Facebook, Instagram, Twitter: you name it. Social media has completely transformed the way we communicate with each other and how businesses interact with clients. From direct messaging to interactive stories to commenting and sharing, social media has given us a new world of ways through which we can promote goods and services. Plus, staying connected is easy and businesses can reach wider audiences than ever before. Information is online 24/7 and freely available – so you better standout. Feeling the pressure? Although it may already sound like a daunting endeavour, staying on top of social media is an absolute must for any modern business but once you get the hang of it, you will surely reap the benefits. So how do small businesses keep up on social media? Here’s a few pointers to keep in mind:
1. There’s A LOT of ways to attract social media traffic however, knowing your consumer base is a sure-fire way to build a following that interacts with you online. To promote your brand, you need a consistent base of people consuming your business’ goods, services and online content. Creating targeted content that will resonate with your consumers will encourage them to continue supporting your business and recommend it to others. Observe popular trends and the types of content your followers respond most to. Find a balance and tailor your content towards that. At the same time, take every opportunity to engage with consumers who are not your traditional base. You never know if they may need your service!
- REMEMBER: social media gives people the power to interact with thousands of people within seconds. Unless it is your business, steer away from promoting controversial topics such as political opinions. This likely does not relate to your business and runs the risk of alienating clientele and potentially tarnishing the image of your business.
2. Understanding the purposes of different types of social media is equally critical to small business success. Having a consistent social media presence lets consumers know what you are up to and what they can expect from your company. Pay attention to trends, social media lingo and anything else that will help you play the social media game. Understand different platforms for their strengths and make sure there is a seamless transition between all your business’ platforms. Don’t forget that customers should easily be able to navigate your sites. Don’t lose what makes your business special though – this is what sets you apart from the millions of other companies advertising online!
3. Have you ever looked for information about a company online but after reading page after page of their website, you still couldn’t figure out exactly what they were offering or how it works? Avoid pushing potential consumers away by making sure to always have accessible, consistent and clear information available online. Potential customers don’t want to piece together what you’re all about and how can they know they need your service if they’re confused as to what it is you’re offering? So make sure you have a clear business statement and that information about your services is readily available, understandable and uncomplicated. Clear, consistent and accessible information conveys trustworthiness and confidence in your business! Score!
4. Everyone has a mental note of businesses that we have come across that we associate with certain products and services. They influence how and why we make certain decisions and we think of them when we need something specific. The goal is to be the business that people think of when searching for said good or service. That’s where visual appeal and image comes in. No matter how small you business, you need to build a brand and image that people will remember and associate with certain goods and services. Build the brand that customers will remember. Of course, you can’t out-post bad products or poor customer service (that needs to be flawless first and foremost) but think of your media presence as a virtual extension of your in-house hospitality. Post both serious and fun things that consumers can interact with and maintain a good public image. Keep your content uncluttered and stay true to the purpose of your business. Engage locally and promote content that favours your company as well as your community.
Regardless of the medium, the most important thing to remember is that you are building a relationship with your clients. Help them and they will help you!
Hopefully these tips offer some insight into the sometimes challenging task of navigating various social media platforms! Happy posting!
By Juliana Schneider