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Social media for small businesses

09/07/2021

How to harness the power of social and why it’s important.

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From admin officer and HR consultant, to marketing manager and sales rep… it’s a fact that small business owners wear a lot of hats. Managing your social media, however, can often fall in the too-hard basket if you’re short on time and don’t know of the benefits.

But here’s the thing: having a solid strategy behind your social media presence is essential. Knowing exactly who you’re trying to talk to and what you’re trying to achieve will help you reach your customers more effectively, meet your goals and grow your business.

Here’s what you need to do to make social media work for you.

Choose the right platform

Where do your customers hang out? Focus your efforts there; you don’t need to be on every platform. As a rule of thumb, Facebook is good for building customer relationships. Twitter is all about immediacy, and for helping customers on the fly. Instagram’s the most visual and creative platform, and ideal if you’re a fashion or retail brand. And choose LinkedIn if your customers are business to business (B2B).

Have a consistent look’n’feel

Make sure your name, social media handles and bio are the same across platforms and consistent with your website branding. Make it easy for your customers to find the info they need most – whether that’s your address, phone number, opening hours, etc. On Instagram, make use of the highlights feature to showcase products, pricing and specials – and extend the capability of your content by using a ‘link in bio’ creator that can feed through to your blog or website.

Engage with your customers

Always respond to comments and messages, even if they’re negative. Consumers are starting to use these avenues as a first port of call to talk to brands or complain about things, and they expect speedy replies. If you’re prompt, friendly and helpful, that’s a powerful way to build engagement and trust – and get good word of mouth. Also, don’t forget to reshare posts you’re tagged in or do shout-outs to show your appreciation for customers / clients who advocate for your brand (just ask for approval first).

Be smart in what you post

Studies show that 72 percent of consumers want posts letting them know about discounts or sales, and 59 percent want posts that teach them something. So you might post customer profiles, testimonials, upcoming sales, news or tips. If you’re in hospitality, you might post about holiday hours, menu changes or even the odd recipe. Stuff that inspires and entertains is always well-received too. Don’t forget to mix up your mediums (depending on the platform), by posting images, videos, quotes, memes and polls. And on Instagram, take advantage of Reels (they give great engagement).

Learn all you can

There are heaps of courses, podcasts and blogs out there that’ll teach you the basics and more advanced tips about building your brand on social media. There’s also nothing wrong with having the odd stickybeak at the social profiles of your rivals or other brands you admire – it can offer great inspiration on different ways to tweak your own. And getting your head around the metrics of each platform so you can track your posts and see what resonates with your audience is also key.

Make it easy for your customers to convert

A great social media profile is one thing, but what happens when your customers click through to your website to buy from you? Ensure your site is clear, beautifully designed and easy to navigate. And given most Aussies have a smartphone, make sure it’s responsive, too – so they’re able to shop and buy from you in one click (ideally!).

Invest in your social strategy

Be honest – if your photos aren’t great, and you just don’t have the knack for creating eye-popping posts or writing engaging blurbs, consider delegating this to a staff member with these skills, or outsourcing to a freelancer or digital marketing agency. The same goes for time-poor business owners who may be great at social but just can’t manage to post consistently. A well-managed, professional social media profile is a reflection of your brand, and outsourcing it means the content is taken care of so you’re free to run your business.

A final word

Whether your goal is to funnel customers to your website, to capture leads, make sales direct from Instagram or simply boost your brand awareness, social media should be an essential part of your business strategy.

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. Information in this article is current as at the date of publication. We do not recommend any third party products or services and we are not liable in relation to them. Any links to third party websites are for your information only and we do not endorse their content.

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