How Should Small Businesses Approach A Social Media Strategy?

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As a small business owner, you know that a presence on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ has the potential to work wonders for your company.

Do you ever get the feeling that there’s something not quite right with your social networking activity, however? Is the self-fulfilling prophecy of “no one will care about a small business” coming true because you’re thinking that exact same thing yourself?

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The biggest issue we see when it comes to small businesses and social media is that they are much too focussed on the fact that they’re doing something rather than what they’re trying to achieve. Every business in every industry is different from the other, so it would be impossible for us to sit here and talk about the specific types of content you should be sharing with followers.

You need to gauge and vary that yourself, but by putting these strategy tips into action you will find your results start to get much closer to the effort you’re putting in.

Have a Schedule

When do people with an interest in your business look at their social media feeds? Is your content the sort of thing that can be read on the move, or do you want people to sit down are take the time to pore over what you’re saying?

Knowing when your audience is around and when they want to look at certain things is a key aspect of a social media strategy. If you aren’t gaining followers, clicks, or conversions, think about what you’re sharing and when you’re sharing it. Will people really dedicate their lunch break to reading a 2,000-word article in a niche category?

Whether you use an automated scheduler or keep time yourself, you need to go to your audience, rather than rely on them working back through a timeline to find out what you posted.

Know How to be Found

We’re going to work specifically with Twitter for this point; you need to know how to get exposure. Ask these questions:

  • · What are the hashtags that are most commonly used in my industry?
  • · Which hashtags are used in conjunction with these or are related to them?
  • · Are these hashtags competitive and do they ever trend?
  • · What are the characteristics of a ‘Top Tweet’ and how can you produce them?

Social media is a competitive game, and people will naturally gravitate towards the big companies or recognisable names first, as will the algorithms these sites use to display particular posts. Breaking the monopoly isn’t easy, but if you can do it, you’ll have the attention of millions.

Rely on Visual Updates

Photos aren’t just for Pinterest and Instagram. The fact is that most people on social networks are probably sick of seeing baby photos or pictures of what someone has just cooked themselves, while large businesses will rarely venture into posting visual media.

This is a perfect opportunity, then, for you to grab attention with photos and short videos that bring your business to the world. It doesn’t even have to be anything too creative.

The view from the office window on a sunny day, the snow covered roof of the building opposite, or a picture of the broken office vending machine are all ways to break the monotonous nature of many social streams, as well as being excellent for inviting interactions and shares of your content.

Your Social Strategy

You don’t need to spend hours coming up with things to gain followers; just be natural, engaging, and give people a reason to follow you. That usually means being a touch different from the masses, but ensuring that you’re posting the right thing at the right time, too.

Remember that social media isn’t a perfect science, so have some fun with it, and keep experimenting, until you find what works for you.

Contribution: Robert is a social media expert who specializes in helping small businesses build an online social presence to aid local SEO efforts.

 

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