Social media is one of the more mysterious marketing spaces for small business owners. Why? Two things.
1) There are so many channels. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and so many more serve a variety of purposes in the small business marketing toolbox. Which should you choose to use? The options are endless.
2) It’s time consuming. Once you find the right social channels for you and develop a social media strategy for your small business, finding the time to create content, post it, and stay engaged isn’t easy for someone whose priority is running a business.
Engaging with your social audiences shouldn’t be a chore. It simply requires a bit of creativity and finesse.
Here are 11 ways you can engage with your social audience without spending hours battling writer’s block.
1. Shamelessly steal the day-of-the-week hacks.
Whether it’s Motivation Monday, Taco Tuesday, Workout Wednesday, Throwback Thursday, Flashback Friday, Small Business Saturday or Sunday Funday, there are endless options for day-of-the-week themed posts. Feel free to lean on one of these popular themes when creating your posts, and don’t forget the hashtag.
2. Find your voice with video.
Many a marketer remembers a time when if you wanted to explore video posts, they required at least one to two minutes of high-production, perfectly lit, professionally engineered video content to be taken seriously. Thankfully, those times are long gone. Developments like Snapchat and Facebook Live prove consumers are happily devouring transparent, real-time, easy-access video content from their favorite brands, regardless of the production value. Ten to fifteen seconds will do the trick.
3. Make some friends, and share their content.
Social media consumers care less about where content came from and more about what value it brings to them. See another business or even a customer post something you love? Don’t be afraid to share it! Pro tip: If you do this for adjacent businesses in your market that do similar, but not the same, work as you do, you can earn some serious goodwill in the form of returned shares down the line.
4. Ask for input.
Instead of pushing content, pull some from your most loyal fans. Ask a question you think will get them excited, and engage with those who respond by commenting back.
5. Share helpful how-to tips and on-the-house insights.
Think about some of the most common questions you get from customers, either before or after your work is done. Run a salon? Answer the age-old question for how often people should actually shampoo their hair. Work in dentistry? Provide tips on regular oral hygiene – “To floss, or not to floss…that is NOT the question.”
6. Announce exciting news, like product releases and special promotions.
These should be easy to come up with, since you will know best what’s going on with your business. Share these in short, simple terms, so they stand out in social feeds.
7. Snap quick photos of your team in action.
Like video content, pictures really are worth a thousand words. Snap some behind-the-scenes, incognito shots of your business at work, and show the social sphere what you’re all about! This can also help with recruitment, if you’re able to showcase a fun work environment.
8. Create contests or challenges.
The fitness industry loves this one, because it just works. (Ever been tempted to complete a 10-day plank challenge just because others were doing it? Case in point.) Create a contest or challenge that’s relevant to your business, and watch as consumers get in on the action. If you want this to have a real shot at engaging your target audience, make it creative and offer an incentive or raffle for those who participate. A free introductory service or consultation should do the trick.
9. Learn to repurpose evergreen content.
In the content marketing world, we have something we call “evergreen content.” That’s the stuff that’s immediately popular, that we can use and reuse over and over again. After all, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Pro tip: Instead of sharing this content the same way each time, change it up just a tad to fit the season or a specific topic of interest.
10. Solicit ratings and reviews.
Chances are, those who follow your business on social media are already customers, if not fully loyal fans. Ask them to take your relationship to the next level by submitting a rating or review of your business on popular online listings sites. Don’t forget to include the link!
11. Schedule your social media posts in advance.
If you really want to save time, consider scheduling your posts out in advance. There are tools that will do this for you across multiple platforms, saving you hours upon hours and headaches upon heartaches. Some small business social media automation favorites: