How to Use Social Media for Small Business Goals
The rules of social media are always changing. There is always a new app, trend, meme, or app update to be aware of not only for your personal life but for your small business.
It’s no secret that social media usage continues to increase with projections that worldwide users will increase to almost 4.41 billion in 2025. With numbers like that, businesses everywhere are competing to stand out and share their product or service with the world. In addition to the best times to post on social media, we also explain what you should consider with your small business social media strategy and how to find success in the social world.
What Are the Best Times to Post on Social Media?
Depending on the social network, and type of business you have, there are several best times to post on social media. For example, Sprout Social frequently updates the best times to post by network, and most networks see the lowest engagement over the weekend, but for some industries, Twitter performs much better over the weekend than during the week. While these guidelines could change, for example, these guidelines were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, it helps to have some understanding of where and when to find your desired audience. If you use a tool for scheduling your posts, such as Sprout Social or Hootsuite, they may even have the capability to schedule your posts for the time your audience specifically will be the most active.
How to Use Social Media to Reach Business Goals
As we mentioned, billions of people are using social media daily. However, starting up a social media strategy for your small business can be daunting. It can also be frustrating when you don’t see the engagement or number of followers you would like. In order to be successful on social media there are a few things you’ll want to do:
- Start with a general objective. Specific goals are important, and we’ll get to that, but in order to start trying to think about what your general objective is for your social media channels. Are you trying to increase brand awareness? Do you want people to buy products from social media? Will you mainly be sharing news? Thinking through what you want out of your channels will help you make specific goals.
- Set SMART goals. With so many stories of messages or accounts becoming overnight, viral sensations, it’s hard to not feel disappointed if you’re getting lower than anticipated engagement with your social media channels. Remember to think SMART when setting goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-sensitive. For example, some ideas would be to increase followers by 20% each year or increase engagement on posts by 10% each quarter. Find the balance between what you’d like to achieve on your channels and what is actually possible based on your budget, and other priorities.
- Identify your KPIs and metrics. In addition to thinking about numbers when setting SMART goals, you’ll want to consider some other metrics. Using the broad objective of increasing brand awareness as an example, you would want to keep track of fan count, impressions on your page and posts, post reach, and link clicks if you're sending people back to your website.
What to Post on Your Small Business Social Media Channels
There are several things to consider when deciding what you should be posting on your social media channels.
- Visuals. Videos and graphics perform really well on social media and can get people to actually look at the information you’re sharing. Consider trying a mix of shorter and longer videos, graphics that you create yourself, or gifs.
- Posts for engagement. People are on social media to get information, but also to engage and connect with others. If you can create posts that interact with your audience, you may be surprised to see the type of engagement you get. For example, using polls could be a great way to interact with your audience, especially if you’re asking for feedback on a business decision. Letting customers have a voice can help them feel more connected to your brand.
- Posts with company messages. Whether you’re releasing a new product or service offering, changing your hours, or offering some type of promotion, these messages can all go on your social channels. Today many people turn to social media for help before trying to call or email a company directly, so if you can be proactive in any messaging, it may help you out.
Find What Works for Your Business
Success on social media is going to look different for every business and industry. When you’re a small business, it’s easy to look at companies like Wendy's or Starbucks and want to replicate what they are doing on social media. Even the TSA has developed a strong presence online. What works for the larger companies may not fit your small business, and that’s ok. With so many social media challenges, memes, and more, it can feel like you can’t keep up. Play around with what works for your audience, and don’t worry about what doesn’t work. Whatever you experiment with, aim to have a consistent voice and message across all of your channels.
For a successful small business social media strategy, there is more to consider than just the best time to post. With new channels popping up, changing algorithms, it can be hard to keep track of it all. There are plenty of resources to help you out along the way, and revamp your strategy as needed to stay on top of the latest trends.
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