social media in a small business

How to effectively use social media in a small business

Social Media takes up a lot of time. Some people just ‘know’ how to use it and seem to get loads of comments, likes and shares. For others, it’s a slog – something they know they must do, but can’t seem to get it right. Its not easy to effectively use social media in a small business.

In this article, I am going to try and set out some tips that could help you boost your social media marketing for your business, helping you effectively use social media in a small business.

Tip 1: Manage you time efficiently

Apparently, the most effective social media ‘people’ post multiple times per day. For the rest of us, this is waaaay too much effort. Or is it?

Have you ever heard of social media management software, like Hootsuite, Buffer or Sprout Social? They sound complicated and expensive. But they are not!

My first tip would be to have a look at buffer.com – this can be used for free to schedule your posts in advance. This would allow you to dedicate 30 mins of your week to setup your posts for the next 7 days, letting the software just post it for you on a schedule. Very simple to use and setup, there are other features (some paid) that could nicely boost your online presence. Hootsuite.com is another tool that has free and paid versions available – check them both out and have a play?

Tip 2: What the hell do I write?

The next stumbling block to efficient social media management is what content you should post. One idea would be to check out a competitor – see what they are doing. Also, have a think about what content you already generate:

  • Photos
  • Blog posts
  • News articles on your website
  • Products
  • Offers
  • Events
  • Customer reviews

When you sit down and think about it, there are loads of bits of content you can share. For example, a cafe; they have a specials board, different types of coffee, local events, local suppliers, customer reviews, photos – loads of things that can be put up on social media.

Put a list together of what types of content you have, then attribute each one to a particular day or time of the week. This is the beginnings of a social media content planner.

Tip 3: When and where should I share it?

This is an important question. What social platforms do your customers generally tend to use? Now there are a lot of clever things to help you determine this, for example, looking at your customer demographics.

If your average customer is 50+, they are more likely to be on Facebook than using Snapchat. If they are under 18, they are less likely to be using LinkedIn.

A question I have been asked in the past is “Why dont we just do all of them?” This is certainly possible, if you have a full-time member of staff to manage it all! So pick and choose carefully. Take into consideration whether your business is selling to other businesses (B2B) or directly to customers (B2C) as this will also make a difference to which networks you use.

Here is a good article to read more about this: https://www.bluecorona.com/blog/which-social-media-platforms-best-for-business

The answer to your question on when is determined by your business type. If you have a nightclub that opens on a Friday and Saturday, you may find that Monday morning is not really the best time to post.

If you look at your Social Media Statistics (Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, Instagram Insights) you can find out when your followers are most active.

Facebook Insights showing when your followers are online.
Facebook Insights showing when your followers are online

Tip 4: Direct or Passive Social Media Marketing

There are different ways of using social media – again this depends on your business type. If you have lots of customers spending a small amount, then passive marketing will work best. This is where you put out your content to the widest possible audience to entice them. Generally, this is done by general posting to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Another way of using social media is direct marketing, targeting smaller groups or individuals directly by using messaging facilities (LinkedIn is good at this). You could send a direct message to a potential customer, a business or a group of people.

Tip 5: What do you want customers to do?

This is one of the most important aspects of social media to get right. What is it you want potential customers to do?

  • Visit your premises
  • Buy online
  • Sign up for a free trial
  • Visit your website
  • Sign up to a newsletter
  • Phone you

Determining this before you put your social media plan in action is essential. You will want to focus your content to getting people to carry out this action.

If it’s visiting your premises (cafe / shop / hairdresser etc) then tell them where you are, what time you open and why they should visit. If you want them to buy online, link them to your website, or better; link them to a particular product.

Next steps to effectively use social media in a small business

Obviously, getting in touch with us will help. We can advise you or train you or take over your social media entirely – up to you!

Otherwise, have a look at what other people do, think about paid advertising (can be effective), try out different styles of content (funny, serious, special offers, competitions) – but overall, do what comes naturally to you. An authentic voice is more trustworthy, pretending to be someone you are not will most likely fail.

Currently, Cayenne Digital are offering a completely free digital marketing appraisal which includes a review of your social media. This report is not ‘auto-generated’ but written by one of our team for you. Click here to request yours.

p.s – It is completely free!

Leave a Reply