Social Media Problems (and solutions) for Small Businesses
Communicating in 2018 means it’s impossible to ignore the power of social media. Let’s talk common social media problems businesses face and practical ways to solve them!
Problems I hear:
What platforms should I be on?
How often should I post?
What should I post?
How do I build my audience?
I want to post more, but dang it’s hard to find time.
Questions to ask yourself:
What platform is my target audience mostly using?
How many platforms can I commit to doing well?
What platform is most aligned with the type of content I can easily create?
Can I automate my posts?
Do I already have content and assets created that I could use?
Is my content original, authentic, helpful, or entertaining? (Hint-if your content fits these categories your audience will build.)
Is my content appropriate for the platform I am using? (ex. content that mimics what people expect to see on that platform, for instance, on Instagram people expect photos, not heavy graphics)
1. Answer the questions above to help guide development of a strategy that works best for you and your schedule to maximize your time while reaching your target audience. I’m going to repeat that: do what works best for you.
2. Utilize your strengths: If you enjoy taking photos use those to guide your posts. If you don’t mind being in front of the camera try going live on Facebook or Instagram. If you enjoy writing consider sharing articles on LinkedIn. Use the medium you know how to communicate through.
3. Research when your target audience is online and what platforms they frequent more and schedule posts accordingly to increase engagement.
4. Automate when you can. Facebook let’s you schedule posts right within the platform. Hootsuite is just one example of a social media scheduler that allows you to plan posts across numerous platforms. If there is a recurring post type you could implement every week schedule those out for a month, then fill in with day-to-day happenings as they occur. Consistency is key to keeping your audience engaged.
5. Get to work! Stop waiting for tomorrow to implement a strategy. If you play to your strengths, set realistic goals, focus your time on the correct platform(s), and find ways to automate you will improve your social media presence. To help you get started check out this interesting data on social media use in 2018 from Pew Research Center.
For those of you who want some “tell it like it is” guidance on social media strategies check out Gary Vaynerchuk - heads up, he doesn’t pull any punches. His book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World is a great starting point.
Lastly, I get it. It's hard. I'm right there with you – time, content, knowing where to focus. Believe me, if I spent half the time implementing ideas I have you'd see my feed blowing up. I've spent an hour on a post I thought was super clever, only to have a picture of a lamb get better engagement. Try different things, check out your analytics, and have some fun with it. Remember in the end that the purpose of social media is to connect with others.
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Dana Gevelinger is the owner and designer at Gevelinger Design LLC, a company that helps companies build their brand through strategic graphic design.