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Social Media Marketing Do’s and Don’ts for Small Businesses

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As a first-time little business owner, posting on social media is definitely on your hoo-ha list. Admittedly, it’s simply not terribly high there. After all, your immediate goal is also native selling. You don’t would like the total world to search out you nonetheless.

Once your company grows tho', you may wish to expand your client base. once a client searches for you on-line, not solely do they expect to search out a well-designed web site, however a robust social media presence, too.

1. DO confirm Your Profiles ar stuffed out

First thing’s initial. Before you are doing any posting, your social media profiles should be stuffed out one hundred pc.

For some social media platforms like Twitter, this is often simple. you would like very little quite a brief bio, a profile image, a location, and a link to your web site. If you’re exploitation Facebook, you’ll produce a Facebook Business Page, that has way more careful info.

Take the time to log in to every social media platform you employ and add this information. Don’t simply copy and paste it from one platform to a different. you are doing wish to use similar language from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram, however that language shouldn’t be identical.

Once you’ve stuffed out all of your profiles, you'll begin posting.

2. DON’T Forget the simplest Times to Post

Posting on social media is associate degree art in and of itself.

Think about your personal social media use for a flash. you almost certainly have that one friend WHO simply doesn’t grasp once to quit. They post concerning everything, from their breakfast to their work commute to what they’re change of state for dinner.

It’s annoying, right? Eventually you unfollow or perhaps unfriend this person.

Don’t be the business version of that friend. Your customers do care concerning what you have got to mention, however if you abuse that trust and post each hour, you’re aiming to lose customers.

CoSchedule assessed sixteen studies on social media posting times. Here ar the times and times to think about posting:

  • Instagram: Mondays and Fridays at a pair of a.m., 8 to 9 a.m., and 5 p.m.; skip the afternoon posts
  • Google+: Wednesdays at nine a.m., 11 a.m., and high noon to one p.m.; no evening posting here
  • LinkedIn: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at seven to eight a.m., noon, and five to six p.m.; avoid posts later within the evening
  • Pinterest: Sundays for food posts, Mondays for fitness posts, Tuesdays for widget posts, Wednesdays for quotes, Thursdays for outfits, Fridays for GIFs, and Saturdays for travel, with the weekend having the best engagement at a pair of a.m., 2 p.m., and 9 p.m.
  • Twitter: Wednesdays at high noon, 3 p.m., and five to six p.m.; avoid morning posting
  • Facebook: Sundays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, with the weekend having thirty two p.c engagement and also the weekdays having eighteen p.c engagement at nine a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m.

Of course, these times aren’t gospel. If you have got one thing to post on Twitter on a Friday morning or a Tuesday evening, you don’t essentially got to refrain. If it’s breaking news, sort of a product announcement, you must post at once.

As alittle business owner acclimating to exploitation social media professionally although, follow these pointers initially. See that days and times work best together with your audience.

3. DO think about employing Automation package

Okay, however what if three p.m. Wed rolls around and you’re busy during a meeting? does one simply skip posting for that day and wait till successive week?

Not essentially. you would like to have interaction the foremost prospective customers with every post, however you can’t be awake and on thuscial media round the clock to try to to so. What’s your alternative option?

You can use automation package. Services like CoSchedule, Sprout Social, Oktopost, Hootsuite, Buffer, and HubSpot ar a number of the foremost common ones, however there ar infinite others.

Some of these ar cheaper than others. Some could even be free. Regardless, the premise is that the same.

You log in to those services, draft the post you would like on-line, set a time for it to mechanically post, and travel together with your life. As a business owner, some time is already stretched skinny, thus automation services ar ideal.

4. DON’T Forget Your Links

The goal of posting on social media is twofold: {you wish|you would like|you wish} to induce a lot of likes on your social media page and you furthermore may want to guide customers to your web site.

You can’t reach the latter goal if you’re not linking customers to your landing page, your blog, or your ecommerce store.

Don’t simply trust that your customers can see your web site uniform resource locator on your social media profile and click on it. With every post you create, link back to your web site.

