Need to know how to make your business social media better? Learn the dos and don’ts of social media for business.
Here are 20 of the top social media marketing tips for small businesses. Some of the most important social media tips for business include:
- Designate a social media manager
- Review your existing social media profiles
- Set social media goals
- Make your social media goals measurable with key performance indicators (KPIs)
- Research your social media audience
- Choose the right social media platforms
- Develop a social media personality
- Define your branding message
- Use a consistent voice
- Define your brand visually
- Make your branding consistent across all profiles
- Match your content to your market
- Create multimedia content
- Plan a consistent posting schedule
- Prioritize engagement over promotion
- Automate social media management
- Follow up posts to promote engagement
- Integrate your social media marketing campaigns
- Combine social media with other marketing tools
- Track your results and make adjustments
Learn about the best social media hacks for business profiles.
Why Improve Your Social Media Presence?
Social media is one of the most important tools in the modern marketing arsenal. Between 2005 and 2019, the number of Americans who used social media rose from 5% to 72%, according to a 2019 report from Pew Research. Social media use has increased among all age groups, races, genders, income levels and education levels. No matter who your target market is, they’re on social media.
Indeed, marketers recognize the implications of social media’s popularity for business. A survey by software provider Sprout Social found 89% of marketers use Facebook. Among marketers who invest in social media, 90% see a direct impact on their revenue.
Despite recognizing the importance of social media, many marketers struggle to achieve the results they want. Nearly half of marketers say that developing social media strategies that support their brand’s business goals is their top challenge, according to Sprout. Nearly a quarter of marketing leaders worry that their company’s social strategy is ineffective.
20 Social Media Best Practices for Small Business
If you’re concerned that your social media performance is falling short or if you’re looking to make improvements, there are a number of steps you can take to increase your results. Some are simple, while others require more sustained effort.
Here are 20 of the best social media ideas for small business:
1. Designate a Social Media Manager
One of the most fundamental ways to improve social media performance is to designate a single manager to coordinate your efforts. A social media manager performs or supervises duties, including:
- Managing your company’s social media accounts
- Planning your social strategy
- Developing content for social media posts
- Posting content
- Responding to comments
- Placing social media ads
- Tracking performance of social media campaigns
Having one individual responsible for coordinating these tasks helps ensure that they get done efficiently and consistently. A social media manager also possesses expertise in using social platforms and can help you keep up with the latest technical and policy changes. If you work with an outside digital marketing agency, your social media manager can be an in-house employee who works with your provider or they can be a member of your provider’s team who coordinates with a member of your in-house marketing team.
2. Review Your Existing Social Media Profiles
Your company may have one or more existing social profiles already. Reviewing them forms a starting point for improving your social media strategy. Itemize the profiles you already have. Then evaluate their current performance and identify ways you can improve it by applying the other strategies described here.
Consider questions such as:
- Do your profiles present a consistent branding message?
- Are your profiles connecting with your anticipated target audience?
- Which of your existing posts have generated the most likes and comments?
- Which of your posts have generated the most shares?
While you are reviewing your existing profiles, also consider whether you are lacking profiles on any important platforms where you should have them.
3. Set Social Media Goals
To create a social media strategy, you need to define some goals that your strategy is designed to achieve. Common goals include:
- Increasing awareness of your brand
- Increasing your number of followers
- Generating engagement with your followers
- Driving traffic to your website
- Generating leads
- Promoting sales conversions
- Providing customer service
Select social media goals that align with your current overall marketing goals.
4. Make Your Social Media Goals Measurable with KPIs
To track your progress, you should use metrics to make your goals measurable. Which KPIs you use depends on what your goals are. For example, if your goal is to increase awareness of your brand, you can track KPIs such as:
- Social media reach
Identify KPIs appropriate to your goals. To create a baseline, establish your current performance with respect to these KPIs. You can then set numerical goals and track your progress toward them.
5. Research Your Social Media Audience
To develop a strategy for reaching your target audience, it can help you to clarify who they are. You can define your audience in terms of demographic categories such as:
- Education level
- Income level
- Preferred social platforms
- Preferred content
You can research this type of information by using analytics tools provided by social media platforms, such as Facebook Audience Insights, Twitter Analytics and LinkedIn Page Analytics. You also can use third-party apps such as Keyhole.
6. Choose the Right Social Media Platforms
As you are researching your target audience, one important item to identify is which social media platforms your audience uses. Different audiences may prefer different platforms and it’s important to make sure you’re reaching the ones your audience uses. Of course, some platforms are widely used by a range of demographic groups, and maintaining a presence on these is the best practice. Social media must-haves for a small business generally include the biggest platforms, such as:
Other platforms also may be relevant to your marketing goals. For instance, TikTok recently emerged as a popular network for certain audiences. If you’re trying to find out where your audience hangs out, you can find out which platforms are being used to discuss a trending hashtag by using tools such as Keyhole.
7. Develop a Social Media Personality
You can address your audience more personally if your brand speaks with a personality. To achieve this, you can develop a persona for your social media posts. Your persona can reflect the actual personality of your social media representative, or it can represent a fictional spokesperson. To define your brand’s social persona, consider questions such as:
- What tone should you use when speaking with your audience?
- What vocabulary characterizes your audience?
- What is the educational level of your audience?
- What interests does your brand have in common with your audience?
- What values does your brand share with your audience?
- What celebrities or experts does your audience listen to or identify with?
The more your brand’s personality resonates with your audience, the more receptive your audience will be to your marketing message.
8. Define Your Branding Message
When your brand speaks on social media, your message should be consistent. What is the core message you want to communicate to your following? Components of an effective marketing message include:
- What your brand offers your audience
- Why your audience needs what you offer
- What makes what you offer different from what your competition offers
A short, succinct message that clearly communicates these points to your audience is known as a unique selling proposition (USP). A clearly stated USP consistently delivered across your social profiles can help position your brand to stand out from your competition in the eyes of your audience.
