Currently, there are about 4.2 billion social media users, and on average, one user spends about 2.5 hours on various social media platforms. Small businesses can take advantage of those 2 hours to create brand awareness, build customer relationships and make sales. Plus, creating an account is free and easy. But does that mean one can just log in and start posting without any strategies? Not really. If you are going to use social media for your business, you will need a strategy. Here are a few tips on how to manage social media for small businesses.
Know Your Audience
You need to know that your target audience cannot be everyone. Once you understand this, you will know how to manage social media for small businesses. By definition, your audience includes the specific group you want to reach through social media. These are people that will be interested in your products, services, and content. For instance, if you operate a funeral home, your target audience includes people who have lost loved ones and are about to attend a funeral. Use your social media platforms to highlight your services, such as cremation, hearses, coffins, and hall for a service. You should also create a video tour showing what the place looks like. This will help customers feel more comfortable when they visit the home as they know what to expect. You should also consider posting educational content like how to console a grieving friend or what to wear to a funeral.
If you have trouble understanding who your audience is, then start with the clients you already have. You can compile their data on things like age, location, current stage in life, languages, interest, challenges, etc. Knowing more about your customers allows you to understand the kind of customers you are likely to attract on social media.
Focus on a Few Things and Do Them Well
If you try to do many things at the same time, you will get overwhelmed. And considering that you are a small business, most likely, you do not have a lot of funds to allocate to a whole marketing department. That means it is either you or one person in charge of social media. So, one of the key things about how to manage social media for small businesses is narrowing your focus. If you try to apply every social media strategy you come across, you will be spreading yourself too thin, and this can dilute your marketing efforts.
Instead, focus on key platforms and strategies. For example, restaurants owners can choose to grow their businesses through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter instead of using all social media platforms at once. Also, do not try to do too many things, such as creating videos, podcasts, and blogs simultaneously. You will not have the time to do all these things at once, meaning your content will not be well researched, hence not helpful to customers. Quality comes before quantity. Keep in mind that you can repurpose your content depending on the platform you are using. You do not have to use a different idea for each platform. An image you posted on Instagram can also be converted into a tweet.
Engage With Your Customers
One of the advantages of using social media for small businesses is that you have the opportunity to engage directly with your customers and followers. This can help you build a relationship with them over time. A lot of people use social media networks to look up brands. And part of that research is getting to know your brand and what it stands for. So when people engage with you, be responsive. This will help develop some trust and build a loyal following. And as fans like and share your content, you will also gain new and free exposure.
Building relationships can also help you gain a loyal community that will transform into sales over time. For instance, say you own an animal hospital. If you post on Facebook advertising your services, some of the comments you will get are likely to be questions about pets. It can be on issues like diet or certain symptoms. Do not ignore certain comments because you feel like you are giving free consultation. Responding will make you a reliable source of information, and this will also translate to future customers.
Schedule Your Posts
When you are running a small business, it will often feel like you do not have enough hours in a day to do what you want to. Now picture having to allocate time every day to post on social media and engage with customers. You will be carving more time out of your schedule to tend to social media marketing, and this can take too much time. An important tip on how to manage social media for small businesses is scheduling your posts. This shows your customers you are consistent, and it also saves you time. Thanks to technology, you can create all your posts at once and then schedule them for different times of the week.
Set a time once a week for a few hours and create content you will share the whole week. Maybe you run a car electronics shop. Your audience is car owners. Create content for five or six days on things that would interest car owners and attract new customers. The good thing is that even if you are using different platforms, you do not need different content for each platform. However, do not just schedule posts and abandon your social media. Keep in mind that some people will engage you. It is, therefore, good to also set time aside to respond to comments and questions from your following.
Provide Great Customer Service Through Social Media
Part of knowing how to manage social media for small businesses is understanding that customer service is a huge factor in brand loyalty. In fact, a lot of people consider social media a useful channel for customer service. The fact is that more than half of your customers will expect customer support via social media. On top of that, this is also the channel they are likely to use to complain or praise your response. You might as well ensure the interaction is pleasant and helpful. Social media customer service boils down to tone, speed, and results.
