When you own a small business, you’ve got a lot to think about, a lot to consider, and a LOT to do. One thing you may have overlooked or set aside? Social media.
No, you don’t have to have a profile on every site ever created. You don’t have to post 10 times a day and interact with every single person who likes your page. But you DO need a digital presence – and we’re here to help you find out how to maximize your time and effort with all things social!
What are the biggest networks right now?
The biggest networks today are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Facebook is essentially a non-negotiable choice, as your customers and clients simply expect you to have a page by now. Twitter is more of an ongoing conversation, and is a fantastic outlet for customer service. Google+ is great for search results, and Linkedin is a wonderful recruitment tool.
It’s also important to address Instagram and Pinterest. However, these networks are easier to handle if your business can produce consistent visual content. Here’s a quick look at how all of these networks stack up with monthly users via Kissmetrics:
So where should you start?
Just because your business should be on social doesn't mean you need to be on every network. It's important that you choose and nurture the networks that will work best for your brand! Let’s take a closer look at the purpose of each platform:
Facebook: To build brand awareness and reputation and to establish industry authority by sharing interesting and informative content.
Twitter: To share breaking news or quick updates, promote products and gain “instant” feedback.
Google+: To share content and improve Google search results.
LinkedIn: To stay in touch with professional contacts, find the latest industry news and recruit.
Instagram: To share visually appealing brand related content.
Pinterest: To curate and share industry/brand related content in an organized and visual way.
You can read more information about age and gender usage statistics in this great article from Vertical Response, then decide which network matches best with your business objectives. Once you have that figured out, begin by creating profiles or cleaning up existing pages to reflect your current business information.
Your Social Quick Start:
Graphics: You’ll need profile photos and cover photos for all of your accounts. Have a designer use your branding and logo to create new images and use this sizing guide to make sure they’ll fit! Keep in mind that text may sometimes overlap your photo.
About: Here’s where you’ll give your customers and prospective customers a place to learn about what you do or sell. Make sure you include your hours, website, a short bio about your company, and a phone number or address to contact you if possible!
Content: Here at Stream, we highly recommend planning your social content in advance. After you figure out how often you want to post, create a calendar of different things to share. It’s very important to include a mix of information – images, links, inbound content and brand materials – so that your fans don’t turn their attention elsewhere.
Once you’ve got those 3 aspects under control, you’re ready to roll! Be consistent with your digital presence, and always try to respond to inquiries as soon as possible – social is a great customer service tool if you’re willing to put in the time and energy it requires! For more information and helpful tips, check out our free e-book: Stream Does Social.
-Jacquelyn German is a Social Media Coordinator at Stream Companies, a Philadelphia based advertising agency