#AMA: Social Media Manager Answers the Burning Marketing Questions of Every Small Business Owner
I know what you are thinking – social media is an overwhelming, confusing, foreign language as a small business owner. Heck! I got a degree and 4 certificates in it just to get the groundwork! The advancement of social media has given us the unimaginable ability to learn more than ever, connect with people around the globe, and share our products and services to a wider audience than we ever could have dreamed about. But being a small business owner, there is a lot to manage in the day-to-day: running the company, managing a team, administration and bookkeeping, strategic planning, and now figuring out how to control this mystical beast of social media. Well… get ready…
CAUSE WE ARE GOING TO BLOW YOUR QUESTIONS OUT OF THE WATER (with our trunks… obvs.)
That’s right – the time has come for us (social media managers) to answer all of your (small business owner) most burning marketing questions! Take a look at the FAQ’s and get the answers you’ve been dying to know so you can tame the beast and rule the social media safari.
How many platforms should I have?
Let’s just say that if you have an account on every… single… social… media… platform, you have WAY too many. As a small business owner, you do not have the time to manage and engage with your audience on each and every one of them. It’s just a fact! Unless you are a corporate business with an enormous team or have somehow managed to learn to stop time and catch up (please message us if this is the case), then you need to narrow your platforms down to the ones that will count.
Take a moment to put yourself in your target audience’s shoes – do they spend their time scrolling through twitter on the bus to work? Are they always looking for the next best products on Instagram? Wherever they are, that is where you also want to be. For example, if you are a B2B company, you would probably do best on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook; A small business selling beautiful handmade home décor – Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Create solid and informative pages on roughly 2*-3 platforms, and put the effort into showcasing your company properly on those selected platforms.
Psst! No idea where to begin? We love to help those small business owners like yourself, determine where you would be best suited to spend your time (and how to spend it) with a social media audit! We can also get you set up on new pages or optimized if you need!
What is the best time to post?
Time to get back into those comfortable shoes of your target customer! Take a look at their routine – when do they wake up and go to bed? Do they have breaks at work? Do they have kids in sports that have them running around with their heads cut off? When do they have time to check their social media pages? Once you have ‘stalked’ your customers enough to figure out where and when they go online, make sure that your content is posted before they log on. THAT’S IT! For example, to reach a business-focused audience, early mornings, lunch breaks, and the homeward-bound commutes are likely when people will be on social media. Post just before these times and then and your audience will be more likely to see your social media goodness.
NOTE: Because most social media platforms are now displaying posts based upon interest, popularity, and target marketing and advertising, posting exactly when your audience is on isn’t ideal. They need time to build up some likes before your main audience hits the screen.
Can I share the same content on all of my social channels?
Ideally, you never want to share identical content across all of your platforms. Each platform has a different tone and approach (ex. Twitter posts benefit from hashtags, Facebook posts benefit from videos and images, and Instagram is a combination of the two). Plus, they all have very different audiences and people are in different mindsets when using each one – so one message on instagram will not translate the same as it will on LinkedIn!
That being said, if time and money are not on your side when it comes to social media marketing, then there are a few hacks.
- You need to ensure that the content is rewritten to match the platform’s style. This applies especially if you are asking your audience to “tweet” “share” or “reply” to your content. Don’t make the awkward mistake of saying “retweet” on a Facebook post. That is just embarrassing!
- Remove all of the hashtags on platforms that don’t generally like them, and add more in for those that do.
- Shorten or lengthen your message so you don’t hit a character limit or miss out on valuable info where you have room.
- ***Schedule these all separately. Do not write 1 post and that sort of suits each one and select all the platforms on Hootsuite.
NOTE: It is also important to know that when tagging other accounts, the handles may change across platforms. Hashtags are also different for each platform (Twitter hashtags aren’t always relevant on Instagram!). Take the time to do some research when sharing the same content across platforms to guarantee that the posts are still relevant and engaging for all of your followers. It will reflect poorly on your brand if you do not!
How much should I spend on marketing?
This is an easy one. Typically, a small business owner should set aside 10% of their budget to put towards marketing.
How you decide to allocate that 10% is dependent upon where your business is most likely to succeed – traditional marketing (print ads, radio ads, etc.) or digital marketing (social media specific ads, online ads, social media management). Find out where you have the best chance of reaching your target audience and use the budgeted total towards reaching them!
Not sure which is best for you? Our Digital Marketing Strategies will lay it all out for you so you can make an informed decision, send your money wisely, and be totally set up to start marketing there! And yes, while it is a Digital strategy, we do go over traditional medias as well – we fully believe in a marriage between digital and traditional for success.
How do I get more followers?
Small business owners want to see their following increase. Who doesn’t? You may have created an amazing account, followed all of the right people, and are even posting each day… but still see no action. If this is the case, then we have the answer on how to get more followers: OUTREACH ENGAGEMENT.
Not the dewy-eyed couple with a fancy new ring kind of engagement… but taking the time to OUTWARDLY ENGAGE with your audience:
- Liking their photos
- Joining the discussion on relevant posts
- Replying to comments
- Following hashtags
- Commenting on posts under those hashtags
- Creating stories
- Asking your audience questions, etc.
The more you are online and engaged with your existing followers and reaching out to new ones in this manner, the more followers will come along. Hooray!
NOTE: You can engage all you like, but if your account is not putting out content to sustain your business profiles, people will not be encouraged to follow you. Continue to post regularly, sharing updates as often as you can, and your account following will grow.
Are blogs worth the effort?
If your customer has a problem (related to your service or product) and searches for the answer on Google, are they going to come across your website? Chances are, if you don’t have blogs, they won’t find you. Blogs are the best way to answer your customer’s questions and offer information relevant to your product/service/industry.
Most importantly, blogs are the best way to organically increase the SEO (search engine optimization) on your site. Every blog you write and post has topic-focused text and keywords within the content, this is then seen by all-mighty Google. When Google identifies that you are using keywords people are looking for and your site is retaining users more often, then Google will reward you by bringing your business site close to the top of the search results next time. Trust us, this is DEFINITLEY something you want.
(Don’t know how to add a blog on WordPress? We have the answer!)
Now that you have the answers to the most burning ‘social media for small business’ questions, you can tackle your marketing with confidence! Happy tweeting, sharing, posting, tagging, hashtaging, and spreading the business social love!
Are you starting to think that social media and blogs are too much for you? Why not let us handle your digital marketing while you focus on the important business tasks! Get in touch with us and let us assist you in achieving social media excellence!