Social media is a blessing for small business entrepreneurs to spread the word about their business without spending a huge amount of advertising dollars. Nevertheless, a majority of small businesses are not able to capitalize on this opportunity.
A recent ProOpinion poll found that many small business professionals don’t use social media or a social media calendar on a regular basis. Only 31 percent post frequently on social media, and what’s even worse, just 15 percent interact with their audience.
How to Rock Your Social Media Presence
1. Download or Create a Social Media Calendar
One of the most common excuses for not doing it is lack of time. This is why, every business should have a social media calendar. It takes up to 2-3 hours to plan social media updates for the entire week but it ensures you are not scavenging for posts at the last moment. So let’s take cues from industry experts and see what they are doing.
HubSpot recently published a post about social media calendars and also shared their own downloadable calendar template that allows you to plan posts for all major social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. LinkedIn, etc. in advance. You can use this template to minimize fuss over planning and creating a social media calendar.
Just a little side note though: their prescribed daily nine tweets, four Facebook posts and three LinkedIn updates is a bit too much to ask of a small business. In contrast, Constant Contact has a very realistic guideline that suggests 3-10 Facebook updates, 5 tweets and 2-5 LinkedIn posts per week, so feel free to keep some of those cells blank or tweak it as per your needs.
2. Proof Check
Once you fill up your social media calendar, get it proofread by someone. With social media goof-ups on the rise and people being less forgiving than ever, it would be a wise idea to proof read your social media content. Watch for defamatory, racist or politically incorrect posts. Forced humor is also a big no-no. See how IHOP’s strategy backfired after they tried to attract millennials with a series of body shaming posts. There are tons of posts on social media goof ups on the Internet and they teach you a lot about what NOT to do on social media.
3. Post Scheduling
Once you are done and sorted with the calendar, it would be time to schedule those posts! A lot of businesses opt for organic updates on trending topics but let’s face it, we can’t be consistently on Twitter or Facebook and Tweet or post all the time, all day long. A smart way to stay on top of your social media is to schedule your posts using Buffer or other scheduling apps. Buffer and Hootsuite offer free plans for small businesses too, so you don’t have to worry about spending your hard-earned money on something you might not be able to make optimum use of.
You can even automate all your good morning Tweets, mentions, birthday and thank you Tweets using a scheduling tool called Tweet Jukebox. This avant-grade tool comes with hundreds of ready Jukeboxes with pre-installed tweets, so you can schedule them and turn them over like an hourglass. Their Jukebox library contains holiday wishes, memorable quotes, music quotes, blogs and articles from industry leaders and so on, which you can tweet automatically. It also allows you to search by keywords — important people or search terms — and schedule Tweets shared by these people. This is automation at its best!
5. Social Listening Tools
Social listening tools are a great way to stay on top of all that’s trending. Listen to what bloggers, reporters, influencers and competitors are saying with the help of social listening tools and make sure you don’t miss out on opportunities. One useful tool is BrandWatch which analyzes Tweets, Facebook posts and blogs in real-time to track your brand perception and campaign performance. It’s one hell of a tool and large enterprises and local businesses alike can benefit from it. If you are looking for a free ride, try Scoop.it. It is an amazing tool to find relevant content and ideas, so you can fill up your social media calendar faster than you can say social media!
6. Business and World News
Also, keep an eye on important news with the help of various news resources. If you like your news in a more visual format, try Unfiltered News. It is a work-in-progress site serving news in a tasteful way. What I like about it is it doesn’t assume what a person will like to read and tailors content accordingly. Instead it shows all the important news from around the world and then you can choose what to read depending on what appeals to you the most. For instance, my daily news sources don’t show any news from Greece, not after its debt episode anyway, but since I am interested in the issue of immigration, I am drawn towards this news.
7. Social Analytics
Posting your updates and Tweeting is just half the job done; the second and the more important half is to measure the effectiveness of your posts with the help of analytics tools. Almost all social platforms (except Snapchat) come with powerful analytics tool that show you everything from demographics through to the hobbies of your followers. This knowledge can help you to further create a better social media calendar with more awesome posts. This e-book helps you capture the essence of Facebook analytics, paid as well as organic reach.
So these are the ways to rock your social media presence. Everyone from HubSpot to seasoned marketers are using these tips to boost their social media presence. From proofreading your posts through to social analytics, every aspect of your social media presence depends on how well you absorb these tips.
None of these tips to rock your social media presence are more important than another. They are all equally important, so make sure you commit them to your memory and follow them religiously.
Rock Photo via Shutterstock