient results than ever. Want to learn how to create a social media strategy for your business? Check out this infographic - 7 Steps to Creating a Social Media Strategy for Your Business.