As if being an entrepreneur isn’t intimidating enough, bring on social media for your business. We know it can feel daunting when you first begin to use it because social media is so different when promoting your business than it is when talking to friends or family. Although you might feel overwhelmed at first, it’s important to realize that there are several steps you can take to make the process of creating the online & social media brand for your business easier.
Not All Social Media Networks are Equal
One of the biggest things to remember is that you don’t have to be everywhere, especially when first starting your business. You’ll want to identify the right channel and develop the voice or persona that most fits your business. YOU have the control of your social media accounts, and using these tools will only help your business grow.
First, think about your target audience. Where do they spend time online? This can vary depending on your customer’s demographics, including age, education, job type, and things like that. By clarifying your target audience, you’ll be able to better hone your focus on the social channels where they are. There’s no need to talk to an empty space, right?
This infographic is especially helpful for considering the differences in who uses different social media platforms. For example, Twitter is predominantly male, while Instagram is predominantly female. Differences like this are important to consider when prioritizing which social media network to use for your business.
Take it One Social Network at a Time
Remember, you CAN focus one social media channel at a time. Especially if it’s for your small business, you may not have the time or the manpower to be on every possible media platform. This means you need to be diligent in keeping your focus! Choose a platform or platforms that are going to work best for your business and engage the most with your specific audience. You don’t have to take on more than you can manage, and spending your time and energy on making sure one specific platform reaches its best potential audience is perfectly okay.
Create a Content Calendar or Plan
Another thing that is helpful when tackling social media is creating an editorial calendar. It’s an essential part of creating an efficient process for your social content. Not only will you be able to schedule things ahead of time and correlate them with things like holidays or other significant dates, but you’ll find that it’s less stressful for you in the long run when you have things planned out in advance. Organization is key! Scheduling is a great solution so you can spend 1-2 hours a week researching, planning and scheduling your social media posts each week, them monitor and engage throughout the week.
How to Schedule Social Media Posts: What to Use, How Often and When
- Facebook – you can schedule posts within your page. Schedule 1 post per day, and certainly no more than 2 posts is the norm. You can use other tools to schedule and post to Facebook, but your reach will be better when you use the native Facebook platform.
- Twitter – you can schedule using tools like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Sprout Social and others. Hootsuite and Tweetdeck have free options. Schedule 3 or more posts per day. You can break them up for morning, afternoon and early evening, too.
- Instagram – scheduling tools for Instagram have changed recently since it’s opened up a little bit more to developers. Latergramme, which is now Later.com, and Hootsuite both have options to schedule posts for Instagram. Still, publishing is done through the Instagram App itself. Suggestions we’ve found are to post several times a day on Instagram.
- LinkedIn – you can schedule using Hootsuite and similar platforms. In Linked you should post only a few times a week, to no more than once a day.
Social Media is Talking to People, not At Them
A final consideration is that social media is for dialogue, not monologue! It’s a great way to connect with your customers and get them excited about your products or services, so be sure to treat it that way. Think about the content you’re putting out there, about what your customers might want to see. And, write things that will get them to pay attention and interact with you.
In addition, do not be afraid to ask for help! If you’re worried about the technological side of things, ask someone who is familiar with the platforms to give you a hand. You can still guide them in the creation of your brand voice and social media persona while leaving the actual task of posting or scheduling to them.
GROW Can Help!
Want to learn more about using social media for your business, or marketing your business in general? GROW offers the Small Business GPS: Marketing Strategies Cluster regularly, and we often have different classes to support our clients. Contact us with any questions and be sure to visit our events calendar for all upcoming classes.