How to Manage Social Media for Your Small Business
We get it. You have so many other things to worry about and social media may be the last thing on your list. But when you consider that every month, one billion people use Facebook and 500,000 people use Twitter, it’s hard to overlook. There are so many social channels now that it may feel overwhelming trying to figure out which ones to focus on, and how frequently you should post. But start with the basics and work your way up. Here are a few tips to get you going in the right direction.
Choose Your Channels
Yes, there are dozens of social channels. On top of the most well-known such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, you also have Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Vine, and many others. There is no way you could possibly keep up with every single one of those channels each day, so as a general rule of thumb, choose 2-3 of the ones that would fit your business best.
If you’re new to social media for business, then just go with the 2 biggest ones to start: Facebook and Twitter. Once you become familiar with these 2 channels, you can get a feel for what your customers like and don’t like and what social channels they are most likely to be on. Depending on how effective social media is for your business, as your business grows, you may even consider hiring a social media manager to expand your reach to more than 2 or 3 channels.
Use a Social Media Management Tool
Even if you only have 2 social media channels that you intend to put your focus, having a tool to manage both in a singular spot can make your life much easier. Using one of these tools can help save you time by having access to every social media aspect your business cares about. By using one of these tools, you can:
- Schedule tweets and posts weeks or months in advance
- Track metrics such as likes, clicks, shares, follows, etc.
- Create a customizable quick-view dashboard
The great thing about the customizable dashboard is that you can set it up to help you “listen” on your channels as well. Using a dashboard will help you identify what posts are being liked, shared, or retweeted in an easy-to-read format. It also helps you keep track of who is trying to reach you or who is leaving a review about your business. If you don’t know where to start, check out this list of 12 of the most popular tools to help you get going.
Determine Post Frequency
If you take a look at some companies’ Twitter accounts, they post 10+ times a day. Others only post 1-2 times a day. What you need to do is determine how frequently you should post. Start by experimenting with times and frequency. If you want a good starting point to begin testing, start with 3-5 posts per day on Twitter and 1-2 post per day on Facebook. From there, you can gauge how successful your posts are and adjust accordingly.
Decide What to Post About
Once you’ve got a rough schedule you want to fill, the hard part then becomes what to post about. Does your business have a blog? If it does, make sure that every single blog post also gets shared via all of your social channels. The blog will only go so far on its own. If you want to become a thought leader in your industry, be sure to post (and re-post) your blog posts. Consider posting 3rd party articles as well, if you know the content will benefit your target demographic. Lastly, social media channels are also a great avenue to post any sales, promotions, or events about your business so make sure you get those updates out there!
This is one of the most important factors. If your posts are irregular and sporadic, it is hard for your social followers to depend on you. If they see you haven’t posted anything in a few months, they’re not going to return regularly for updates or advice. Good social media practices involve regular and consistent posting. Even if that means only 1 per day. Once you start down that path, make sure you have a consistent schedule and stick to it.
If you want your followers to come back for more, check for updates, and see your promotions, you need to give them a reason to do so. Remember, you can use a social media management tool to help you schedule your posts weeks in advance. If it works better, take a few hours one day and build out all of your posts for the month. That way, you don’t have to worry about getting on every single day. Just make sure you are still periodically checking your social channels so you can address issues or negative reviews in a timely manner.
Ultimately, just remember to start small. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Take baby steps toward creating an awesome social media presence for your business. You don’t have to do it all in one go. Learn from what works and what doesn’t work and use that data to improve your efforts. The deeper you get into it, the more comfortable you’ll become with the different channels. You’ve got to start somewhere, so get started with what you’ve got and learn as you go!