For example, if one is looking for the services of a bankruptcy attorney, the first step will be inquiring about the services offered. But the longer you take to respond to a customer, the higher the chances you will lose this person. The next thing is how you respond to customers. Be polite and helpful. Just like customers need you, you need them too. And any sign indicating you are not friendly will have a customer finding another lawyer. The last bit is being helpful. Show customers that you can solve the problems they have, and you will have managed to get their attention. In short, people are looking for quick responses from an understanding person ready to solve problems.
Create Great Visuals
Another way of how to manage social media for small businesses is by creating catchy visuals. You can say so much with a picture more than you can with words. Therefore, instead of telling stories using words, use photos. For instance, say you own a pizzeria. It is easy to convince people you have a nice establishment serving great food using images instead of pictures. Seeing is believing, and in this case, people will trust what they see. If you are taking photos of the establishment, it is good to hire a professional photographer to capture your restaurant in the best light. But for dishes, you can always use a good camera phone since this is something you will be posting daily.
Also, keep in mind that each social media medium has recommended image sizes. If you do not use the correct size, your image may come out distorted.
Stay On Top of Trends
Another important aspect of how to manage social media for small businesses is paying attention to what is trending. Every day there is a meme that goes viral. And while you do not have to jump into all of them, pay attention to what is happening on social media relating to your industry. This will give you the chance to create content that people can enjoy. Some of the reasons people use social media are to find entertaining content, stay updated on current events and fill up spare time. For instance, a famous person will make a statement, and the next thing you know, it has become a catchy phrase that everyone is using. Look at how that statement can be incorporated into your business. This allows people to see the fun side of your business.
Connect With Other People In Your Industry
Work with other people in your industry as this can help you gain new customers. For instance, who are some of the people you respect in the industry you are in? Sharing their content can enable you to become part of a bigger community. That does not mean you have to share posts with your direct competitors. Work with other people in the industry. Knowing how to manage social media for small businesses means understanding you can do more than share information with customers. For instance, say you are an elevator service company. Why not partner with construction project managers and share content regarding safe construction? Construction project managers are always looking for contractors for different things, including elevator installation. Connecting with them can help you acquire new customers.
Be Open to Experimenting
Another useful trick to how to manage social media for small businesses is experimenting and pivoting. Not everyone will get it right the first time. And just because Pinterest or podcasts have worked for other lawyers does not mean these strategies will work for you. So do not try one platform, and if that does not work out, you give up. Try different approaches, different platforms, and different content and see what your clients like the most. And once you find what works well for your brand, focus on creating more content like that while keeping things fresh.
The content you post needs to be promotional, informative, and inspirational, with a call to action at the end. Your products or services will always be tied to an experience or feeling, and you can use this to interact with your followers. Take criminal lawyers, for example. These are people selling peace of mind, confidence, and success. You want to show customers that they can have confidence in the service you are providing, and this gives them some peace of mind. Such lawyers can also talk about their experiences in the courtroom and invite others to share their experiences too. It is also wise to share informative content like how to find a criminal lawyer or services one can expect. This will help create a bond with customers.
One of the most effective ways to boost social media engagement is by creating videos. However, this is often challenging for most businesses, considering that there are a few takes involved and editing. But when it comes to how to manage social media for small businesses, videos are a powerful tool. You do not have to do this every day. Even once a week will do. Your video content needs to be meaningful. For instance, say you own an oil change shop. You can create a short video showing how the process works. People seeing this on your social media page can help create confidence in your skills even before they get to the shop.
Learning how to manage social media for small businesses is a process. It is not just something you can do one day and expect results. As said earlier, it may involve a trial and error process. But if you are posting consistently and content people can relate to, you increase the chances of growing your brand.