One of the major missteps small businesses make is a failure to make the most of their social media activity. Small business social media can be difficult to get right, but when it is done well, it can pay off with more leads, a better reputation and a healthier business overall.
Getting Small Business Social Media Activity Right
Activity is the key to social media success in almost every market. Being active and engaged is the key to building followers on Twitter, getting likes on Facebook, and repings, reblogs and any other engagement metric you can think of.
If a small business is only active intermittently, people will quickly forget about it, may stop following updates and as a result, won’t engage with the business’ posts.
Therefore, the first key to social media is to be as active as possible. While important, this does come with a few conditions.
Fine Line Between Being Active And Engaging vs Spamming
In an effort to get their message to the masses and to attract new fans, followers and hopefully leads, many social media managers take the idea of activity too far.
A constant stream of promotional messages or other share-worthy content may seem like a good idea. It may even attract an audience that looks forward to your posts. However, in a relatively short amount of time, that audience is likely to become burned out and disengaged.
How To Put In The Right Amount Of Time
The first step is to either hire a social media manager or to delegate the task to someone within the business. Ensure that whoever is in charge of the social accounts is well acquainted with the values of the business and the benefit of its products and services.
Second, stick to a schedule with a mix of promotional and share-worthy content. Use a scheduling service like Bufferapp or Hoot Suite. These allow users to set up a schedule for messages and support a range of services to post to. Once every hour or so is a good place to start.
Third, be sure to reply to messages and otherwise engage with friends and followers, but strike a balance. A business should think from the viewpoint of their target customer. Would you appreciate seeing the same commercial several times every hour? The same thinking applies to social media activity. Each post is a commercial of sorts.
Finally, brainstorm ideas for posts, like memes or videos, that have the potential to go viral. This takes some guessing, a little research, and can be very hit-and-miss. These posts are the ones most likely to attract new followers and fans organically.
The Missing Ingredient To Social Media Activity
Social media activity shares more with search engine optimization (SEO) than most would like to admit. In SEO, webmasters network with one another to build relationships and acquire links. For social media, this means building a small business social network of sorts.
Too many are reluctant to follow and promote other businesses. It is not necessary to promote competitors, but building a small business social network can pay off in a big way.
First, it helps to “humanize” a business’ account. People want to feel like they are engaging with a person, not just a brand.
Second, the saying that “what goes around comes around” is true. If you promote others while also adding value, others will eventually follow suit.
Take the time to foster a small business social network by scouting related business’ social accounts. Follow, friend and help to promote them, and they may do the same. The result is that everyone’s reach is increased.
It is important to be active, but there is such a thing as too active. Social media is supposed to be fun, so don’t spoil the fun by being the annoying person who crashes the party. Small business social media is a tricky task, but can be extremely valuable once mastered.