Social Media Secrets: Which Platform is Best for Your Small Business?

March 29, 2016 Alyson Owens

social media secrets

Fun fact:  71% of business owners  are using social media for brand awareness and you should be too. It’s free, simple, and can help grow your business - why wouldn’t you take advantage?

Okay, so say you’ve created a Facebook page for your business, now what? Do you only use Facebook? Do you create an Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, Vine? The list goes on and sometimes it can be overwhelming to keep up with the crowded social media world. The fact is that it’s not necessary to have your business present on every social platform. Depending on your industry, there are a few heavy hitters that you should utilize to interact with influencers, existing & potential customers, and industry professionals.

Not sure where to devote your precious time during the busy day? Fear not! We've uncovered all the social media secrets you need for your small business. We've decided to break down three major social media platforms and highlight their strengths and weaknesses.

Before we get into it, here are some overall best practices you should know for ALL social media:

  • Make sure your @ names and profile images are consistent amongst all platforms
  • Your profile image should be your logo or an image that is identifiable to your business
  • Post consistently amongst your pages that you’re trying to grow
  • Interact with your social community

Facebook

social media secrets

With 1.04 billion daily active users as of December 2015, Facebook reigns supreme in the social media world (basically the king or queen of social). On top of that, 70% of monthly active users are engaged and connected to a local business. This channel is key to any small businesses social media plan and can be utilized by essentially any industry.

Why You Should Use It:

There are endless ways to take advantage of Facebook’s platform, some of which include:

  • Share photos or videos of products, storefront, customers
  • “Show-off” your employees -- talk about their accomplishments
  • Post business milestones (Facebook has a feature that easily allows you to do this!)
  • Announce contests, rewards, or promotions  
  • Share articles or posts from influencers
  • Potential for great organic reach
  • Customers can easily leave reviews (Promotion idea: tell your customers if they leave a review, they will get X percent off their next visit)

The Do’s

The Don’ts

  • Share photographs, videos and links
  • Post consistently (3-5x per week)
  • Don’t bombard or spam your followers with posts (this may cause someone to unlike your page)
  • Encourage customers to leave reviews
  • Ignore customer inquiries or complaints on your page (good customer service is important!)
  • Promote your business, services and products
  • ONLY promote your business (share content from influencers, converse with your fans)

Twitter

social media secrets

Twitter, the real-time, 140 character limit social media platform that keeps users up to date and entertained around the clock. With over 302 million monthly active users, you are able to reach a huge potential audience at the push of a button.

Why You Should Use It

  • Share links to articles, your website, online marketplace, etc.
  • Share fun graphics, GIFs, or videos
  • Share images of your services, products or something clever to entertain your followers
  • Easily connect with influencers in your industry that can increase exposure to your page
  • Quick customer service (via direct messages)
  • Post offers, rewards and promotions
  • Quick updates for your customers (ie: store closing)

The Do’s

The Don’ts

  • Use hashtags to increase exposure and engagement
  • Use too many hashtags (or #HashtagsThatHaveNoSearchability)
  • Keep your posts under 140 characters
  • Break up one message into multiple tweets
  • Engage with your followers by asking them questions
  • Ignore your mentions. Your followers want to feel cared for
  • Retweet influencers or professionals in your industry
  • Heavily self-promote. Twitter is a great place to build a social community

Instagram

social media secrets

Over 400 million monthly active users log into Instagram each month to share photos and videos directly from their mobile device. Besides the typical food, dog or workout pictures flooding your stream, there are many businesses that utilize Instagram to share photos of their storefront, employees and products. A major plus about Instagram? You can easily share your photo to other social platforms like Facebook, Twitter & Tumblr (talk about killing multiple birds with one stone).

Why You Should Use It

  • Share different aspects on your business through photos. Show the background process of your services or products to engage clients (existing & potential)
  • Give your followers an inside scoop of your small business (ie: give a tour of your storefront or highlight a story about one of your employees)
  • Define your business’ brand 

The Do’s

The Don’ts

  • Post 2-5x per week
  • Post multiple times per day/in a row
  • Share clear, high-quality images/videos
  • Post graphics with a lot of text (your followers don’t want to read, they want to see engaging photos)
  • Use hashtags! (More engagement & exposure)
  • As with all social platforms, don’t over do it with hashtag (3-5 is a good range)
  • Follow other like-minded businesses & influencers
  • Don’t focus too much on your amount of followers, but the amount of engagements you’re receiving on your posts

About the Author

Alyson  Owens

Aly Owens is the Social Media Marketing Associate/Ninja at Booker Software and has a passion for engaging with the small business online community. From growing up in a small business family, she has a comprehensive understanding and appreciation for the SMB world. Before joining Booker, she managed social media at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, another one of her great passions.

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