7 ways small business can improve their social media presence… for free and right now

For small businesses, Social Media can seem like a huge effort, but trust us, the benefits will be worth the energy.

A strong social media strategy can drive growth for businesses who use social media to improve customer service, communicate and engage with customers and new audiences as well as build authority and brand awareness and trust.

1. What platform?

Whatever you do, don’t be convinced that you must be on every single social media platform that exists. Not only is it time consuming, and actually sometimes wrongly spent time, but it’s almost impossible to be on every platform and get it right. A better solution is to focus on a couple platforms which will provide value to your brand and business and get it right.

How do you choose?

Get inside your audiences’ brain. Where are they going to be hanging out? If you’re B2B, most likely you are going to want to focus a lot of your attention on LinkedIn, especially if you are providing a professional service. Whereas if you’re B2C, have a highly visual product for example a beauty product, Instagram is where it’s at.

2. Create a strategy

Not only should this include what you are going to post and how often you will post it, it needs to include who in your team will be responsible for social media. Breaking up the roles clearly so everyone knows what is expected will create a cohesive team able to respond to and engage with your audience as well as making sure posts are going out.

Consider using a content calendar which lays out:

  • Topics and subjects

  • Usable content you already have

  • Content you still need to create

  • When it will be published and on what platforms

  • Any hashtags or tags you need to include

3. Always keep your audience in mind when creating content

Social media engagement relies heavily on knowing your audience and making sure your content is what they want to see. For example, if you are a bakery your audience may want to see recipes or tips and techniques.

Things you may want to consider about your audience include age, location, genders, interests and behaviours. Most platforms will provide their own analytics to help you with this, but there are also so many tools readily available for your use.

Our biggest tip is to ask yourself “Is this adding value to my audience? Is it relevant?”

4. Use scheduling tools.

We mention them in almost all of our blog posts about social media. And that’s because they work and are a huge time saver and make sure you are keeping up your presence.

Pre-scheduling them also assists with that strategy and content planner, as well as many allowing you to monitor your platforms and respond to messages quickly in one place.

5. Actively engage with your audience

Social media is just that. The aim is to be social, and that goes both ways. Posting content is not enough. Building relationships via social media is about engaging and connecting with others.

  • Comment on posts

  • Participate in conversations

  • Share user-generated content

  • Ask questions – and respond!

  • Address complaints and negative comments

All of this will help to build trust with your online community.

6. It’s not all promotion

Throw the normal rules of selling out of the window. Social media is less about self -promotion, more about meeting the needs of your audience.

It is recommended that promotional content is kept to 20%. That doesn’t mean that you can’t demonstrate how your service or product can be of benefit, or give tips or know-how relating to your industry.

7. Consistency is key

With Social Media helping with brand building, every post you make needs to be in line and in the voice of your brand. Another reason why a strategy appointing key players and their responsibilities is vital for making sure your team are on top of their game.

Keeping an eye on your analytics and the results will help you to create and maintain a strategy that works for you and your audience. Don’t be afraid to go against the grain, think outside the box and most importantly, if it’s not working, change it up.

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