Being the owner of a small business is no easy task. If you’re a one-person show, you’re wearing plenty of hats. You’re in charge of sales, accounting, HR, customer service, marketing, graphic design…the list goes on. Frankly, it takes a lot of work, and managing social media for small businesses is just another thing on top.
Social media may be the last thing you want to work on, let alone have time for. There’s a lot to think of when managing social media for small businesses. Social media can be time-consuming, stressful, and exhausting.
Guess what? It doesn’t have to be that way.
There are three parts to managing social media for small businesses:
The truth is that social media doesn’t have to be overwhelming, and it’s ultimately rewarding. Social media is a must-have for businesses in the modern age. If you don’t have social media accounts, you’re missing out on networking opportunities and creating more awareness of your business.
If you’ve recently started your own Virtual Assistant business or a Medical Transcription company, here’s a breakdown of how managing social media for small businesses can look like for your business.
Managing social media for small businesses starts with a plan. What do you want to accomplish with social media? There are many ways to create a buzz about your business. Do you want to create brand awareness? Generate more leads? Do you want to grow your social media presence? Generating brand awareness is a great place to start for a new business.
To generate awareness of your brand and to connect with your audience, you can do things like share articles, write blog posts, create polls, host contests, post ads, post about the company’s culture and values, and give away free materials like videos, guides, or templates.
Once you understand what you want from social media and your goal moving forward, you can move on to the next step of the plan. Keep in mind that your social strategy should, and will, change as your business grows, so don’t worry about pinning down every single thing five years into the future. Your social strategy should move as you move and grow.
Put simply, people buy from brands they trust. Building trust is what a company (and its social channels) should do. Trust comes from consistency and relatability and depends on you to deliver what you promise.
Knowing your target audience and knowing how you speak to them is important. Does your brand have a cheery, enthusiastic voice? Is it matter-of-fact and focused on sharing stats? Does it make jokes, puns, or memes? In most cases, a brand is a reflection of the person that runs it. You want your personality to shine through, and that’s how people begin to trust you.
Once you decide on a brand voice that speaks well to your target audience, you want to maintain that brand voice throughout all your social platforms. If you don’t, you run the risk of people losing their trust in you.
Researching and choosing the right platform is another important step in managing social media for small businesses. You will need to figure out what social media platform suits your brand and services best, as they are all a little bit different.
When first starting out on your social media journey, we recommend starting off with only two social media platforms. Why? Keeping up multiple channels is time-consuming, and the content you have to make for each platform grows the more you take on. Remember, you’re also running a business at the same time, so making sure you have a handle on a few platforms to begin with is better than overwhelming yourself with more work.
You should do some research into each platform, how they work, and what content people like consuming on that platform. For example, Instagram has a lot of opportunities for selling products and services, but if you’re too “salesy” people won’t follow you. Instagram is one of the more playful platforms, so don’t be afraid to have a little fun with it!
In contrast, LinkedIn and Facebook are more educational and are tip-based platforms, while Pinterest is all about creativity. LinkedIn has changed a lot over the years and is a lot more personalized and open to sharing honest, real-life experiences with others in an educational way. If you’re not already on LinkedIn, you should be.
First off, no one likes to be brazenly sold too. If you’re too “salesy,” you will find fewer people interacting with your content.
The thing that people want the most is connection. In this way, think of selling as a conversation. Share your story, your reasons for where you are now, how you got to where you are, what your values are, or share a story about how this has your product or service has improved your life, or someone else’s. The key is to make a point of connection through relatability, and this builds trust with your audience. Audiences that trust the people behind the brand are more likely to buy.
People don’t buy a name. They buy people and experiences. So make sure you’re giving your audience an experience they won’t forget.
Research is your very best friend. Do some basic research into your industry and see when your type of industry posts are engaged with the most.
All platforms claim to get the most interaction with your brand you’ll need to post a certain amount each week. That can vary from every day, three times a week to once a week. You don’t need to post every day on any social media platform unless you want to.
When you’re first starting out, usually 2-3 times a week on any platform is a great place to start. Each platform does have its own recommended posting schedule, but how much you post depends on you and your industry. Generally speaking, the more you post, the more eyes will be on your content.
Decide how often you want to post, and just go for it. You won’t have an idea if you’re posting too much or too little until you give it a shot. But remember to only post as often as you can consistently keep up with.
One of the best ways to produce content is to have a blog. If you don’t have a blog for your website yet, you should. Not only does a blog help people find you with search engines, but it keeps your audience engaged and coming back for more of you and your brand, and it makes a great social media post.
