social media small businesses

Social Media Best Practices For Small Businesses

The current business climate offers small businesses a lot of opportunities to build their fan base and increase conversions. At the same times having all these tools at their fingertips means that everyone can access them.

For small businesses it all comes down to applying the best practices and avoiding the mistakes. Who does this best will only have to gain so read on because we’re going to cover both aspects in this article.

Do small businesses need special Social Media tactics?

The short answer: Yes!

Now for the explanation…

When you start your small firm you’ll have a lot of enthusiasm, a team of hard working people, an idea but you’re going to lack funds, a fan & client base and relations in your field. You can level the balance by applying the best social media practices for small businesses and avoiding mistakes that can easily put a dent in your firm’s progress.

How can small businesses grow using Social Media?

There is no secret behind a successful social media strategy but there are some tips and tricks that will help you get “there”. Spoiler: it implies hard work.

Understand the purpose of Social Media.

While social networks would want you to do business only on their platform, the truth is that social media is only a journey for your customer and your website or physical address should be the destination.  Social Media will give you some extra tools to bring people to your business so don’t do it the other way around.

Do business in your own way.

When you create your social media profiles, you’ll want to give them as much brand personality as you can. You should strive to be authentic and make your social channels to look like a reflection of what a customer would get by walking in your store or restaurant.

It’s all about discovering what makes you different and what clients like about your business. After that you can grow your social media presence and brand awareness by applying the same work ethic to your social media channels.

Don’t be afraid to experiment.

Different businesses call out for different social media tactics. If your small business has a strong visual impact on customers, use that in your advantage. Experiment with new apps and social networks – maybe you’ll find success with the help of instagram or maybe choosing to promote yourself on Snapchat, Vine, Periscope or other video-based platforms will be the way to go.

Having a small business allows you to test stuff out. Don’t be too disheartened if you lose a few customers because you tried e-mail marketing, you could get more conversions with your next attempt.

Automate what can be automated.

Like I said before, your small business can’t compete with the big firms in terms of man power and funds for social media tactics. That’s why it’s a good idea to automate some tasks where it’s possible. You can use If This Then That or Zapier to make working correlations between tools you use.

Another great way to stay active on Social Media as a small business is to schedule posts on social networks. You could use Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule your social media posts so you can focus on other stuff without neglecting your profiles.

Social Media mistakes small businesses need to avoid

OK, we’ve talked about some of the best practices in social media. Now let’s see what are some mistakes small businesses can avoid with ease while growing their social media presence.

social media fans customers

Do you interact with fans/customers on Social Media?

Not interacting with fans/customers.

Depending on your finances and workforce you have to choose on in-house social media administration or hiring a freelancer/social media agency to take care of your online profiles. Either way, you still have to interact with the fans and customers on a regular basis.

There are several ways you can do this:

  • Organize webinars.
  • Use Facebook live video.
  • Start a Twitter hashtag for questions.
  • etc.

Most businesses make the mistake of just posting content on social media accounts without interacting with the possible clients. If you choose a social media agency for your online accounts don’t forget to offer them clear guidelines on this subject.

Not focusing on metrics.

Social Media shouldn’t be just “something a small business needs to have”, you should start with a clear plan, goals and targets. Most social media platforms offer your various tools to understand and analyze metrics.

Don’t just focus in creating a Facebook page with X fans. Go further. Set up realistic goals for your social media presence.

Playing only the “Free card”.

Yes. You can enter social media and do business for free but don’t kid yourself that you can ONLY do this. Invest in ads where possible but don’t focus 100% on growing social media presence. Use the paid tools you have on social networks to increase conversions on your website or to bring people in to your restaurant or shop.

It doesn’t cost you anything to create a Facebook page or an Instagram account but you need to invest money if you want to separate yourself from your competitors.

It’s all up to you on what social media tactics you apply. There is no secret recipe for social media succes for small businesses.

Just do your research, experiment and adapt.

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