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Social Media 101 For Small Businesses

January 28, 2020 | Published by Faire

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Instagram photo courtesy of Wit & Delight.

Social media can be overwhelming, especially because it feels like it’s changing by the day. On top of that, with new platforms popping up—TikTok, anyone?—the pressure to be in many places at once has never been more prominent.

However, social media is a necessary part of not only growing a business but cultivating a community in this day and age. With 3.42 billion people actively using social media, small businesses can’t afford not to leverage it. What’s more, the number of social referrals to e-commerce sites has increased by 110% in the last two years alone. That’s a pretty compelling argument if you ask us! 

So how can small businesses make the most of social media? How do you know which platforms will work best for your brand? In this post, we’re taking a look at a few ways you can make the most of social media—and get the results you want. 

But before we get to the details, let’s cover some social media basics.

Keep these things in mind when creating your social media strategy

These days, it’s not enough to create an Instagram or Facebook account and start posting. Here are a few things to keep in mind when creating your social media strategy.

1. Think about what you want to accomplish with your social media channels

You know you should be using social media, but maybe your reasoning isn’t as crystal clear as it could be. And because social media is a big undertaking, that’s all the more reason to set tangible goals.

A few examples of strategic business goals include:

  • Build awareness of your business
  • Drive traffic to your website or landing page
  • Boost sales
  • Grow your audience/community

Think about what’s most important to you and go from there.

2. Consider the channels that make the most sense for your brand

It may certainly feel like it, but you don’t have to be on every single social media channel to be successful. Think about your product, your audience, and your brand as a whole. What makes the most sense for you?

The top social media channels for eCommerce are Facebook with 2.32 billion users, YouTube with 1.9 billion users, and Instagram with 1 billion users. Other channels like TikTok, Twitter, and Pinterest are also great platforms to consider, as well. 

Think about what’s realistic for your business, what you want to test, and go from there. It’s better to do a few social media channels really well than to do several channels not well at all!

Instagram photo courtesy of Appointed Co.

3. Let your brand shine in every post

Social media requires a lot of time and effort. There’s no denying that. So it’s vital to make sure you’re intentional about everything you post.

Your social media accounts, like every other customer touchpoint, should be on-par with your brand—from your captions to your visuals. The goal is to create and post content that resonates with your customers and eventually leads to instant recognition.

What that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the ways you can make the most of social media for your small business.

Don’t make selling the focus of each post

The quickest way to drive people away from your brand is to make every single post feel like a sales pitch.

Sure, customers expect sales-type posts from brands, but customers don’t want to be sold to all the time. Social media is a powerful tool you can use to reach your ideal customers and build your customer loyalty, so it’s important not to overwhelm them with sales tactics.

Instagram photo courtesy of CONVIVIAL.

Create a content calendar

Having to think of a post each day or every few days can be exhausting. Not to mention, when you’re busy running your business, it’s easy to forget to post in the first place! Set aside a chunk of time each week or each month and create a social media content calendar.

Content calendars are great for several reasons:

  • You maintain consistency
  • You don’t have to worry about posting each day
  • You can see what you have scheduled for the month, so you don’t overload your audience with one type of post or the same message repeatedly

Creating a content calendar is simple. Use Google Sheets, Excel, or a social media management platform to draft your posts. Your content calendar should include the channel(s) you’re posting on, the image(s) and caption for each post, any links you plan to include, as well as other relevant details that will make your life easier. 

Bonus points if you schedule your posts ahead of time, that way you don’t have to risk forgetting to post. Automating this side of your business is a game-changer, and your future self will thank you when you’re busy fulfilling orders and dreaming up new items.

Instagram photo courtesy of Wit & Delight.

Quality visuals go a long way

Social media is a very visual medium. Because of that, it’s a great place to showcase your products, introduce the people (you!) behind the brand, and curate an aesthetically pleasing feed.

Don’t just take our word for it. A study from BuzzSumo found that Facebook posts accompanied by an image receive 2.3 times more engagement than posts without an image. So whether you invest in professional-quality photos or graphics, or learn how to make photo magic yourself, putting your best foot forward in this way is essential.

Looking for inspiration? Some of our favorite Instagram feeds from our makers include Wit & Delight, CONVIVIAL, and Appointed Co.

Consistency brings success

When used right, social media can be a powerful way to grow your business and reach your ideal customers. Implementing a successful social media strategy is a commitment, but once you figure out what works best for you, consistency is key.

Lastly, it’s important to note that success on social media likely won’t happen overnight. It takes time and effort to build a community of customers who, in turn, become your biggest fans. The result of that time and effort, though, is more than worth it.

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