Social media for small business (a beginner’s guide)
It is amazing how many small businesses miss the countless opportunities social media offers in terms of exposure, marketing, SEO, sales, etc. If you have a brand and you want to promote it online, there is at least one social media network that you should be active on.
It is a common misconception that you have to be on ALL social media in order to get results. Things are a bit different. The wisest thing to do is pick a few and really be a part of the community there (instead of making a profile on every social media under the sun and then do… nothing).
Social media is a great way for new brands and small businesses to reach new audiences and gain fans, followers, and, eventually, loyal customers. It certainly won’t happen overnight, though. Besides, in order to pick the set of social media channels that would be best for your particular business, you have to know how each one works.
Here’s why we’ve put in a nutshell the basic features of the most popular social media for small business:
OK, if there is only one social media we would recommend you to try, that’s Facebook. Almost any business could benefit from a Facebook presence. After all, it’s the most popular (and the biggest) social platform!
Facebook has the power to spread the word about your small business across the globe. It is a great platform on which you can share with your fans the latest updates, products and services, photos of the work process, important industry news, etc. One of its greatest features is the advertising – Facebook’s ads are the best in terms of targeting.
Twitter’s beauty is in sharing short text messages with the world. There is a strict limitation of 140 characters maximum per tweet. These text updates are often accompanied by links, videos, images, and hashtags. Hashtags are important as they build momentum for your tweets so it’s advisable to use trending and relevant hashtags when you post your tweets.
Twitter is best for your small business if you want to quickly connect with people. It is also one of the best social media channels for handling customer service. Another great feature of Twitter is its potential to skyrocket a post and make it go viral. All it takes is a user with a lot of followers to retweet your post!
Pinterest, as its name suggests, is all about pinning stuff on digital bulletin boards (also known as categories). Pinterest is right for you if you have a lot of visual material to share with your followers. It is also a right fit for your business if your target audience is primarily women who are interested in different DIY projects, fashion trends, health & fitness, beauty, photography, recipes, etc.
Instagram is another visual social media (like Pinterest). All posts on Instagram are either video posts or photos. If your target audience uses mainly mobile devices, you should consider Instagram as one of your social media channels (it is 100% mobile).
Instagram is definitely not a platform any small business could benefit from. However, if the person in charge of your Instagram account has an eye for details and knows at least something about photography, it’s worth trying it. It’s good to know that Instagram users post mainly about food, art, travel, fashion, etc.
YouTube is a powerful social media channel based on video sharing. With the rising popularity of video marketing, YouTube is a platform almost any small business could put to use. It is great for sharing tutorials, how-to videos, answering some of the frequently asked questions on your website, product launches, explainer videos, etc.
Many small businesses are afraid of this platform because they think you should have professional video recording equipment to make a YouTube video. This should not scare you as today you can make a decent video even with your smartphone! Just make sure you have nice natural light and a script to stick to and you will be amazed at the results!