3 Social Media Best Practices for Small Businesses

By Shelby Ballou

For small business owners, social media marketing is extremely important. Everyone should have a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. Being active on social media helps raise brand awareness and increases exposure for your product or service.

While most companies have experimented with social media channels, most small businesses pay little attention to these low cost and potentially high impact marketing opportunities.

If you’re a small business owner and you’re looking to gain exposure with social media, here are three best practices to get you started.

Update your profile.
Your social media profiles are an extension of your business. They’re also online representations of your brand. For tech-savvy customers, especially millennials, social media is their first destination when deciding whether or not to invest in a product or service. If you have a blank avatar on your Twitter account and minimal customer interaction on your Facebook page, you have a problem.

When a potential customer searches for you on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google+, you want them to immediately know they’re dealing with the same organization. Make sure to have a recognizable logo and simple color scheme that spans across all other social media channels and marketing collateral. This will ensure your company is instantly recognizable. Also make sure that your voice is consistent and speaks to your target audience.

Consistency is key.
Searching for a company’s Twitter and realizing the last post was from two years ago is a major disappointment. Unfortunately, for many small businesses, this is exactly what we see on a regular basis.

Posting every now and then is a step in the right direction, but it will not yield the results you’re looking for – building a large audience of loyal customers and driving traffic to your website (and as a result, boosting sales).

Determine which social media channels will yield the best results for your business, and then work with your digital marketing team to establish a regular posting schedule for each channel. Regular posting, like brand consistency, helps build trust in your audience (and this is very important!).

Have a conversation with your audience.
Whether its Google+, Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, the goal of social media is not to make sales. While increased sales can happen as a result of an effective social media strategy, your biggest opportunity is to raise awareness for your product/service and maintain an open dialogue with your customers.

Unfortunately, many new small businesses make the mistake of posting to social media with the sole intention to sell, or randomly posting content and never engaging with their audience.

Active engagement is key to an effective social media strategy! Talk to your customers about what they’re concerned about, the problems they’re struggling with, and what kind of information they want to see on your website. Connect with your customers on a personal level. They’ll appreciate it!