No small business owner should be intimidated by social media. In fact, few are — 93 percent of small business owners have reported using Facebook, 79 percent use Twitter and 71 percent use LinkedIn. However, simply existing on social media is not the same thing as having a social media presence.
It’s much, much more than posting a photo or two and a blurb about your business and then, going about your day. However, if you want to be serious about building a presence on any social media platform, you will have to invest your time. And it’s going to take time, perseverance and the occasional adjustment.
Thankfully, there are a few sure-fire tips that you can follow to begin building your presence, even if you’re just now getting around to it.
1. Pick the Right Platform(s)
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr and YouTube are all hugely popular social media sites. However, you don’t have to be on all of them! In fact, spreading yourself (and your presence) too thinly to make use of all platforms can end up in a forgotten Instagram out there with a default picture and a couple of hashtags. Consider carefully where your audience hangs out and start there.
2. Leverage Your Content
Twitter limits you to a certain number of characters. Instagram is more about photos. Facebook allows for both written and photographic content. If you also have a website with a blog, you can Tweet out a link to your blog, then post a related image on Instagram and include the link in the caption. Including links to your various social media pages on your blog and in your emails can really get your presence around.
3. Be Human
This is huge. The last thing you want is to be a nameless, faceless corporation. We are discussing presence here, after all. Many brands today aren’t afraid to crack jokes with the customers like they were old friends. Showing your team giving back or going about their daily lives can forge a connection with your customers that can go a long way.
4. Be Consistent
Customers tend to go elsewhere if they notice that you haven’t posted in a while. This is true for Facebook, Twitter and even just your website’s blog. Inactivity doesn’t inspire followers. Post often, but avoid being spammy. This can mean that you’ll have to plan ahead of time to make sure your audience isn’t left in the dark.
5. Don’t Forget the Analytics
Most platforms now include analytic tools to help you out in this department. Knowing how many likes, dislikes, followers, replies, and retweets you have is important if you want to know what’s working. It will also provide insight on which platforms your audience is using most and what time of the day they are most active.
Dana Story, the founder of Sultra, had this to say, “Engagement is crucial to customers. Social media provides you with a way to interact and listen to your audience so that you can provide them with what they want.”