There’s plenty of ‘social media’ agencies and freelancers out there, ones who promise to transform your online presence, and somehow manage to throw around more buzzwords than you thought possible.
Here at Sanity Marketing, we’re not about the ‘social cultivation’, the ‘micro-audience conversation’, or the ‘omni-channel approach’ (yes, those are all real things that social media agencies are touting!) – instead we focus on the Sanity. And the Sanity when it comes to doing social media for your small business is that while yes, you can outsource your small business social media management, it’s a lot easier than you think to do it on your own.
With that in mind, here are some no-nonsense tips on how to write social media for your small business:
- Know the basics – the top social media platforms for small businesses are Facebook, Twitter, Google Business, and Instagram. While it may be easier to blanket post across all three, each platform works independently of one another and has its pros and cons.
Facebook is excellent for link promotions (blogs, press, etc.) while Twitter is a quick-fire option for concise tweets and dealing with customer questions/ complaints. Google Business is great for building your organic search traffic. On the other hand, Instagram is a heavily visual medium where you NEED to post attractive, eye-catching matieral and use relevant, engagement-boosting hashtags. For that reason, we’d recommend only posting your prettiest pictures on Instagram (i.e. don’t feel pressured to post every day) and coming up with an attractive post colour palate / pattern.
- Come up with a structure and commit to it – erratically posting in bursts on your small business social media is as empty as having a gym membership but not showing up. You need consistency in your content flow; ensuring there’s a continuous supply of material that appeals to your audience. Nobody wants to see the run you went on this morning on your business restaurant page, though occasional more personal posts may get more engagement. Choose a structure that works for you – the minimum recommended posts per week to build SEO is 2, though you may want to push that up to 5 if you have enough ideas handy.
You might choose to post an inspiration tip on Mondays, customer testimonials on Tuesdays, showcase a product / service on Wednesday, promote an offer or news on Thursdays and promote your weekly blog (you do blog weekly don’t you?) on Fridays?
On that point, do make sure you are promoting blogs, press etc. as/ when they come in so that you’re boosting your website’s SEO as much as you can.
If using Instagram, don’t forget to have a think about how the posts will look in the grid.
- Doing the deed – have a set day for writing up the next week’s social media posts – it will mean the content flow will be consistent, and it’ll free up time during the week for you to work on other things.
But do yourself a favour and make notes during the week as and when little ideas pop into your head! This will take the pressure away from having to come up with ideas and write out the posts all in one sitting
Another great way to take the hassle from doing your small business social media is to schedule posts in advance through a third-party platform. Most of these platforms (Traject Social and Hootsuite are two good options) are free to use / very cheap and allow you to upload posts to your social platforms for the weeks / months ahead. The further ahead you get, the better!
- Make sure your content is eye-catching/relevant – you don’t need an in-depth understanding of colour theory to be able to post engaging content on your small business social media. Just remember to use high-res images as smartphones are Retina quality these days. Pixelated, dark, and dingy images won’t get the same engagement as pretty ones.
There are plenty of apps out there which you can use to enhance your photos (VSCO) or create graphics for special events / days of the year (Canva). A good mix of graphics and photos will provide a perfect mix of eye-catching and informational content on your small business social media.
Also – use graphics – get some graphic templates designed (for quotes / offers / before and afters) and then just tweak them as you go. Don’t use random designs – nothing looks more awful or dated than a social media account littered with hideous, non-consistent graphic design.
- Don’t be afraid to tweak – it’s important to remember that there’s no ‘one-size fits all’ solution for small business social media. The best way to operate is through trial and error, monitoring the engagement and customer feedback you receive. What works for your restaurant / bar / hotel small business social media page might be completely different to what your competitors are doing, so just try new things until you find what sticks. Remember that posting on social media isn’t going to land your small business hundreds of new customers per week, but it is important for building SEO, building/ maintaining consumer relationships, and keeping your business up to scratch.
- Don’t get carried away – following on from this point, one post isn’t life or death. Unless you have millions of followers if you miss a post or make a spelling mistake, I doubt anyone will care. Just ensure you are posting engaging stuff regularly and keep it pretty. Don’t get bogged down in the details.