Many small business owners have heard social media can benefit their company, but often don’t know where to begin to reap the benefits. If you’ve been thinking about putting your company on social media, we can guide you through the beginner steps to ensure you’re making the most of your online presence!
Pick the platform that will benefit your brand. Each social media platform has different strengths, so take those into consideration when choosing where your brand could perform strongest. For example, Instagram is an image-based platform while Twitter and Facebook don’t require images to post. If you’re going to have photos or images for every post, Instagram would be a strong option. The biggest differentiator between Facebook and Twitter is their character limits on each post. Twitter limits one tweet (post) to 280 characters, and the platform is typically used for short, conversational messages. If you’re looking to do long-form content, Facebook would be the better choice. Another big separating point between each platform is their demographics. Instagram has the youngest demographic, followed by Twitter and Facebook. Other platforms, like Snapchat and Pinterest, also have varying demographics if you’re looking to target a specific customer. For a more in-depth look at demographics on each platform, we recommend this article!
Once you choose the platforms you want to use, create a personal profile first! Using the platform casually will help you get more comfortable with liking, sharing, and other ways to interact with content. Having an account also allows you to follow and like profiles that you enjoy and see the type of content they post. Keeping in mind the content you react well to and any other posts that seem to perform well (high number of likes, comments, or shares) can give you some ideas for your own company’s content.
When you’re ready to create your business profile, it is important to also keep your personal profile. Your company’s page should maintain your brand’s image, which often means focusing on content that pertains to the business. People often make the mistake of reposting content they personally find funny or interesting to their business account, which comes across as off-topic to followers or potential customers. Some platforms, like Twitter, also show followers actions you might have thought were hidden, such as the posts you like. At its worst, liking a Tweet you personally agree with could spark controversy for your business. Ultimately, it’s best to have a separate personal and business account.
Ask friends and family to follow or like your new business profile. This is a great first step to building your businesses’ social media following. These people are most likely to support you and your business. Once you have a small following, running “share and like” campaigns and other organic follower boosting methods would be the next step. This gives you a baseline of what kind of audience you can reach on your own before venturing down the paid advertisement path.
While it’s nice to see your follower numbers grow, it’s important to keep in mind that not every follower has the same value. It’s common to get a burst of followers initially (with friends, family, and their connections) and then you can stall. Take a step back and remember that the next follower may be your next big customer – there’s no need to rush to try gaining thousands. Having 1000 followers who just support your page is valuable in a sense, but having just 60 followers who are all customers is even more valuable.
Keep going even when you aren’t getting the attention you expected. Every profile started with 0 followers. The only difference is the profiles with thousands keep working and consistently produce content to grow that following. There will be good posts that get shares, comments, and likes, but there will also be posts that get zero engagements. Learn and grow along the way and you will be surprised where your profile will end up.
What are you waiting for? Start making your personal profile and jump into the social media craze! Your business will thank you in the future for taking the plunge today.