Do you own a new start-up, or have a boutique business that is ready for the next step? Whether you’re embarking on a new journey in the business world, or are already several years in, we’re here to guide you through your social media management strategy.
If you’re a smaller business, you will naturally have a smaller social media presence. It can feel both daunting and disheartening to start from scratch, however, patience is a virtue! If you follow our top tips, you’ll set yourself in good stead for social media success.
Why is Social Media Important for your Business?
It goes without saying that we are living in a social media dominated world. Without a presence on social media, your business will be missing crucial opportunities to build a brand, connect with your target audience and drive traffic to your website – ultimately, converting followers into sales.
Nowadays, as a customer, our natural instinct is to check out a company’s website – not to mention those all-important Google reviews! However, we also tend to have a cheeky stalk of their socials: what type of content do they post? What is the aesthetic of their feed like? How many followers do they have – and do they reply to comments? These are all questions that the potential consumer will be asking, and you need to ensure that your social media channels provide all the right answers.
Consult the Marketing Funnel
Firstly, as a small business, you need to decipher which stage of the marketing funnel you are currently at. If you’re just starting out, you will still be at the brand awareness stage: this is where you can first attract potential customers, by establishing your brand on social media. At this stage, you will likely be starting social channels from scratch, or with very minimal followers – so your initial task is to build that following from the ground up! Image is everything, which is why it may be tempting to buy followers, to give the instant impression that business is booming. However, at Social Chameleon, we strongly advise against this; authenticity is key, and the risks of buying Bot followers outweigh any benefits. If you have the budget, ads are a brilliant way to quickly boost your follower count, however, if – as with many start-up businesses – money is tight, don’t fret! Organic growth is 100% possible, and we are here to guide you through the best ways to engineer this.
Similarly, if your small business has been up and running for a while, you may be ahead on the marketing funnel: from the ‘interest’ stage all the way to ‘purchase’. This will determine how you should manage your social media accounts, and the way in which you should be interacting with your audience – retaining their interest, and encouraging them to purchase, while simultaneously attempting to reach new potential consumers.
Hone in on Relevant Platforms
So, if you’re just starting out, or looking to grow your small business on social media, it is important to know where to begin. You need to hone in on platforms which are relevant to your audience; if your business is at a smaller scale, your audience is likely to be very niche. Therefore, undertake market research to discover the exact demographic you’re targeting, and utilize social media accordingly. For example, a younger market will be more active on platforms such as Instagram and Tiktok, whereas older generations are more likely to be found on Facebook and LinkedIn. Likewise, if you’re targeting professionals, LinkedIn is the platform for you – whereas if your business is in the luxury sector, for example, image and video-based platforms such as Instagram will be better suited. For more advice on how to know which social media platforms best reach your target market, check out our blog here.
At Social Chameleon, we advise you to hone in on platforms which you will get the most out of; it may well be that you end up utilizing every possible platform out there! However, from our experience, this is something to aim for as you grow, and while your business is still at a smaller scale, you will find it is most beneficial to focus on two main platforms. Remember: quality trumps quantity every time.
Create Regular, Interesting Content
Now you know where you’ll be posting content, it is vital that what you’re posting gives the right impression! Particularly if you’re still in the brand awareness stage, your initial social media posts should clearly communicate your brand: from the aesthetic of your feed (visuals are everything!), to the wording of your captions, to the general types of content you’re posting. We would advise posting a diverse range of content, from video content to carousels, to interactive content and reshared links of articles. Within this content, you should be aiming to position your business as an expert in your industry; meanwhile, you want each piece of content to have a specific purpose, to either educate, inspire or entertain your audience – or perhaps all three! Whatever your content conveys, it has to be engaging, and encourage likes, comments and reshares.
What’s more, it’s crucial that you’re posting regularly: at least 2 – 3 times a week. This is particularly important in the beginning stages of your accounts, as you’re aiming to build a following – which takes time and consistent work. Content scheduling platforms such as Content Cal allow you to plan out a batch of content months in advance. Not only does this help you to keep organised, and allows content to be posted automatically, you can also monitor the aesthetic of your feed – and ensure that you’re keeping on top of those all-important dates in your social media calendar! If you’re planning ahead, you’re less likely to miss out on key public and industry events that you should be posting about. Have a browse of our blog on the best social media platforms for your business here.
Finally, if you’re looking to build your initial following, a key way of doing so is optimising your content with hashtags. However, do not fall into the trap of spamming your post with 20+ hashtags; this is so last decade! Recent reports from the Instagram Creators themselves have, in fact, shown that the optimum number of hashtags to break through the algorithm is only 3-5.
Engage, Engage, Engage!
Engagement is everything. Even if you’re posting the most eye-catching content known to man, you’re not going to build an online community without engaging with your followers – and other accounts. The best way to ensure you keep on top of your social media engagement is to set aside an hour or so every day to reply to comments, and also to reach out to other high-performing accounts in your industry. Leave a friendly comment complimenting them on their content – and you never know what leads you may find along the way! Social media is all about connection, and it is important that your brand is seen to be responsive and community-focused.
Team Up With A Social Media Agency
Does all of this sound a tad daunting to you? You’re not alone! While you may initially opt to handle social media in-house, or by hiring a freelancer, your best bet is to put your faith in a social media agency. If affordability is an issue, don’t fret – most social media agencies provide different packages to suit your needs, and your current budget. You can start out small, and then increase their level of input as your turnover increases.
But why should you hire a social media agency for your small business? Social media agencies like us have years of experience behind them, and will provide a dedicated team of professionals to handle and nurture your account – and take the heat off you! When done properly, social media management is a full time job, and as a smaller business, it’ll be highly beneficial for you to have a helping hand to elevate your account and put you on the social media map.
Does this sound like the right path for your small business? Start your social media journey, and get in touch with us today!