Social media is a quick and easy way to share information and engage with consumers, employees, and the community. Using social media for marketing initiatives is less expensive than other options, making it a cost effective way to communicate. If executed properly, small businesses can see great results from social media efforts. Here are six best practices to help small businesses succeed on social media.
- Define your voice
Personify your brand by giving it a distinctive voice across all social media outlets. This will establish consistency without repeating the exact same content. This is especially important when looking at the differences in formality between social media outlets. For example, informal language is more appropriate on Facebook for most businesses, while a more formal approach is suitable on LinkedIn. Keeping these slight differences in mind will help you create targeted content on social media.
- Transparency is key
Let stakeholders see behind the scenes of your organization, especially the people who make your organization great. Social media is a great way to showcase your workplace culture. Put the people who work in your organization front and center. A few ways to do this is to highlight new hires, promotions, birthdays, milestones, events, and other reasons to celebrate (with the employees’ permission of course)!
- Quality not quantity
We all know people who over share social media, and organizations are not an exception. Your posts should appeal to one or more of the following stakeholder groups: clients/customers (past or present), prospective clients/customers, employees (current and potential), or the general community. When creating content, think of the following: Will this resonate with my audience? Is this the right platform for this post? Is there anything I can include (i.e. pictures or links) to make people more likely to engage with this post? Is the language clear and concise? If you say, “No,” to one or more of these questions you should take a step back and think about what you are posting and why.
- Build a community
Social media is a great way to build a community around your brand. To do this, you must strive for engagement. Don’t be afraid to ask followers for feedback and comments on posts.
Another way to drive engagement is to create personalized posts by tagging businesses, clients, and people when applicable. For example, if someone from your company attends a local event you can tag the employee and the organization hosting the event in your posts to increase exposure.
- Know your numbers
Knowing what appeals to your followers (and what doesn’t) will make your posts more strategic and effective. To do this, review the analytic insights provided on your social media account page(s). After perusing, you will have a deeper understanding about who your followers are, what content is most engaging, when the best times to post are, and more.
- Have a plan
Having a plan will allow you to create posts in advance, which will save you from scrambling to create content at the last second. At RMS we use a social media calendar to plan content for major milestones and events. This allows us to place posts strategically, and know what content needs to be created in the future. It’s also important to note that not all content should be created ahead of time. Social media is very “in the moment” so it’s important to be ready to participate in discussions around trending topics that are appropriate for your business.
Your company should also have a communications plan in place for responding to feedback. Separate action plans should be created for positive, neutral, and negative feedback. Having policies and procedures will allow employees to respond swiftly and appropriately to all feedback received.
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Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) is a full service market research firm located in Syracuse, NY. If you are interested in learning more about our services, contact Sandy Baker, Senior Director of Business Development and Corporate Strategy, at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422.