The page on your web site you link back to varies betting on your goals.

If you’re sharing a diary post you wrote, you would like to link customers to it post. If you only proclaimed a brand new product or service, you would like to link customers to your ecommerce store. If you’re searching for new leads, guide guests to your landing page so that they will prefer in.

With several social media platforms, as well as Facebook and Instagram, you'll continuously return and edit your post if you didn’t embody a link. try and build linking a habit, though.

5. DO be happy to Share Relevant Content you discover

By now, you’re obtaining the suspend of this social media factor. You’re posting often and sharing your diary posts, company news, and discounts. Customers ar responding well, and you have got variant new leads.

What if you don’t essentially have one thing to post on a specific day?

First, as we have a tendency to mentioned before, don’t desire you have got to post on social media if you have got nothing to mention. That said, you don’t wish to travel weeks while not posting, either.

If you don’t have something of your own to post, comb through social media and appearance for relevant content to share. we have a tendency to don’t suggest sharing your competitor’s content, however a cool infographic, a fun (but brief) video, or perhaps a psychological feature quote will act as a decent buffer throughout posting lulls.

6. DON’T Forget Your alternative Accounts

There’s plenty of social media out there, and we’ve already mentioned the large ones. As alittle business owner, you will get some momentum happening your Facebook profile so get sidetracked with alternative responsibilities. Your Twitter or Google+ pages sit stagnant.

When you build a post on one account, you have got to try to to thus on all of your accounts. Again, automation package will extremely facilitate here.

You can copy content from Facebook to Google+ and back once more. once it involves Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube although, you have got to share your content through totally different media per platform.

7. DO Tread gently if Covering common News

In fact, Facebook and Twitter each have trending sections on their various platforms that allow you see what individuals are talking concerning.

You may wish to induce in on this and build a connected post. this can actually catch people’s attention, and you will get some new customers out of the deal, too.

While this may work generally, this plan of action may backfire. you have got to tread terribly, terribly gently.

Here’s what we have a tendency to suggest if you’re aiming to butt in on common news stories:

No personal opinions, unless you would like the comments section to show into a flame war.

Avoid posting concerning national tragedies unless somebody in your company was in person affected.

Don’t point out politics. It won’t finish well.

If you hear that a Doller makeup product has simply surpassed 2 million greenbacks in sales, it may be tempting to do to shoehorn your own product into that story. If you’re a distillery although, that creates no sense.

Instead, try and realize huge stories relevant to your trade. Say you’re a little makeup company, as an example. Then it’s dead acceptable to say the Doller makeup news and use it as a launching purpose to debate your own merchandise.

You need to be good concerning however you employ the news. One trip during this space may well be a PR nightmare.

8. DON’T solely Post Text

When you write your journal, you don’t simply post walls of text, right?

Of course not. that may be visually boring. Customers would be turned off.

Instead, you punch up the content with subheadings and footage.

Your social media strategy ought to be similar. It shouldn’t be text post when text post. you must additionally embrace videos, images, and infographics.

If you have got a smartphone and a YouTube account, you'll be able to build videos. There are many free image-editing websites and programs you can download to make your own infographics or eye-catching images.

Mix this other media with your text posts for some good variety.

9. DO Respond to as Many Questions and Comments as Realistically Possible

As more customers find your social media pages, they’re going to engage with your more.

With every post you make, you’ll get an influx of comments and questions. These may pour in days after you publish your post.

If you’ve never had such a huge customer response before, this can be overwhelming at first. How can you make enough time to respond to everyone?

Realistically, you can’t. While in a perfect world, you’d be able to fire off fast responses to every comment you get on social media, that’s just not plausible.

That’s why you have to prioritize. Answer questions first, as these are more pressing. If someone has a complaint, address this right away, too (more on this in a minute). Then, if you have time, respond to individual comments.

If your schedule allows, you can also go back to the post about a week later and leave a blanket comment thanking everyone for their responses. This lets your customers know you’ve at least read what they’ve said.

