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 Ways Businesses Should Spring Clean Their Online Presence

When the sun starts shining a little more often and the flowers begin to bloom, many of us get into “spring cleaning” mode around our homes.

We get rid of any junk, we make necessary updates and we just sort of “polish” things from top to bottom.

Well, I’m here to tell you that, for small business owners, this springtime clean sweep shouldn’t only happen at home. It should also happen in your business.

And even if you work from home, or if your office is completely neat and tidy, chances are, there are some elements of your online presence that could use a little freshening up.

To be honest, things change so often online that we really should be looking to make necessary updates on a quarterly basis. But either way, doing a thorough spring cleaning to your online presence is a great place to start!

Here are 3 ways small businesses should spring clean their online presence in 2017:

Dust off the “welcome mat.”

I like to think of your “online welcome mat” as the the first step someone takes before walking through your front door (literally if you’re a local business -- if you’re an online business, it’s what they do before reaching out or engaging with your offers).

Essentially, it’s how people know how to contact you.

Of course, you should have this information on your site, and all of that should be accurate. But you should also make sure the information on your Google listing, your Facebook, your Instagram and other social media is thorough, seamless, consistent and up to date.

Surprisingly, I see tons of businesses with old addresses and phone numbers listed. I’ve even tried to contact a business before using the phone number listed on their site. only to discover that they don’t allow incoming calls! Seriously!?

Take some time to go through each page of your website and scour your social presence for information that needs updating.

Make sure you don’t miss anything by downloading my Online Presence Spring Cleaning Checklist, available here in my resource library.

Clean up the details and refresh the “decor."

Here we’re talking about all elements that make your business look clean, professional and captivating online.

Now is a great time to update images and other visual components of your branding, and to make sure it’s consistent everywhere online.

I’m giving you full permission to delete old, low-res or blurry photos (even if they have likes and comments), erase old tweets and take down links that are no longer relevant to your business or brand.

Additionally, check to see that you’re communicating clearly, consistently and accurately on your site, via email and on social media. There's no better time than now to refresh the message you’re sending to your online audience! It may seem obvious, but lots of businesses let this stuff sit on the back burner for way too long.

Connect with people who will appreciate your cleaned up space.

When you wrap up spring cleaning your home, your first thought probably isn’t to invite your rowdy neighbors over for a house party.

Take this same approach once you’ve put in the work to clean up your online presence. Connect with people who will appreciate the effort you’ve put in -- people who find your business and brand valuable.

The best way to attract the kind of online audience that will actually help you grow your business is to interact with current and prospective customers, as well as industry influencers and thought leaders on social media.

Of course, you also want to be putting out value-driven content that will resonate with the type audience you want to attract. Share helpful tips, ideas, entertaining videos -- anything that aligns with the mission of your business and brand.

If you’re unsure about what type of content you should post, simply ask yourself, “What does my ideal client/customer need to know or understand before deciding to do business with me.”

You can even share this information via video. And it doesn’t need to be fancy. You could go live on Facebook and share a few quick tips. This sort of content can grow your reach on social media and attract the right type of clients/customers in record time.

Spend a full day or two spring cleaning your online presence. I promise it will be time well-spent since you’re likely to see better results from your overall marketing efforts.

Download the Online Presence Spring Cleaning Checklist so that you don’t miss a single important step. Plus, I’ve even included a few bonus tips and organized the entire list so you know exactly what to do first.

Grab your free Checklist in my Resource Library here.

6 Secrets For Stress Free Social Media Success

No doubt, social media is one of the simplest, most affordable ways to market your small-medium business. That is, if you know how to direct your time and effort.

Without a clear focus on the activities that truly matter, social media can quickly become a confusing and overwhelming time-waster.

That’s why in this post, I’m sharing six pro tips to help you focus your time and effort effectively on social media.

  1. Keep your page alive with a posting schedule.

Posting consistently is, hands down, the highest impact social media activity.  

Even if you do nothing else, posting consistently lets people know you’re open for business -- so if they stumble upon your profile, they won’t have to wonder.

Having an active page (on all of your primary social media platforms) also sends the message that you’re around and, therefore, worth engaging with.

To keep your page alive, decide on a few days per week to post (most businesses can get away with posting every three days or so). And show up with quality content on those days each and every week.

People will appreciate the consistency and it’ll build trust with an audience of your ideal clients/customers.

2. Engage with your audience.

You don’t need some fancy approach to connect with your online audience. Keep it simple by promptly replying to reviews and messages.

Hint: if you’re DIY-ing social, allow notifications on your phone or set a reminder to check your page 2-3 times per day.

Businesses that engage with their social media following on a routine basis can also get away with posting less frequently. Users will see your recent activity, so they’ll know you’re around and open for business.

3. Plan ahead.

To get ahead with social media, you’ve got to have a plan in place.

Start by picking a slow day or setting aside some time on the weekend. Spend an hour finding or creating sharable content your audience will like. Then, schedule it for the upcoming week.

If you’re only posting 2-3/week, you may not even need the full hour.

Here’s my super-savvy step-by-step plan to help you schedule 3-5 posts in less than 30 minutes:

  1. Use a tool like Feedly or a number of other resources to collect content that might interest your audience.

  2. Spend 5-10 minutes selecting 2-4 articles you think your audience would like.

  3. Write captions (or copy/paste a couple sentences from the article to really save time!), this should take no more than 5 minutes.

  4. Schedule the articles to post with your captions throughout the week. Again, this probably won’t take more than maybe 5-10 minutes.

  5. Create + schedule 1-2 original posts.

Want more help handling each step with less time and effort? My resource library has step-by-step guides that go deeper, get access here.

4. Manage efforts with free tools, or hire a pro.

There are tons of great tools out there to help you systematize and automate many of your social media management efforts, so that you don’t constantly have to think about it.

In a recent post, I covered my favorite tools for any business DIY-ing their own social media presence. Many of the tools are free or super-affordable. Check them out here.

Or, you could outsource your social media management. That way, you don’t even have to think about it. If that option sounds like it might be a fit for you, let’s chat.

5. Understand that some “time-savers” are actually a total waste.

The biggest mistake I see small-medium businesses making in an effort to save time on social media is automatically publishing on specific post across multiple platforms.

A common example of this is automatically posting Instagram photos to Facebook and Twitter. Since the content and conversations on each platform vary, an automatic posting strategy just looks lazy.

When you regurgitate information, you’re not giving your audience intentional value. And you’re likely to lose their interest and engagement.

6. Consistent efforts make it worth it

By now, you may have heard me say this, but I just have to say it again:

Social media takes time.

A lot of businesses are surprised when they don’t see instant results. In fact, many give up after just 30 days.

I think that’s a shame. A whole lot of wasted potential.

Think of it this way, it took time to hone your craft or perfect your product, right?

Building and engaging an online audience also takes time.

But if you stick with these six tips, and exercise a little bit of patience, social media has the power to be an amazing, and virtually stress-free way to market your business.

I want to know, what’s the most stressful thing about using social media for your business? And which tip will you apply first for some “fast relief”? Share your answer in the comments below.