Almost 3 billion around the world use social media. Chances are your employees, clients and competitors are a part of that 3 billion, so it only makes sense for you to join the social media community, right? You’ve created a Twitter profile, started posting on Facebook and connected with clients and colleagues on LinkedIn. But, now what? Having a presence and sharing content on social media is great, but we want to lay out some key rules for you to consider before hitting that “Share” button. Here are five social media tips every small business owner can’t afford to ignore:
1. Know Your Audience
Before pressing “Share,” or “Post,” or “Tweet” do you really stop and think about who that post is going to reach? Who your followers are and what they’ll think? Without knowing who your audience is, it is impossible to create and share content that will benefit them. Research is key. It may seem trivial and unnecessary, but it is important to consider how your audience is consuming their media and what information they are looking for on specific platforms. This research can also help shape your tone of voice and give you a better idea of what content to post where.
2. Find Your Voice
Your business has a voice of its own, and so should your social media channels. Sure, social media is a more relaxed communication tool, but maintaining a level of professionalism is still important. Your tone of voice may change from channel to channel depending on how you are using each platform but, you should also be sure to remain consistent and true to your brand’s identity.
3. Establish a Purpose
It’s always a good idea to establish a specific role or purpose for each of your social media platforms. Your audience is going to explore your different channels for different reasons. Know those reasons. Give them what they’re looking for, or they’ll go somewhere else. Depending on your business you might not need to have a presence on every platform — and that’s okay. It’s better to work towards a goal on one or two channels versus posting content to five that aren’t reaching your targets. Have a purpose or goal for each channel and build out a strategy for how you are going to utilize each platform to reach it.
4. Engage Your Audience
Posting content is important, but social media can also be used to foster relationships. It gives you a platform to network, have meaningful conversations and accelerate your business. Whether it’s following, liking, retweeting, sharing or responding, be active with others on your social media — you’d be surprised what may come from it.
5. Know Your Role
At the end of the day, your social media channels are a reflection of your business and should maintain a level of professionalism. But, your audience and customers want to know that you are human, too. Don’t be afraid to show some personality and enthusiasm with your content.
Our friends at Sprout Social remind us, "social is still very much a personal platform. People spend time on social, first and foremost, to interact with family and friends. As brands put together campaigns and messaging, they must remember that they are guests at dinner, not members of the nuclear family: their role in user feeds is delicate, valuable and should be treated with great care."
Small businesses face interesting and unique challenges when it comes to social media engagement. Do you find these social media tips helpful? How have you engaged with your customers on social media lately? Drop us a comment below or connect with us if you have any questions. We’d love to hear from you!