6 Social Media Hacks for Busy Small Businesses
As a small business owner in today's constantly evolving digital landscape, staying abreast of social media initiatives can be challenging. With so many other facets of the business to navigate on a day-to-day basis, a social media campaign may likely end up at the bottom of the ever-growing to-do list. To make it easier here are a few tricks I've learned along the way that will guarantee an easy-to-use social media plan that drives awareness and increases customer engagement.
1. Keep a schedule: It seems simple, but this is an often overlooked piece of advice as one creates a social presence. One of the easiest ways to lose out on potential customers is to have too much dead-time between communications, so creating a plan is the first step to success. While social updates should be timely, your customers are likely still consuming information even after you close your doors. By taking advantage of free tools like Buffer and Hootsuite which allow you to schedule communications across multiple platforms, you're able to maximize your social media presence on even the busiest of days.
2. Understand the different platforms: Being able to recognize that Facebook is different from Twitter, and Instagram is not the same as Pinterest will save you some stress in the long run. Even though there are many different avenues to test, don't do everything just to be doing it. Take the time to understand the strengths of each platform, learn how your ideal customer consumes information, and figure out which tools make sense as you promote your business and engage with the community. If you're simply going to duplicate the same message across all platforms, you might as well just stay away from social media entirely.
3. Offer unique social deals: Strategy is key when it comes to using social media effectively. When you're thinking of offering a deal remember that if you are offering the same discounts and perks to your social media followers as you do the general public, you're not giving much incentive to your followers to stay loyal or engaged. Testing different deals via social media allows you measure how your social strategy is affecting your business when compared to other avenues.
4. Go beyond the network: As digital marketing strategies continue to grow, savvy small businesses are becoming better at creating high-quality content to share on their social networks. But it's time to make that social content work even harder. While social networks provide a great platform to get started, marketers today don't need to be tied down to just producing content for social channels. With free tools like Tack, which is a new technology that turns social posts into online ads across local publications, small businesses can make their social media work harder and smarter, without extra work. Small businesses can also enhance their inbound marketing efforts, drive more traffic and attract more prospective customers by blogging.
5. Share industry expertise. Social media is a great platform to share not only your own expertise, but also those insights of others in your field. Spread the knowledge through guest post opportunities on industry blogs and networks like LinkedIn. These types of content marketing strategies compliment your direct sales strategies and allow customers to get a sense of who you are, why they'd want to support you, and how you fit into your industry.
6. Be helpful and literal: When you ask your supporters to share something on social media, it's okay to tell them exactly what to share, how to share it, and what words to put together when they hit the tweet button or draft a Facebook update. The LA Times and Chicago Tribune are just a couple publishing outlets that have recently introduced "sharelines" to readers. These sharelines allow consumers to quickly and easily tweet or share a story on Facebook with prewritten text meant to capture the attention of followers. SMBs who want to make it easy for their own followers and fans to share news and updates can utilize free services like Click to Tweet to instantly create their own customized sharelines.
Social media doesn't have to be time consuming, or expensive, but you do need to have a plan. When done right a good social strategy can be the most important investment for your businesses growth.
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