As a small business owner, a digital presence is essential. Even if your target market is local, you still need to develop an online reputation. This way, people can find you and spread word-of-mouth advertising!
One of the best ways to do this is to use social media. Nearly four billion people use at least one of these platforms (that’s half the global population!). It’s no wonder why for-profit and non-profit companies everywhere target social media as their main marketing strategy.
But if you choose to use any of these platforms to build your social media presence, you can’t do it halfway. It takes strategies to set up your initial account, post regularly, and interact with your followers!
These tips will help you on your entrepreneurial journey to build a social media presence that will bring your business success.
1. Narrow Down Your Network
The social media platforms you use will depend on your business. Facebook is the most commonly touted form, popularized since its inception in 2006. While it is a primary platform (taking over the MySpace failure before it), it’s not the only one.
Choose the platform you want to start with based on the type of audience you are looking for. Social media offers an opportunity for users to do everything they want. Connecting with friends and relatives or making stands for causes they strongly support are all made possible.
As an entrepreneur, you’re somewhere in the middle of these. Take some time to create your ideal client.
What would they most likely be on for the majority of their social media use?
Those are the platforms you want to engage in, to begin with.
If your clients are more informal, Facebook and Instagram are good starting points.
Formal businesses may have better luck with LinkedIn and Twitter.
2. Use a Mix of Posting Types
When you’re posting on your social media forum, try to mix up what you share and how you present it. There are all kinds of people out there. Not everyone wants to read a blog, but not everyone wants to watch videos either.
Of course, the platform you’re using can limit your posting opportunities. Instagram is predominantly photo-based, and Twitter reduces the characters you can use. But with smart marketing strategies, you can take the same advertisement and try to promote it in different ways.
Free programs like Canva let you take your own images and create social media graphics easily. Other sites, like Unsplash, offer free high-quality pictures to use without crediting the artist. (Although we do recommend still crediting the artist!)
Try to resist the urge always to promote your business, too. Build a relationship with your followers by taking an interest in what they’re doing and showing a bit of yourself. This personal touch brings in a lot of extra interest from those who want to see that you are real!
3. Have a Content Creation Calendar
You know how those big companies seem to be online every day making a post or video?
The truth is that they really aren’t sitting at the computer all day, every day. They’re just being strategic about their time when they are working.
When you set a posting schedule that isn’t random by using a content creation calendar, the posts are pre-determined and made ahead of time.
Some entrepreneurs sit down at the beginning of the month and plan out their calendars. They look for holidays, notable events, and important milestones. Then they fill in the empty days with a mix of personal touches, advertising posts, and cross-marketing with affiliates, if they have any.
By taking the time early in the week or month to create your posts in one or two sittings, you free up hours of your future. You’re not working every day, and you’re not taking the chance that you’ll get sucked into the social media distractions!
4. Set a Strategy to Monitor Your Feed
When it comes down to the real, raw truth, your business is only as good as your online reviews. You don’t want to have fake reviewers touting you, but you don’t want negative Nancys tarnishing your rep, either.
It’s essential to keep an eye on your news feed for both good and bad feedback. It’s so crucial that many companies have a person or team dedicated to the job. They spend their days trawling social media, making posts, and watching for and responding to comments.
You may not be able to hire a team, but you can create a strategy to check your own feeds. Check a few times per week to get the pulse of how people are reacting to your page. Interact when it seems appropriate, but not for every comment.
Once your page gets busy, you’ll never get your job done, but your followers will expect the same level of interaction you’d given them before.
If there are positive reviews, people love it when you thank them for sharing. Negative reviews seem to be a lot easier to fix if you apologize for the problem and offer a solution.
5. Offer Interactive Contests and Promotions
A great way to build a presence and get more attention is to have your current followers sharing your content. Most people aren’t going to do this randomly. They’ll need encouragement in the form of things like contests and promotions.
These will vary based on your business and what you can offer. Sometimes, all it takes is a free or discounted product to one lucky winner who shares the post, and you’ve got interaction from all over the world!
The contests you share should be specific to the platform. For instance, photo sharing ideas are better on Instagram than Twitter. And if you’re doing a video challenge, there’s no better social media platform than TikTok to get it to go viral quickly!
Building your social media presence as an entrepreneur is an essential part of today’s marketing strategies.
With these quick and easy tricks, your business will thrive, taking on a life of its own so you can do what you love to do instead.
Caitlin Sinclair, Business Manager of Broadstone Oceanside, has been with Alliance Residential Company for over five years. She has extensive experience with a variety of properties, from large lease-ups to smaller, more urban assets.