When you’re the owner of a small business finding time to manage everything you need to get done can be challenging. Managing your social media presence can easily fall off your priority list when you have other more pressing tasks that need to be done. However, social media is valuable for businesses of any size or industry and finding customers on social media can have a direct impact on your sales!
Social media can help you prospect new customers and maintain relationships with existing customers. Poor experiences or missed opportunities can spread through social media very quickly. If you’re not active and engaging you could miss these reviews, comments, and messages.
Some general ideas of content you can post to improve your social media presence include:
- Being responsive
- Promotions (ie. Discounts, buy 1 get 1, etc.)
- Educational content
- Interesting or funny visuals/videos
- Exclusive content
- Behind the scenes content
Before you start posting it’s important to consider which platforms work best for your business. You may underestimate the importance of Facebook for younger generations or TikTok for older generations! You can use different channels as well to reach certain goals. For example, you could use Facebook to build your audience, generate leads, and use Twitter for customer service.
Here is a list of things you can do to improve your social media presence with some concrete examples of how it can help your business!
1. Identify your audience
Luckily, if you have a business account set up on your social media pages there are tools built in that allow you to learn more about your audience. You can find out location, age, and when they are most active. This information is usually found in sections of social media platforms such as “Analytics”, “Audiences”, or “Insights”.
If you know where your audience is located, you can help create content they will enjoy. You could also use specific hashtags that are used in that area. For example in Kitchener-Waterloo the hashtag “KWAwesome” is frequently used by local businesses.
2. Build relationships
You can use social media to build and engage with your audience. For example if you see people posting about your product or share photos at your restaurant. Re-sharing them on your own page or in your stories is a great way to show your appreciation and build an audience. As well, responding to inquiries and complaints in a timely manner will let customers know that you care.
3. Search for new trending topics and opportunities
You can use social listening tools to identify conversations you may want to be part of on social media. For instance, if you make gluten-free baked goods in Woodstock, ON you can set up a brand keyword for “Gluten-Free” within your business’ radius. This will send you tweets that are about this topic to you. Then you can like or comment on these tweets!
You can also create videos that are appropriate for current trends. TikTok has taken trending videos to a new level. Finding ways to adopt certain audio-clips or dances to your industry will help you carve out a unique presence and increase engagement!
4. Create a content calendar
Creating a content calendar is a great way to stay organized and keep you accountable to staying on top of social media. If you plan your content a month or two months in advance, you will be less likely to end up scrambling to put something together at the last minute. As you are scheduling your content you should also consider when your followers are online and most likely to see your posts.
- It is recommended to post about 1 or 2 times per day on your Facebook page. There is some evidence that if you post more than that you can see a drop in engagement.
- You should post to your Instagram feed 2-3 times per week and 2 stories per day.
- It’s appropriate to post on twitter 1-2 times per day.
- You can post on LinkedIn 1 time per day but no more than 5 times per day.
- TikTok recommends posting 1-4 times per day to please the algorithm and your fans.
5. Find the right hashtags
Hashtags are still important for gaining more exposure on social media. You should consider hashtags that are relevant to your content, ones your audience is already using, and aim for a mix of community hashtags and niche hashtags. Lastly creating a branded hashtag, specific to your business that customers and employees can use is a great idea!
Be sure to avoid over-using hashtags or use generic hashtags that have millions of posts under them. Your post will get lost.
The consensus is to use about:
- 11 hashtags on Instagram
- 2-3 hashtags on Facebook
- 2 hashtags on Twitter
- 5 hashtags on LinkedIn
- 3-5 hashtags on TikTok
6. Audit and monitor your presence
Monitoring your social media presence according to your goals is important for creating a successful long-term strategy. Look at which posts preform the best and consider repurposing them in the future. You can look at metrics such as comments, likes, shares, clicks, followers, impressions, and reach. Adapting and modifying your strategy as you go can help your business to stay relevant.
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