Summary: Social media isn’t for every business but if you dedicate a little time each day to it, you can find success with your users.
A client recently asked a question that we get a lot; “how can we be more active with social media?”. Many small business owners look to Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest as a way to promote their brand. So how can we be more active on social media? The answer is simple, more posts. The logic behind the answer is complex.
Posting just to post will get you nowhere; people can see right through it. The real answer is to find your voice and use it to your advantage, this could be blog posts, cute motivational phrases, or pictures to name a few. For example, if you are a bakery, people probably want to see your cakes before they buy. It’s a good idea to use a social media platform that is tailored to posting pictures of your cakes like Instagram and Pinterest; the great thing about Instagram is that you can post to Facebook and Twitter as well! Next, you want to dive into your users habits to find out when is the best time to post; usually around 11am to 1pm or around 6pm on weekdays but this could vary. Facebook Insights will tell you all this information including male vs female users, times that are most popular, and which posts generate the most views or responses. Many people find that Facebook Insights lack important details but it does the job for the most part. Currently, there is no way to see which users responded to what posts and no way to respond to users individually or send a mass message other than a post. This also means that not all Facebook users will actually see all of your posts; more reason to post often.
Another important aspect is to ask yourself, “Do I have the time to invest in social media?”. Proper social media management can be done in as little as 20 minutes per day but takes discipline and consistency. For more on this see the article here (LINK). For some businesses social media is almost a no-brainer, but for others it should be evaluated first. For example, if you have an account for over 1 year but have under 50 followers and your last post was more than 3 months ago, you might need to evaluate if this is really worth the time for your business.
Physical products and some consulting services do well on Facebook so long as you keep your messages positive, communicate with your audience, listen to what they like, and post often. On average, picture posts on Facebook are seen more than 2-4x that of text-based posts.
Checkout these top-tips first!
Rules to post by:
1. Post Often: you can schedule posts ahead of time and set them to hit later. This works well to plan a few weeks in advance or make sure you have all your holiday posts covered; great sales opportunities!
2. Posting is like a muscle, it must be exercised: condition yourself by setting an alarm on your phone everyday to spend 5, 10, 15 minutes on social media. Start small, and work your way up. This time should be spent scheduling posts, creating content, researching competition, planning future posts, or responding to user comments. Pro-tip: incentivize negative comments by offering a discount off their next purchase.
3. Know your audience: most social media platforms have insights on your audience, use them! Analyze when your users see your posts, what type of posts they like, and what they don’t like. Check this once a week and you will get better at posting in no time.
4. Offer something special: pictures and motivational says are great but you need to offer something special or unique on occasion to keep users coming back. Coupons or promotions are a great way to get users interested; just make sure that the offer is something that is actually interesting and entices users.
5. Keep on posting: did I say post often? There is a limit to how often but generally you should post no less than once every 3 days. Posting everyday is even better but you should also monitor your insights to see if users are annoyed with your frequency of posts.
6. Posting pictures, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Pictures should always be clear, well composed, and properly lit. Natural sunlight is often the best lighting to use short of professional lights. Take a moment to setup the image you will post by creating points of interest and following the golden ratio (learn about it here)
7. Choose your platform? In general, LinkedIn is for professionals, Facebook has a large audience interested in news and quick facts, Twitter for short insights of 140 characters or less, Pinterest for DIY and images, Instagram is for images. For details about gender and age demographics, Pew Research has great insights here
8. Get Smart: your smartphone is an essential tool for your business. A smartphone allows you to easily connect with social media platforms quickly and easily. It will save you time and limit frustrations that social media can cause. New apps come out everyday that allow you to be more creative, produce greater engagement, and work fast. Posting a picture without a smartphone can take 5x as long. Trust me on this, it is worth the investment.
If you wish to contact Bigham Design to help improve your social media stats contact us! We offer affordable social media consulting to help get you off the ground.