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Social Network Management Strategy for Small Business | 8 Tips for Success

Managing Social Media for Small Businesses

Social media is so woven into our every day lives, it feels like it’s easy. I mean, if you’re on Facebook or Instagram, constantly sharing stuff about your life and kids, managing a social media account for your business or someone else’s business should be a piece of cake, right?

Wrong! Social media has now been around for more than a decade. And with that amount of time, there is now an entire cottage industry built up around it. There are social media schedulers, unlimited options for creating cool graphics and agencies devoted just to social media management.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t learn how to do this professionally. Because the good news is, you can. And, you can do it from your couch, too.

Having a social media presence is important if you want to reach your target market. It doesn’t matter if you are a work from home mom blogger, a small business, an online entrepreneur, or a large corporation. Networking your brand on social media is the best and quickest way to get your content in front of your audience.

Selling products online, whether it be crafts on Etsy, or printables on your blog means you are a small business, and you want to reach your target audience in order to grow your business.

Small business social networks might seem dubious but your target audience IS on social networks, and you have the perfect opportunity to communicate, connect, and form business relationships with them in a way that will allow you to be relevant in your customer’s minds when the time comes for them to be in need of your services.

This blog contains affiliate links to 3rd party sites where products or services purchased may result in paid compensation to this author.

According to a recent Pew Research Center report, nearly least two-thirds (65%) of all Americans are using social media. This report shows a 7% increase from 2005 to 2015. Now half-way into 2016 that number has likey continued to increase.

But knowing this, and knowing how to utilize the social networks for small businesses are two different things.

It can be both frustrating and confusing when beginning a small business social network page. Chances are you may have thought that you could just start a page like you began your social profile and within a few short weeks all of your hundreds of friends would be hundreds of followers and potential customers. And, chances are that didn’t happen and after months and months of work, you’ve thrown up your hands in disgust and said, “what’s the point?

The point is a business social profile operates differently than a personal profile. The networks have designed business pages, and business social accounts to operate differently than a personal account. Why? Because they recognize that a business is a potential profit earning source for their network. Therefore they are hoping you will pay them to get the word out about your brand or product.

But, as a small business owner your advertising budget is probably nill or next to nill. You have to be cautious and diligent about where you put your money and your time. So that leaves the question. How do you utilize the social networks as a small business and not go overboard spending ad dollars.

8 Tips for Small Business Social Networks

  1. Know that when you are starting out it takes time to build a following. Organic growth is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s quite difficult to go viral, even though it may not seem like it.
  2. Learn the difference between organic growth and paid growth. It is possible to build a following, inexpensively. You can run Facebook ads for as little as $1 a day.
  3. Learn before spending. Facebook offers free training in setting up your Facebook pixel, ads, audiences and much more. Learn this before spending, otherwise you’re just throwing spaghetti at the wall.
  4. Learn the different types of engagement. Beyond a page like or a post like, you want to be shared. Learn what makes your audience share your content.
  5. “Likes” don’t pay the bills. Remember that page likes or post likes are vanity numbers. You want to build a following, but you also want your followers to be in your customer audience, and they have to trust you. Getting memes shared means nothing if no one ever buys your products. Share relevant content to build trust.
  6. Use Networking Scheduling Tools and Apps to make your job easier. Canva and other graphic creation platforms offer templates with sizes already built in for optimization.
  7. You don’t have to be everywhere. By and large, senior citizens are not on TikTok. Many teenagers are. What are your audience demographics, and what social network serves your people?
  8. Stay away from Facebook share groups. Most long time bloggers and business owners agree that these are an outdated practice and a waste of time. These are Facebook groups where everyone drops a link, and the other group members go share it, like it, etc. It was popular 10 years ago, but not any more.

For small businesses start small, and as your following grows, let the number of times you post to your pages grow as well. Start with 3 posts per day, then progress to 5 posts per day. Ultimately, I think a regular presence on social networks is the best possible practice to interact with, inspire, and educate your followers. Posting every 2-3 hours around the clock, keeps a steady feed of information at the ready and increases the likelihood that your posts will begin to be seen.

Be Social on Social Media Networks

Keep in mind that a social network is first and foremost intended to be social. So, think about how you utilize Facebook as a user. Think about the kinds of Tweets that attract your attention. Consider which photos, memes and quotes are inspiring to you and share similar content to your own page. Last but not least, be authentic in sharing what truly represents you and your brand message.

It’s a good idea to mix up the kind of posts that you share. You want to share links to articles that are representative of your brand message. You want to share images (without links) that speak to your audience but also is true to what your company is about. You also want to share text only posts, that encourage interaction.

In all things, you want to provide your followers with a call to action. This can be done by suggesting a Like, a, Re-Tweet, a follow or other social media prompt. Be tasteful in your method but prompt followers in how to respond to your messages.

I hope these tips get you started down the right path. I have to say, I like using all the data and information that is available on the various platforms, and watching those numbers grow.