How to start social media for your small business
By now most small business owners understand why they need to do social media and its potential benefits but where do you start?
Here is our 5 step absolute beginners guide on social media for small business.
1. Pick one social media platform to start with
Create just one type of social media platform and focus on it – at least initially.
The important thing is to choose the social media your ideal customers are most likely to use – if you’re not sure what social media they’re more active on, ask them.
You can also check out this free social media guide for detailed information on each platform and who uses each one.
Still not sure? Start with a Facebook Page.
Facebook is a great platform to start on for most types of businesses.
You will need to create a personal profile account first and THEN create a Facebook Business Page.
Don’t set up your business as a personal profile, as this is a barrier to people connecting with your business because they will have to send you a friend request first and you will have to approve each request.
Facebook Business Pages allow people to just click ‘like’ your page and follow you immediately.
Also personal Facebook profiles don’t have access to insights and analytics such as reach and number of likes as well as demographics of your followers, which is available for free when you set up a Facebook Business Page.
You can also find written instructions with screenshots in our free HOW TO Marketing Starter Kit here.
Additionally you can check out tutorial videos on other types of social media platforms here.
2. Promote your social media accounts
Once you have a social media account it’s important to promote it.
Invite people to like your page or to follow you.
Put links to your social media account(s) on your website.
Include details on your business card and in your email signature.
3. Post regularly
When it comes to posting content or updates, the most important thing is to post regularly and consistently.
Aim to post at least once a day (or several times a day in the case of Twitter). Check out our free social media guide for suggested frequency for each platform.
A lot of small business owners worry about how and how long it takes to find social media content. Read our article here on 5 easy ways to find social media content.
Here are some key points about social media content or posts:
- Your content doesn’t always have to be about your business or industry. It just needs to be content that appeals to your ideal customer. You may be a marketing business whose main customers are mums. So you should also post content that is interesting or entertaining for mums. This may be anything from the latest hair fashion to funny quotes about having kids.
- Use a variety of content. Mix it up with different types of content, such as links to articles, quotes, pictures, videos, questions to your audience.
- No hard selling – only post self-promotional items 1 out of every 5 posts max.
- Add your own personality/ or soul to your posts – people like engaging with people not faceless brands
4. Be engaging
Engage with your followers.
Acknowledge their engagement, answer questions, respond always in a timely manner to negative or positive feedback in a professional manner
Remember social media is like any form of marketing – be respectful and ensure nothing defamatory, breaches in copyright or inappropriate content is being posted by you or others on your social media account. You can be held legally responsible for what others post, so ensure you monitor and take action where needed
Don’t expect huge results from this level of social media. What you’re doing is meeting minimum requirements of what most customers expect these days, that is, that you have a social media presence.
Once you are comfortable with this level of social media and have mastered the basics of your social media platform, consider ramping up your activity or branching into an additional social media platform.
Monitor your social media account daily (or multiple times a day if your followers are super active) so you can respond to and engage in any comments or questions.
Also check your analytics. Most social media platforms have inbuilt analytics or insights that give you an idea of the best performing posts and times and days to post.
Track your performance and refine the type of posts and schedule for posting as needed to reach the most of your ideal customers.