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Social media can be a wonderful tool for small businesses when used properly. However, it is also easy to make one big mistake: not being social. Social media was built around people exchanging ideas and having conversations. If a business’ social media page is only communicating one-way, it is useless. It also sends the message your brand doesn’t care about its followers.

Choose the social media platform which supports your brand’s image. Entrepreneur magazine explains it is vital to use social media platforms your audience actually uses. This will not only make it easy for you to find the right people, but for the right people to find you. If your brand is all about the imagery, perhaps you’d want to create an Instagram account instead of a Facebook page. However, it is okay to have both platforms but only, if you can keep your brand’s story consistent and have the time needed to manage both pages.

Make your social media shareable and clickable. The content on your business’ social media should connect to your audience and be topics or ideas they want to share with their family and friends. should encourage your followers to share the posts with their friends and families. Your posts should encourage your followers to find out more about your brand. There should be easy and clear links to your business’ website throughout your content. This way you will not only be sharing your brand with more than your direct audience, but your audience will have access to more information about your products/services.

Keep it consistent. Your followers should be able to hear your brand’s voice through your social media posts. Social media can be creative and less stiff than your brand’s website. But it should also stay consistent with your brand’s story Your logo, slogan, and overall mission should be the same on every platform. If your story on your brand’s website is about empowering and education young people, that same story should be clearly stated on your social media as well.

Don’t be afraid to reply to your followers’ comments. Social media is meant to be two-way communication. Keep it professional, of course. But reply to your followers’ by thanking them for awesome reviews or addressing their concerns with more information about your services. This interaction shows you care about your customers and makes them more likely to recommend your business to others. They will also be more likely to use your services again, even if things might have not gone perfectly the first time.

Be honest and transparent. Be real with your followers. You will be getting comments from all different angles. Some will be positive and some will be negative. But don’t simply ignore the negative ones. Apologize if someone had a bad experience with your business and offer way you can do better next time. Be sure to explain any mistakes that you may make, even if this is as small as a typo on a previous post. People respect and appreciate honesty. It not only shows you care, but it creates a human connection in a world of automated responses.

Social media is a wonderful tool. It can help further your brand’s reach and allows you to hear feedback directly from the consumers. Just don’t forget to stay true to your brand’s story when using different platforms and always create personal connections with your followers.

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