In the end, customers want their voices heard. They want to feel like their opinions matter. By responding to comments, you show you value your customers.

10. DON’T Gloss Over Negative Comments and Reviews

We already mentioned that customers will have complaints. This is inevitable. No matter what kind of business you run, from a small company like yours to a Fortune 500, someone is bound to say something negative at some point.

These are the kinds of comments you want to prioritize. If the customer had a bad experience or got a broken/defective product, start a dialogue with them. Give them a phone number they can call or someone they can email to get the problem rectified.

It can be paralyzing scary to get your first negative comment. Your first inclination might be to sweep it under the rug. Don’t do this. Your second inclination might be to delete the post. Definitely don’t do this unless the post is full of profanity or other incendiary remarks.

If you start deleting all negative posts, customers will notice. You’ll soon get a reputation, and not a good one.

11. DO the Posting and Commenting Yourself (or Hire Someone to Do It)

How many times have you seen this scenario in the news? A company’s intern makes a totally irresponsible post on social media. The company gets lambasted for a few days until the hubbub dies down.

Each time you post on social media, you’re representing your company. That means your message, language, and tone should be consistent with your brand and values.

If you have someone step in and make a post that doesn’t align with those values, you could lose customers. Just as worse, you could end up in the news for a cringe-worthy social media post.

That’s why it’s best that you yourself do the posting. Barring that, you may want to hire a social media manager. They’re in charge of avoiding the above fiascos and other social media disasters. Make sure you get final approval on all content before it’s posted.

12. DON’T Write Robotically

If you’ve used social media personally for years and suddenly make the switch to using it professionally, it can be nerve-wracking. You feel you have to adjust your tone and posting style to be more professional.

Think twice about that. You should be conversational. Your tone should be relaxed yet informative. If you’re too stuffy or use too much jargon, your customers are going to scroll right by your content.

Before you post anything, give it a read-over. Does any of it sound unnatural or robotic, even? Go back and give it some personality. Any old automation software can write stiff social media posts. It’s up to you as a human being to give it some oomph.

13. DO Sell on Social Media

You can open an ecommerce store on Facebook that’s separate from your site’s ecommerce store, stocking the same products (or different ones!). Before checkout, customers can complete their checkout on Facebook or be redirected to your website.

It never hurts to have more ways to sell. Instagram just rolled out business profiles for companies, too, so keep your eyes peeled there. You may be able to start selling on Instagram in the near future.

14. DON’T be Too Salesy

On social media, the average consumer is bombarded with companies trying to sell to them. Whether through ads or sponsored content, there’s no reprieve.

Yes, you’re trying to sell to your customers, too. You want them to buy your products and services. If you try to force it though, it will never happen.

You should let customers know about your ecommerce store. If you’re having a sale or offering a discount, post about that, too. Don’t make every post about your products, though.

Avoid salesy language. You’re a businessperson, not a used car salesman. There are more facets to your business than sell, sell, sell. Let your customers know that.

15. DO Keep a Level Head

As a business owner, there are hard days and then there are hard days. Sometimes a customer may make a remark on social media that is just dying for a response. This person is baiting you, waiting for you to make a move.

What is the best move to make in this situation? None at all.

If you take the bait and respond back nastily, you’re hurting your company’s image. That comment will be screenshotted or retweeted or otherwise saved. It will appear again and again. Even if you delete it, it will never truly go away.

The next time you’re having a tough day and you get a mean comment egging you on, refrain. Take a deep breath. Step away from the computer. When you come back, you can write back to this customer in a professional, courteous, and helpful manner.

Takeaways

Successfully navigating social media as a small business owner is like getting through a minefield unscathed. It’s not impossible, but it will be a challenge.

If you keep your brand and values in mind in all that you do, you’ll be in good shape. That should keep you from writing robotically, starting online fights with mean customers, and pushing sales at the expense of all else.

While social media can sometimes be stressful, at the end of the day, these platforms are crucial for marketing your business. The sooner you master social media, the sooner you can unlock its true potential.

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