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6 ways your small business can rock social media

By Erin Sommerville and Nicole Kampe | Automation Alley | 4/6/2016
  1. Choose the platforms that are most appropriate for your business. As a small business, it’s likely you don’t have a full-time social media manager and can only dedicate a limited amount of time to social media posting, so make sure you’re pouring your efforts into the right platforms. Don’t assume you need to create and manage accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Vine and Snapchat. Think about which platforms will work best to leverage your company’s products and/or services. If your company makes frequent news announcements or wants to be able to interact with customers in an immediate and direct way, Twitter might be a great option for you. If you have a product that’s very visually appealing, image-focused platforms like Pinterest and Instagram might be your best bet. And don’t bite off more than you can chew. If you can only dedicate 10 hours a week to social media, you might consider focusing your efforts on just one platform.
     
  2. Tailor your content to fit the platform. Not all content is suited for all platforms. Take the time to learn which types of content perform best on each platform. Each platform has a unique format for posts, and different segments of your target audience will be attracted to different platforms. For example, LinkedIn is frequently used by professionals seeking new job opportunities, so posts with links to articles on career advancement tend to perform well there. Also, avoid posting the same content to all platforms simultaneously. You run the risk not only of losing followers, who will no longer see a reason to follow you on multiple platforms, but also of being perceived as lazy.
     
  3. Find your voice. This is especially important if you have multiple employees posting on behalf of your organization. Make sure you are speaking to your target audience. Is your brand professional and passionate? Quirky and fun? Positive and helpful? Brand voice matters just as much on social media as it does in your other marketing pieces. Make sure your social media followers are getting a consistent picture of your brand by using the same language consistently. 
     
  4. Use visuals to create interest. Across all platforms, posts tend to perform better if they include an image. If you don’t already have images available to promote your company, there are lots of options for creating them. You can take the photos yourself or hire a photographer to take photos of your employees, facility or products, purchase stock images from websites like Adobe or Shutterstock, or check out free image sites like Pixaby.com. No matter which option you choose, the goal is not only to make your posts more eye-catching, but also to increase the likelihood they’ll be shared.  
     
  5. Set measurable goals. Just like every other business endeavor, social media tends to work best when you have a specific, measurable goal in mind. If your goal is to increase general awareness of your brand, focus on growing your following and posting regularly. If your goal is to establish your brand as an industry thought leader, focus on increasing engagement (i.e. comments, shares, retweets, etc.) from your followers and attracting brand ambassadors who will amplify your efforts by sharing your content with their followers. If your goal is to increase online sales, focus on posting content that will drive traffic back to your website.
     
  6. Be dedicated and post regularly. It’s easy to ignore your social media accounts if you don’t have one employee solely dedicated to updating social media. To solve this problem, create a posting calendar or spreadsheet to plan out posts throughout the week, whether that means posting daily or only a few times a week. To make an impact on social media, you have to be present and consistent. 
Nicole Kampe is communications copywriter for Automation Alley. Nicole is responsible for writing and developing content related to media, promotion, marketing and Automation Alley’s social media efforts. 

Erin Sommerville is Automation Alley’s media relations specialist. In this role, Erin develops and executes media strategy, including media relations and social media.

Filed under: Social Media

 

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