Three Smart Social Media Strategies for Small Business
As many small business owners discover, building a social media presence creates social obligations. Like actually updating your social accounts on a regular basis. Once the novelty factor of asking loyal customers to “like us on Facebook” wears off, where do you go next? Unfortunately, deciding you’ll “get round to it later” is about as strategic as creating a Happy Thanksgiving window display and leaving it up past New Year.
Ideally, you’ve found ways to highlight your business offerings, post about special offers and generally keep the lights on. Here are a few strategies that can help your posts pop more, or at least keep your content feed flowing.
Show, Don’t Tell, and Post Video Directly to Facebook.
Business News Daily calls video marketing on social media “accessible and affordable…. one of the best ways to reach your customers where they already are.” If you’re selling luxury goods, you may not want to start posting clips shot on your iPhone. But there are many types of business where video can make your social posts stand out.
There’s at least one good reason for that. Video posted directly to Facebook autoplay on people’s feeds, unlike YouTube-hosted videos that require you to press play to watch. But keep your content short (60% of viewers will stop watching by the two minute mark, according to this Hubspot guide) and don’t rely on people listening to your pitch. Upwards of 85% of videos on Facebook play without sound (Digiday).
What kind of video should you post? Consider a good, old fashioned product demo. Or, if your business is food based, check out the Instagram channel of Tastemade, an online network for foodies, for a little inspiration. This cupcake bakery makes great use of simple video.
Creating tasty food clips with the Instagram app is easy. And yes, you can add the same look-enhancing filters to video that you can use for stills. You can post to Facebook directly from Instagram, and your videos will autoplay in both locations.
Arrange a Friendly Takeover
You may not be a big enough business to need a social media manager. And you might not want your employees spending all their time posting socially on your behalf. But a fixed-term social media takeover can be a great way to generate content, by turning your feed over to a trusted employee for a week.
Obviously, this is not a strategy for the faint hearted, so start with an objective. Maybe you want to focus on a special event, highlight the contributions of a specific department, or share behind-the-scenes snaps that give potential employees a sense of your work culture. As this article suggests, takeovers that focus on the mission of the business can be powerful (and particularly relevant to non-profits).
Instagram is a popular platform for staff takeovers. What kind of small business staff-created content can you find on there? Bartenders at a bar, employees of a boutique skin care company, and someone from a specialized bike-part manufacturer (using simple shortform video, no less).
Not comfortable handing off the log-in info to someone else? Agree on a few guidelines, then have someone curate a week’s worth of non-time-sensitive content that you can post yourself (crediting the employee, of course).
Add More Holidays to Your Calendar
Find it easiest to create social content around events like the 4th of July or Valentine’s Day? There are a number of online resources listing various national days, pseudo-holidays and celebratory dates, including National Day Calendar, Days of the Year and Holiday Insights. If you find it easier to create posts for your business around the Holidays, and it fits with the tone of your business, simply unearth more holidays.
Does National Root Beer Float Day speak to you? Left Handers Day? National Waffle Day? If you’re short on inspiration between now and Labor Day, don’t spend the month of August twiddling your thumbs (anyway, there’s a day for that in February).
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