Besides blog posts, you’ll have to decide the types of posts you’ll post. You’ll want to post what your audience likes, so try asking them outright. Do they like text posts? Picture and text posts? Educational posts? Jokes? Memes?
Don’t be afraid to try several different types of content. Experimenting is part of the process, and don’t be upset if something flops. If something does flop, you’ve just learned that’s not the kind of content your audience wants.
Managing social media for small businesses doesn’t have to take up all your time. Using a social media management tool to manage your social media accounts will save you time in the long run. All you have to do is create the post, upload it on the platform, and it will publish it for you, hands-free! It’s a reliable way to batch your posts when you’re building content.
Some management tools will offer you free tier plans, while others are paid only. Some management tools that offer free plan tiers include Later, Buffer, Postly, and others. A handy social media tool is MeetEdgar, which will auto-post for you but also reuse your old posts, so you never run out of anything to post!
Other tools will offer you free trials to begin like Hootsuite and Sprout Social but switch to a paid plan after the trial is over. Some social media management tools can be expensive, and the free ones might not cover the right platforms you plan to use or offer enough of what you’re looking for. Make sure to check out all your options before deciding what you want.
Managing social media for small businesses starts with engaging with your audience. Engaging with your followers is the most important thing you can do on social media. If you want to build brand trust and build a community around your brand, you must make the effort to respond to your audience when they interact with your brand online.
If this sounds like it might get overwhelming, block some time out of your day to respond to your messages and comments. Blocking off fifteen minutes in the morning and fifteen minutes in the afternoon to engage with your audience will be a good place to start to build some trust with your audience. Don’t forget to look for people interacting with your content right after you post!
Finally, remember your brand voice when you’re responding to your audience online.
Tagging people and companies in your posts will build community and trust with your audience fast. If you can get the person or company you tag to tag you back in their post, you’ll be bringing your brand to more eyes and potentially bringing in more customers.
Social media is all about social proof. If you can get other accounts tagging you and singing your praises, not only will that create trust among audiences both new and old, but it will also give you something to share on your accounts as a post.
Creating content is all about trying new things until you find something that works. Decide what kind of posts you’re going to be making, and make sure to pay attention to your analytics to see what worked for you and what didn’t. If you have a business account, all social media sites have their own analytics section that you can use to learn about what works best.
If you’ve asked your audience what kind of content they like and got a lukewarm response, your analytics will be where you’ll find your true answer. The analytics data is all you need to keep making content your audience will love.
Social listening means monitoring your brand’s social media channels to find mentions of your brand or discussions revolving around topics your brand might benefit from being a part of. This includes if you’re tagged in something or if something is being talked about in your industry. Keeping an eye on trends in your industry is a great source of content for your business.
If you’re interested in using social listening, some social media management tools have it available as part of their paid plans. You can also just sign up for a social listening tool itself like Talkwalker, which is free to use!
Social listening will help you trace your following online, find what people engage with most, find spots where people are looking for a solution you may be able to solve, and help you find out which social media channels work best for your brand.
If you haven’t been repurposing your content, you should start now. If you’re just starting out making content, plan to repurpose it. If you’re stuck for an idea of what to post, you can often create a new post out of older content.
That old blog post you wrote a year ago? Four months ago? Three days ago? Bring it back to life by taking three facts from it and creating three separate social posts for it. Did you make a post speaking strongly about how you feel about a trend in your industry? Write a blog post about it. Do you have an announcement you want to post on Instagram? Post it across all your channels.
Repurposing your content is the secret to managing social media for small businesses.
Managing social media for small businesses can feel intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Following these tips and processes, you can nail the perfect schedule for your business and discover that social media is a powerful tool for your business.
It’s important to remember that you can’t expect success in one day or even one week. It takes time and investment to build a community. You may also find that your strategy doesn’t work or a post you make flops. This is a good thing. It means you’ve found something your audience doesn’t like, and from this, you can continue to build content in different directions.
Managing social media for small businesses doesn’t have to be hard, but it does take a lot of testing to find what your audience likes, and once you find what your audience loves you’ll reap the benefits that social media has to offer.
If you’re running, looking into running, or are planning on running your own Virtual Assistant or Medical Transcription business, we hope this article on managing social media for small businesses was useful. If you have any more questions about building your social media plan, reach out to us and follow CanScribe on Facebook, Linkedin, or Instagram for more information!
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