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How to Use Social Media for Your Small Business

Social media is a non negotiable for businesses, no matter the size. Our lives are online, and if you aren’t willing to meet your customers where they’re at, you’ll be missing moments of connection with your current customers and losing out on potential customers. Social media is a vast world, and if you're already running your small business, social media can feel very daunting. Here are our tips for how to get started if you don't have the budget to hire a social media manager.

Before you begin, check out these articles on branding and picking out your brand colors. You'll need to already have these nailed down if you want to be successful on social media. Switching up your branding and colors too often will confuse your followers and weaken your social media presence.

Set a Strategy with Specific Goals

A social media strategy is what you want to achieve on social media and how you plan to achieve. There are lots of reasons for a small business to be on social media. They range from using social media as a sales funnel to simply wanting to have a professional presence on social media for when potential customers stumble upon your profile. Get clear on why you want to be on social media, and this will help you set more specific goals. You could set the goal of gaining a certain amount of followers, but there are so many more metrics of success than followers numbers on social media. Try setting goals that are more centered around customers relationships and sales. Maybe have the goal of getting one DM a month asking about your services. When you set your goals, make sure you diligently track the metrics around your goal. If you let the metric tracking slide, you won't know if your social media strategy is working.

Pick the Right Platforms to Focus On

If you don't have a social media manager, it's very unlikely that you can put out consistent, quality content on all the major social media platforms. While you should still aim to have profiles on these platforms that look professional and are updated about once a week, you should narrow down your focus to 2 to 3 platforms that will best support your business's social media goals. If you want to reach younger demographics, you probably want to focus on TikTok and Instagram. If you're trying to reach older demographics, you have to have a good presence on Facebook. If your small business is focused in the tech industry, Twitter and LinkedIn should be in your line of focus. Check out the infographic below for info on the major players in social media - Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and TikTok.

Try Using a Social Media Planner

If you're running a small business, you're probably already short on time. Sitting down to post on social media every day isn't a realistic expectation. That's why we suggest using a social media scheduler so you don't have to stop your work flow to pick a picture, write a caption, and post on social media. We use Planoly (pictured below) to schedule our posts about a week at a time. This means we can run our days without worrying about what's going up on Instagram. Other social media schedulers that have good reputations are Later & Hootsuite. If you want to try a free option for Facebook and Instagram, look into Facebook's Business Manager. Scheduling your posts in advance is the only way to make sure your social media presence won't fall behind when your business schedule starts taking over.

Remember that social media growth doesn't happen overnight. It requires consistent, quality work over a long period of time. It took us 8 months to gain 1,000 followers on Instagram, and we have a team of 3 working to create content for that profile. Don't give up if your social media isn't blowing up during your first year. Know that every little step you take to create content for your business's social media is supporting your business in the long run.

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