Every business worth its salt, from huge multinational corporations to small, local businesses has a social media presence these days.
From developing a reputation for expertise in a specific industry to promoting products, highlighting events and learning more about customers, there are dozens of ways in which small businesses can use social media to their advantage.
But before you can choose your approach and start reaping the benefits of social media, you need functioning accounts with enough followers to generate results, whether you’re trying to get your latest campaign to go viral, or running a competition.
Basic Social Media Tips
So where do you start?
With just a handful of followers and a few posts, building towards social media success can seem daunting, but these five social media tips will help you lay the foundation of a thriving account.
1. The look of your profile matters
It’s sad but true – looks really do matter. This goes for your social media accounts too. Make sure that everything from your cover image, to your profile picture is consistent with your brand and looks professional, sleek and enticing.
This Facebook profile shows that getting social media presence right doesn’t have to be complex. Some neat typography and a striking image with a good resolution will create the right effect. Stretched out and poor quality images, however, will not represent your business well.
2. Cross-pollinate across platforms
If you have a good LinkedIn following but your Twitter presence is minimal, or if you want your YouTube channel to have the same success as your Instagram account, cross-pollination is essential. Make sure you give your other accounts shout outs on social platforms to increase followers across the board. Ensuring all social buttons are clearly displayed on your website will also help with this.
3. Share & like other brands
Sharing and caring make the world go around – and this is just as true on social media. If you want to build a stronger following, sharing other people’s content and engaging with other brands and individuals on your chosen platform will help you get your name out there and earn you more followers. Give plenty of shout outs and get involved in forum and group discussions!
4. Harness the hashtag
Using hashtags that are relevant to your business niche is a good way to help interested parties find you. Using popular hashtags (within reason and without spamming!) will also help expose your business to a wider range of users. For small, local businesses, using geographical hashtags can also be really helpful if you want to build connections in your area.
5. Create great content
Social media isn’t about self-promotion, it’s about sharing things you care about and that others might be interested in.
Don’t bombard your followers with promotional messages (they see enough of these every day), instead create content they’ll really like, whether it makes them laugh, makes them think or is useful to them.
Traveling Vineyard are one small business that does this really well, their YouTube channel is full of interesting, fresh content, while their Twitter feed features great, shareable stuff like infographics, seasonal wine and food pairings. A great source of inspiration!
With good look and great content, building a social media profile should not be difficult.
Now to you ! which of these social media tips is your favourite ? Or share your own successful tips with us.
Alex Richardson is a digital marketing and social media consultant who works with SMEs and startups in building their online presence and social reach.