If you are anything like me when it comes to personal social media networks, you prefer to stay as far away from them as possible. I passively use video-sharing platforms like YouTube on a regular basis. And I engage with my friends, loved ones, and clients on WhatsApp quite frequently. However, I never quite jumped onto the social media bandwagon during the peak of its emergence. Yet, I knew I had to use social media for my small business even though I am somewhat of an introvert.
This is primarily because I am a very private person, and I don’t necessarily like being in unfamiliar social settings. I have never really come to terms with publicly sharing some of the most intimate and sacred moments of my life. Also, as one of my dear friends often says, “I want to control my own narrative.”
While I do not have many personal social media accounts, I have created and maintained a few for my businesses throughout the years. And I often help clients grow their social media presence for their career or business endeavors. I make a conscious effort not to engage in social media in my personal life. However, I consider it a necessary tool for business-related matters.
Social Media is Vital for Business
If you operate certain types of businesses, it is absolutely essential to have a social media presence. However, most businesses can benefit from maintaining a positive social media presence. Doing so allows you to capture a wider audience. And they can potentially help your business grow and flourish at a faster pace.
If you are an introvert or otherwise prefer to remain anonymous in your personal life, there are ways to effectively employ social media. Yet, simultaneously maintain your privacy and anonymity. Many social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter offer business versions of their platforms.
This option allows you to use your business name and business-related images in your profile. You can also easily advertise and promote your products or services through these platforms. And if you choose this route, below I outline a few more tips to help you effectively use social media for your business.
Select the Right Platform
While I advocate the use of social media for business owners, I also caution them to be wise. There are more than 65 popular social media websites worldwide that you could potentially use to leverage your business. As such, you must select the platforms that you use with caution and care.
On average, 2-4 social media networks are sufficient for small business owners, especially for those who self-manage their social media presence. Creating, scheduling, and moderating social media posts can be time-consuming if you do it as frequently as you should (more in this later).
In general, the platform that you choose should be based on your target audience, type of business, and desired reach. While larger platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are great for reaching larger general audiences, they may not be best for smaller businesses that operate within niche markets. Instead, you may want to use social media networks with fewer followers that have a more targeted focus. This way, you can get the word out about your business with less competition and noise.
Post Frequently and Consistently
At a minimum, you should have your own business blog. This is a space where you can freely create and share your thoughts and content without having to worry about external regulations, policies, or guidelines. Also, a business blog is a living, breathing marketing tool that helps you connect with your consumers in a more intimate and natural way. In addition to your blog, you should create accounts with some of the major and/or minor social media networks, as discussed earlier.
You should post content to your business blog and social media channels on a frequent and consistent basis. The more you post, the better your chances of getting ranked by Google and other search engines. There is no magic number for how often you should post to your blog or other social media networks. However, on average, 2-4 posts per week will typically get you recognized easier by search engines and customers. On average social media channels with more than 400 posts get more traffic.
These numbers may seem daunting, so don’t get overwhelmed if you can’t post this often. The key is to do what works best for you and your business. You may want to start off posting two or more times per week in the first 3-6 months and slowly decrease your posting frequency as your business grows.
However, don’t stop posting altogether – once you have built up enough content, it is best to maintain a weekly or bi-weekly posting schedule. The name of the game is consistency. The more consistent you are, the greater your chances of building a larger customer base.
Post Relevant, Quality Content
Your content should be useful for your consumer base in some type of way. Whether you are sharing ideas or tips or showcasing your product line, your social media content should make sense in the context of your business operations. You should not be posting pictures of your children, pets, or vacations on your business social media networks unless this type of content is relevant to your product or service line.
Your posts don’t have to be extensively long, but they do need to be of high quality. Your content should be well-written and virtually free of grammatical, spelling, and syntax errors. It should likewise be accurate and honest. Once you establish yourself as an expert or artisan in your industry, your customers will begin to look to you as an authority. So be careful with the content that you publish on any social media network.
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