Most businesses understand the importance of social media marketing, but some struggle to know where to start. And we’ve gotten a lot of questions on our social channels lately asking any tips and tricks we have for small businesses. So in this post, we’re going to break down social media marketing 101 guidelines that we follow here at BELLA+CANVAS.
CHOOSE YOUR PLATFORM
A big mistake some small businesses encounter is trying to tackle every social channel at once. We know it can be overwhelming, but we encourage you to take your time and invest in the right one or two that are best for you. Sprout Social has some great guides that cover how small businesses can navigate each main network. For example, if your goal is community and relationship building, you may want to first focus on Facebook, however, you’ll need to be strategic about your paid and organic content on that platform. If you’re more focused on brand awareness and discovery, Instagram may be best for you. But do you fully know your Instagram demographics, what features users prefer or how to monitor hashtags? You can review each guide here:
How to Master Facebook for Small Business
12 Ways to Use Instagram for Small Business
The Ultimate Guide to Twitter for Small Business
Pinterest for Business: How to Get Started & Be Successful
CREATE A STRATEGY
Once you’ve chosen which platforms you’re going to focus on, you’ll need to determine your content strategy. A big mistake a lot brands make is to haphazardly post content. Studies show that more customers are going to social media first before checking out a brand’s website, so you’ll want to make sure everything you post is in line with your brand’s mission and aesthetic. Be authentic to who you are and show some personality. Social media can be a great place to show a lighter side to you and your brand. Establish a voice and make sure all brand messaging falls in line. Even if you’re small, you can create a really strong loyalty on social media if you stay consistent and transparent.
After you determine your strategy, you’ll want to create a content calendar. What this looks like is totally up to you and your team, but we at BELLA+CANVAS love a good Google Doc! We map out a plan every two weeks that shows what content will be shared where. How often should you post? There are a lot of different theories out there for different platforms, so the important thing is to really just be consistent. Most marketers believe that posting several times a day is best, but don’t do that unless you have enough content to be consistent in your aesthetic and voice. Once we map out all our posts, we then use a scheduling tool to make sure all the trains leave the station at the right time. We recommend that you do your research on which scheduling tools will work best for you and your team, but Hootsuite, Tweetdeck and Sprout Social are great options!
If you don’t even know where to start, Hubspot has some great editorial calendar templates that you can download for free! Check them out HERE.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT CONTENT
You’re likely made up of a small team, so you’ll need to be efficient with your content production. So take advantage of your customers and social audience! Encourage them to post images and tag you. Then repurpose that content for yourself. We do this all the time at BELLA+CANVAS, because our customers do such unique things with our products! This is called user-generated content, or UGC. Also, use social media as a way to interact and engage with the community. Use direct messages or DMs as a way to generate business. And don’t be afraid to get involved in trending topics. That doesn’t mean you should post on every social holiday, but look at the calendar (Hubspot has a great downloadable version HERE) ahead of time and see which ones fit with your branding, then be sure to use the right hashtags. You should take advantage of sweepstakes and giveaways too, it’s a great way to grow your audience! We also encourage you to check out other small organizations in your industry on social and see what has worked for them in terms of content. Specifically on Instagram, there are hundreds of brands that can give you inspiration for content ideas. Don’t be afraid to learn from them!
We hope this info was helpful! Be sure to comment on our YouTube video below with any follow-up questions or suggestions for future content.
Also, follow us on social media to see these guidelines in action!
Great ideas to implement. Helpful links too, who knew Pinterest was on the rise for small businesses??