Social Media is something that isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon. While there is no magic formula or way to ‘master’ social media, there are ways to leverage it to keep your brand on the radar to clients potential clients, and industry influencers. Below, we’re sharing our 5 social media best practices for small businesses and how to use them to get the most of social media.
1) Understand the Analytics
Before starting on any social media campaign it’s important to have a good understanding of analytics. Most of the platforms have built in analytics where you can see how many impressions, clicks, and interactions your posts are getting – and cool features like what time of day your posts get the most interaction. It’s a good idea to get familiar with the analytic tools for each platform and how to determine what’s working and what isn’t so you can take full advantage and improve your content strategy. Below are examples of some analytics tools.
2) Social Media Platforms – Understand Your Options
Talk about information overload when it comes to social media platforms, it seems like there are new ones emerging each day! Each platform is different, and has different uses. It’s good to have a knowledge of the platforms and what content is best for them. For example, Facebook is better for showing company culture where LinkedIn is better suited for sharing industry related articles and company achievements. While each platform should have consistent branding, here are a few differences between some of the most widely used platforms:
- Facebook- The goal here is to build followers, and update your status to gain followers, get ‘likes’, showcase products or services, or share photos that show company culture. Create a business page so you can add a call-to-action button. This allows people to click to your website, or a contact form. Be sure to respond to questions or comments on your Facebook page, and interact with your followers.
- LinkedIn-This platform is different from the rest because it is designed specifically for businesses and professionals. Users go to this site to share professional articles, and show job experience. LinkedIn is a great tool for job recruiting and showing thought leadership. Since this site is all about making connections and introductions, be sure to introduce yourself when reaching out to someone new, and being specific and to the point when sending messages.
- Instagram- Visuals are king when it comes to this platform. Specifically, well thought out curated photos and videos. Think of Instagram as a simpler version of Facebook, where all of your posts are on a feed and you can like and follow what you choose. If you are handling social media for a business, be sure to set up your Instagram account as a business account to spread awareness, and show potential clients about your products or services.
- Twitter- Look to this platform for quick and to the point interactions. With only 140 characters to get your message across, Twitter forces you to get creative with how you want to craft your message. Similar to Facebook, most people scroll through the sea of tweets on Twitter, try using gifs, photos, statistics, or quotes related to the link you are sharing, to draw attention to your tweets.
3) Build Brand Awareness
Social Media is a great way to be seen on a large scale. There are unlimited possibilities for campaigns, and interactions with influencers. Quality over quantity is best for every platform (except Twitter). By posting fewer well crafted posts, instead of multiple posts that aren’t thought out, you not only help build awareness for your brand, but you don’t overshare and risk annoying people by posting too often. Set aside time for content creation and planning and use tools such as Sprout Social or Hootsuite to schedule posts ahead of time to keep on track with your campaigns.
4) Be Transparent
Being open and honest with your followers not only makes you trustworthy, but gives your brand a face. Showing behind the scenes with videos will help build more interest in your brand, and is more likely to get more interactions with your brand.
5) Don’t forget to be social
It’s called Social Media for a reason, to be social! If you get a follower, it’s customary to follow back. Same goes if you get a comment or message, reply to it. Follow other companies or people in your industry and interact with their posts. Don’t feel the need to jump on to every conversation that is happening, pick and choose the kind of the posts you want to interact with and let influencers and others in the community jump in on the ones you don’t.
If you are using these best practices for social media and not getting results, keep trying! Getting results on social media takes time, energy, strategy, and thoughtfully crafted content to keep users engaged.