If you own your own business, you’ve probably heard how essential social media is for your brand. Yet, many business owners feel lost when it comes to putting together a reasonable Facebook or LinkedIn campaign strategy for their company. This can cause many businesses to make simple mistakes that can negatively impact their engagement, brand image, and follower count. The good news is that all of this is avoidable by following some simple guidelines. Here are 7 essential tips for keeping your social media strategy on the right track.
Invest In Automation Software.
When you run a business, you have a lot on your plate. You have to worry about leads, ROI, SEO, profit, taxes, and much more. With all of that on your mind, you don’t need to expend unnecessary energy on social media. Luckily, a few handy tools can help make planning out your social media content a breeze.
Social media management tools like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Buffer allow you to manage your social media accounts from one interface. These platforms allow you to create and schedule posts across different platforms and answer all of your social media comments and direct messages through one inbox — saving you time and energy. Each service offers different features, so make sure to select the program that has the right tools for your business.
Don’t Rely On Organic.
Organic posting is important when it comes to maintaining your brand’s image on social media. However, organic Facebook posts only reach about 5.2% of your audience on average — or about 1 in every 19 potential customers. With those metrics, you can’t just rely on organic posting to build your social media presence. Investing in ads and paid posts can help to boost your social media performance and introduce more interested potential clients to your brand. Luckily, Facebook and Instagram have tons of options for ad targeting, ensuring your content lands in front of the right people at the right time.
Keep It Consistent.
Even if you don’t have many followers on social media, you probably still have a few who are interested in your brand. That means they’re interested in your industry, expertise, and mission as a company. It’s important to nurture that relationship because it may not be as strong as you would imagine. Customers switch to competitors all the time, especially if they haven’t interacted with your brand in a while. Posting consistently can keep your brand top of mind and create engagement opportunities with your dedicated followers.
So, what’s the baseline for how often you should be posting on social media? That depends heavily on your business, but making sure to post at least 2–3 times per week on each platform is a good place to start. You can experiment with raising the content level and find a balance that works for your business.
We’ve established that consistent posting is essential. But what’s the difference between “consistent posting” and “overboard posting”? We’re glad you asked because that’s our next social media tip.
Don’t Overdo It.
There is a difference between providing consistent, engaging content for your followers and bombarding them with posts. But how much is too much? Well, that varies from platform to platform. For Facebook and Instagram, it’s not recommended to post more than 1–2 times per day. Twitter and LinkedIn can be used much more frequently (between 1 and 5 times per day). Being mindful of your audience and the nature of your business is important, too. For example, a client might not want to see a post from their dentist every single day, but they may be interested in seeing posts from their favorite retailer once or twice a day. Just make sure you are carefully watching your metrics so you know if you’re losing followers or engagement after increasing your post frequency.
Stop Trying To Sell Stuff.
We all know “that guy.” You know, every time you hear from him, he’s asking you for something. It’s always “Help me move,” or “I need $20,” or “Can you watch my cat next week while I’m on vacation?” Nobody likes that guy — but that’s how your audience feels when you only use your social media platforms to sell your products. Don’t be that guy.
Now, to be clear, we are not telling you to never use your social media platforms for sales. Sometimes offering a promo code through Facebook or reminding customers of your upcoming sale can be helpful. We would even say that if you’re an e-commerce business, frequent promotions can be a great idea. But for most small businesses, constant promotions and deals can make it seem like you don’t care about your audience. You may even lose followers because your content isn’t interesting or shareable, which leads us to our next point.
Don’t Make It All About You.
Don’t make it about you — or at least, not all the time. Just like you wouldn’t want to be around someone who always needs something from you, it’s also no fun to be around someone who never stops talking about themself. It’s really easy for small businesses to make this mistake because it’s natural to believe that if someone’s following your social media page, it’s because they want to know more about you. That’s true to an extent, but that information isn’t always beneficial to your customers. If all of your content is about your employees, your products, and your services, it’s not always very shareable.
You want to provide your audience with value, so mix it up! Do you offer marketing services? Share some interesting articles from Hubspot or Buffer. Do you sell pet products? Sprinkle some cute pet videos into your social media strategy. When you share content from other creators, you’re not just saving yourself time — you’re also broadening the appeal of your social media pages. You just need to make sure your content is relevant to your audience and provides value, which leads us to our last social media tip.
Don’t Be Boring
Nothing on social media is worse for your brand than being boring. Boring content doesn’t just turn off your followers; it also takes up your time to create. This means you can end up expending time and energy creating content that’s actually a net loss for your business. So, instead, use that time to create engaging content!
So, what counts as “boring content”? Well, lackluster content can come in a variety of forms. It’s typically centered around a topic that might be relevant to your industry but not to your audience. One good rule of thumb is to never release a piece of content you don’t find interesting; keep your audience’s preferences in mind, too.
To illustrate, we can use an example from our CEO Shaun Buck. When Shaun first started his dry-cleaning franchise, he released a newsletter full of content exclusively about dry-cleaning. His articles included topics like, “How to get wine stains out of clothing” and “Uses for baking soda in the laundry.” These articles were related to his business, but they did not take into account the audience’s interests. That’s why we always recommend business owners keep their content personal, engaging, and fun — even if it’s not necessarily related to the business they operate.
If you still feel stuck trying to come up with good content ideas for social media, plenty of guides online have examples for each platform.
We hope this guide was helpful for you at whatever stage you’re in on your social media journey. Remember, quality content is essential when it comes to building relationships with your audience and endearing your business to your customers. Keep it fresh and entertaining across all platforms — including social media and beyond.