9. Use a Consistent Voice
Your brand’s message should also be delivered in a consistent voice. To achieve this, a best practice is to use a brand style guide. A brand style guide lays out what guidelines your social representatives should follow when speaking to your audience. It covers issues such as grammar, punctuation, spelling and vocabulary. It also may address topics such as vocabulary to use, phrases to avoid or how to tell your company’s story.
10. Define Your Brand Visually
A brand style guide should contain guidelines for your brand’s visual look on social media. Because social media uses graphic elements such as banners, logos and memes, the visuals you use help create your audience’s impression of your brand.
Your brand style guideline can address issues such as:
Your team’s graphic designer can help your marketing specialists develop your brand’s visual style.
11. Make Your Branding Consistent Across All Profiles
The descriptions and graphics that accompany your social media profiles should deliver a consistent message across all platforms. Review your existing profile descriptions to make sure that they use consistent language and imagery. The language on your social profiles should include your brand’s USP and should follow your brand’s style guidelines.
Logos and other images should follow your brand style guide. Check that any links from your profiles to your website or other social media profiles direct to the correct locations.
12. Match Your Content to Your Market
The better the content you post matches your target audience’s interests, the more effective your social media marketing will be. You can improve the appeal of your content by applying market research when developing your content. Before creating content, consider questions such as:
- Who is your target demographic?
- What products and services do they use?
- Which brands do they buy from?
- What are their needs?
- Which benefits appeal to them?
- Which keywords reflect their interests?
Keeping these considerations in mind when developing content will help your posts connect with your audience.
13. Create Multimedia Content
Social media users like to consume multimedia content. An analysis of the top 500 Facebook posts of 2018 found that 81.8% were videos, 18% were images and 0.2% were links, according to social media provider BuzzSumo. On average, video posts received at least 59% higher engagement than other types of content. Including multimedia content in your social media posts can help you generate more likes, shares, retweets and follows.
14. Plan a Consistent Posting Schedule
Posting content sporadically on social media won’t help your business much. To build an audience and generate ongoing engagement, you need to post content on a consistent basis. The best way to do this is to plan a content posting schedule.
How often you should post depends partly on your time and budget and partly on your audience. A good rule of thumb is to post once a day at the time of day when your audience is most active on social media. Posting less frequently than this tends to lower your visibility with your audience, while posting more frequently can annoy your audience if you aren’t a major brand where this is expected.
A HubSpot study found that Facebook pages with fewer than 10,000 followers generated fewer clicks per post if they posted more than once a day.
15. Prioritize Engagement over Promotion
For best results, your social media posts should strike the right balance between engagement and promotion. Your audience follows you because they find value in your posts. You can deliver value with posts that inform your audience, help them solve their problems or entertain them. When you provide this type of value consistently, it creates a natural opportunity to extend occasional promotional offers.
However, if you put too much emphasis on promotion and not enough on delivering value, you can drive followers away. A Sprout Social survey found social media users feel the most annoying action brands make is posting too many promotions. Seek to engage your audience before you try to sell them something, rather than the other way around.
16. Automate Social Media Management
Logging into multiple social media portals to upload posts and reply to comments can be time-consuming. You can save time by using a social media management app. A social media management tool provides you with a single portal you can use to upload content to multiple platforms and schedule publication in advance.
Many apps provide you with additional features to improve efficiency, such as the ability to track post performance across multiple platforms.
17. Follow Up Posts to Promote Engagement
After you post, your followers will post comments on your content. How you respond to these comments can influence how actively your audience engages your brand. Replying in an interactive way can promote engagement, while failing to reply can lead audiences to feel ignored.
For best results, develop brand style guidelines for how to respond to different types of posts. This is particularly important when handling customer service issues or complaints so that you respond in a way that resolves the situation rather than escalating it.
18. Integrate Your Social Media Marketing Campaigns
You can leverage your social media efforts by cross-promoting your social profiles. One way to do this is to link from one profile to your other profiles in your description. Another way is to mention the content you’ve posted on one platform to followers on your other platforms. When doing this, customize a unique introduction for the content for each profile instead of simply copying and pasting the exact same post.
For instance, if you posted a video on YouTube, you can create a short tweet to introduce it to your Twitter followers. This type of customization helps keep each of your profiles unique while still allowing you to cross-promote.
19. Combine Social Media with Other Marketing Tools
You can cross-promote your social media marketing and your other marketing efforts so that they mutually reinforce each other. You can do this in various ways. For instance, you can:
- Drive traffic from your social media posts to your website
- Build keywords into your social profiles to improve your search engine optimization (SEO) performance
- Announce new social media posts to your email subscribers
- Use social media to promote nondigital marketing campaigns such as in-store sales
Cross-promoting your social media content as part of an integrated marketing strategy will maximize the reach of your promotional campaigns.
20. Track Your Results and Make Adjustments
To make sure your social media investment is generating the results you want, it’s critical to track your performance. Use the KPIs you established when creating your marketing goals to track and evaluate your performance. If your campaigns are falling short, consider testing adjustments.
A best practice is to run 2 versions of a campaign with only one variable changed to test which version performs better, a practice known as split testing or A/B testing. For example, you could run the same post with different headlines and show the 2 versions to 2 different limited audience segments to see which version generates more shares. After you identify the higher-performing version, you can then show it to your entire audience.
Spruce Up Your Social Strategy to Drive Business
The importance of social media makes it an essential component in a winning marketing strategy. Improving your social media performance by using the strategies described here can provide one of the surest paths to multiplying your marketing results.