Instagram

Top 10 Small Business Social Media Questions Answered

     1. What are the 1-2 social media platforms my small business should be using? Why?

It really depends on the business, but Facebook is always a good bet. Twitter can used as a good customer service-type resource. If your brand is product-based and very visual, Instagram is definitely a good platform to be on.

Of these three largest social media platforms, Facebook is a solid choice, especially since it shows up often in search pages.

     2. Does my small businesses need social media to stay relevant? Why?

Absolutely. Many people use social media not only to communicate, but for research. If your social media isn’t updated, many people assume you’re no longer in business. People search for mentions and reviews a lot of the time.

     3. What should I post on my social media channels?

Post content relevant to your brand and industry. Are you a dog groomer? Post content about DIY dog grooming tips, ways to prevent fleas/ticks/heartworm, funny videos and recipes you can make for your dogs. If you’re a CPA, post content about tax season, money dos and don’ts, and updates about your practice. A good rule of thumb is to post content that you know your audience will love.

     4. How often should I post?

It really depends on your brand and what you’ve been doing so far. If you have a larger audience, you can post more often. If you’re just starting out, start slow, but be consistent. A good place to start is 3-4 times a week and tweak that number as needed.

     5. Is there a best time to post? What time is it?

Again, it really depends on your brand. Generally, good times to post are between 8-10am and 7-9pm for Facebook, 12-2pm for LinkedIn, 1-3pm for Twitter and anywhere between 7-10pm for Instagram. Again, these are just averages. The best times to post vary widely by audience.

     6. How do I get more followers?

See #3. Post consistent content often, respond to your audience, and always be human.

     7. Why is it taking so long to get more followers? How can I grow a following faster?

Growing your followers takes time. Nothing happens overnight. You could buy followers, but that will actually do more harm than good. Give yourself at least 90 days to start seeing results. Listen to your Grandma - Good things come to those who wait.

     8. How many followers do I need to make X amount of sales?

This is a great question! While it would be totally ideal to attribute reaching X amount of followers to sales, it’s not quite that easy. Tying sales to a social media post is very difficult. Don’t use social media to make sales, instead, use social media to build awareness and make people want to buy from you.

     9. Isn’t social media just for online businesses? Should local businesses care about social media? If so, why?

Nope! Social media is for everyone! Big businesses, small businesses, start-ups, nonprofits and even personalities can benefit from social media. Local businesses should especially care about it. When utilized correctly, it’s a great way to reach the community and increase brand awareness.

     10. I’m working so hard to grow X platform, but my followers and/or engagement is decreasing - why?

It could be a number of things. You could be posting at inopportune times, you could be posting irrelevant copy, or you could come off as fake and boring. The best thing to do is test your content. Trial and error is a necessary process of building your social media following.

3 New Instagram Updates You Need to Know

Instagram is more than just an app to me. It’s a visual based tool that can increase brand awareness and let users engage with brands on a deeper level than Twitter and Facebook. As with all social media, it’s important to keep up with changes and updates as they roll out. Here are the three latest Instagram changes and how they’ll affect you.

Hashtag Rule Change

Instagram has changed the way they display images in the hashtag search!

Old Way: You could edit the hashtags in your images and the change is updated in the hashtag search.

New Way:  Only the original hashtags in the post will show up in the hashtag search. You could edit the hashtags, but it won’t reflect in the hashtag search.

What This Means for You: Now you’ll have to be more precise with your hashtags. If you miss a hashtag by accident, then that post will have to live without it. Instagram has now prioritized the time of the posting over the hashtags.

Why the Change? Unfortunately, spammers have ruined it for the rest of us. The Instagram users that repeatedly put in the maximum amount of hashtags and constantly update them have caused the rule change. While the rule change makes it more difficult for small businesses to post to Instagram, it also stops the spammers.

Hashtag Emojis

You can now use hashtags with emojis!

Old Way: You could only hashtag text.

New Way: You can hashtag text AND emojis!

What This Means for You: Speaking from a brand perspective, this doesn't really benefit small businesses when it comes to hashtag searches. However, this comes in handy to display more personality into your posts. I can’t wait see the fun posts and different uses for this new feature!

New Instagram Filters

Instagram rolled out three new filters! Rusty offers a faded look, Lark emphasizes blue and green hues and Juno brings out warmer colors.

Old Way: You only had 19 filters to choose from.

New Way: You now have 22 filters to choose from!

What This Means for You: More filters to choose from! Variety is the spice of life and Instagram is giving users more options to spice up their photos!

There ya have it folks, the latest and greatest updates from Instagram!  Whether you use it for personal, business or both, remember to utilize the changes when posting.