Whether you’ve heard the term or not, every small business needs a “social media strategy.” Like you would outline any advertising strategy or campaign, establishing a clear guide and list of your posts’ expectations can help you get the ball rolling. For some, this may be a matter of figuring out how often you want to post. For others, this may mean setting parameters around the content you want and identifying other accounts for inspiration. Both are important components of building a strategy, but neither can exist without the other. Even if you want to leave your accounts open to “inspiration,” it can help to select weekly goals for how many posts you need to make and a theme to unite them.
Figure Out Your TimingThere are different expectations for different platforms. The most successful Twitter accounts post 2-3 times a day, where the best Instagram accounts post 4-5 times a week. If you post less than this, the algorithms that run these sites are less likely to promote your content organically. This means your posts are less likely to show up on your followers’ feeds because your account seems to post too irregularly. Moreover, with a site like Instagram, it’s essential to interact with all of its features. Try to post daily stories, create reels when you can, and post content to your “grid” 4-5 times a week. Although it can seem like a lot of pressure to post frequently, once you know how many posts you need a week, it becomes easier to keep your eye out for inspiring content. On Friday, when you know you need one more post, you’ll be more likely to snap a photo of your restaurant’s special. Similarly, when Saturday rolls around for your salon, you may be motivated to take a picture of a client’s great cut!
Create a Feast For Their EyesMost people know that “we eat with our eyes first,” but today, it might be time to change the saying to “we shop with our eyes first.” Many small businesses have started advertising on Instagram and Facebook, where their ads need to be beautiful. While you may be tempted to stick to your branding or only look to your competitors for inspiration, remember that you have no idea who your followers are following. Imagine that every ad or post you make will have to compete with striking vacation photos, art exhibits, and intense culinary creations. There, it’s not only a matter of “sticking out” in this beautiful crowd but also making sure your content can keep up. Take the time to read up on photography tips or figure out how to include your logo in a post properly. Cutting corners is a terrible idea in today’s social mediascape, where influencers often have entire teams photographing, editing, and curating their content.
Engage With Your AudienceIn this day and age, “impressions” are a new form of currency. Impressions are essentially a way to measure your posts’ success and include “likes,” “comments,” and “views.” Each is tied to the other and will affect whether your post shows up on user’s explore pages — meaning your content could show up to people who aren’t already following you and potentially go viral. There are some hacks to creating engaging posts, like creating contests and giveaways. When a salon hosts a giveaway or a restaurant holds a contest for a free three-course meal, people get excited. Your followers will do what they can to enter, and as long as you can offer a cost-efficient item, you may end up getting a lot of free press from your giveaway. Typically, these “events” have a few requirements:
- As the business owner, you would create a “flier” or post that explains what users will win to get them excited about your giveaway (try using a super delicious photo as a background).
- You would need to explain the rules either on the post or in the caption. There, explain that users can enter by sharing the post to their stories and tagging a friend in the comments below.
- Make sure to require that the winner has to be following you.