Social media can seem intimidating and at times, trying to maneuver through its best practices can be tricky — especially for smaller businesses balancing a variety of daily tasks, in addition to building a digital presence. All the same, social media is quite possibly the most effective way to stay engaged with both current and prospective customers.
Nearly 90 percent of the businesses we work with at the Chamber are small- to medium-sized businesses, and we’re often asked how their teams can translate their brand to a digital property. Here are our top tips and tricks for capitalizing on social media’s vast potential.
Identify Your Objectives
We rarely do anything in life without a purpose, and the approach to social media should be no different. It’s important to define your objectives while making sure they’re attainable for your business model. Ask yourself, “Who am I trying to reach; what do I want to say; and how am I going to say it?” Once you start answering those questions, your goals and objectives will write themselves.
Create Purposeful Content
The internet is massive, and new content is generated every second. How can you best stand out? Using engaging graphics and photographs can go a long way when creating new content. It is completely acceptable, and in most cases necessary, for your social content to reach beyond your business model and industry. Include statistics from the Columbus region, as well as industry news from other non-competing outlets. It will attract a wider audience and generate a greater reach, which is a win-win for your brand.
Consistency is Key
Scheduling your social media posts may seem intimidating; however, it is one of the most effective ways to save time and ensure consistency, especially for a small team with a busy schedule. Try to refrain from going too long without posting on any particular account.
Rules of thumb for posting on the most prominent social platforms:
- Facebook: 2 – 3 times a week
- Twitter: 8 – 22 times a week depending on your social strategy
- LinkedIn: 1 – 3 times a week
- Instagram: at least 1 time a week
Again, these recommendations all depend on your social strategy, but it always helps to have a baseline.
Don’t have a full-time staff member dedicated to social media strategy? No problem. Even the smallest of businesses can create smart and strategic content goals as long as they’re realistic when it comes to their capabilities. It might not make sense for your business to have a presence on all of the social media platforms. It is better to maintain a presence on one or two platforms than a weak presence on several.
Don’t be Afraid of Personality
Every business has a different brand identity, so feel free to explore different social media personalities to fit that brand identity. Experiment with some appropriate humor, compelling graphics or enticing testimonials from your employees or customers. Social media can be professional without being boring. The most important question: How can you best ensure that content reflects your organization and engages its target audiences?
Be Your Own Best Friend
Find ways to share your own content, whether it be through a blog post or press release. Your social media channels are free publicity for your brand and your business, and it is best to utilize those opportunities whenever possible. Don’t be afraid to drive traffic to your website. Pro tip – Use link management tools like Bitly to shorten your URL resulting in a cleaner post overall.
Your social media goals mean little without an effective way to gauge progress. The use of analytics can help make sure your hard work and time is being well spent. Are you unable to invest in an extensive analytics service? Many of the most common social media platforms have their own built-in tracking tools. Being able to designate what works and when it works best will go a long way for advancing your social media presence.
B2B is Just as Important as B2C
It’s important to engage with clients on social media, but it is equally important to engage with other businesses as well. Not only does it open up your brand to an entirely new audience, but it also gives you an opportunity to establish a relationship with other business leaders in the community.
— The Columbus Chamber of Commerce offers news, information and other resources that are free and available to all businesses at columbus.org. —