Social media can be one of your business’s biggest assets or biggest blind spots. Establishing a consistent presence puts you in control of your message. It provides the opportunity to share exciting news and relevant updates in your own words and engaging visuals of your choosing. Without it, awareness of offerings and your brand’s reputation and relevancy could simply go outside of your control in the digital landscape. But once you dip your toes in the social media pool, you can quickly find yourself underwater in the deep end. To keep social media manageable for your business, you have to be strategic.
Make the most of the time you put into your social media presence by identifying the two best platform options that will help you achieve your goals. Avoid making assumptions about which networks are best and conduct research to gather information on user demographics before you decide. Sprout Social outlines key user information for the most popular social media platforms each year. For example, if your target audience is 40 years old and younger, LinkedIn, which is most popular among 46- to 55-year-olds is not the best option. Instagram or Facebook, however, could be highly beneficial.
Once you determine which platforms are best, identify five aspects of your business you want to spotlight in posts. Be strategic in your selections. Include popular services or offerings on your list, but also a few you want to see grow. A restaurant best known for its guacamole will likely not see the needle move significantly if it is pushed on social media because it is already wildly popular. It has reached the point where it sells itself. As a result, focusing more on a sandwich that is stellar in taste, but not yet in sales, is wise.
Before you begin posting, take note of revenue related to your starting five. Seeing how numbers change during the first three to four months will reveal what you are doing well and how you should adjust your efforts moving forward. Be sure you have a variety of photos to share and a professional website you can include.
While it may seem tedious, mapping out at least two weeks worth of posts you schedule in advance will save you time in the long run. Keep posts clear and concise, always adding a link to your website, unless you are using Instagram, which only allows clickable links to be featured in the bio section. Including your web address not only achieves the obvious result of driving traffic to your website, it also elevates the engagement rate on posts. The more engagements, such as link clicks, that are made, the more Facebook will serve the content to other users.
To easily monitor engagement, messages, reviews and more, download the platform’s app on your mobile phone and turn on push notifications so you can respond in a timely manner. If you’re using Facebook, use the Business Suite App. It allows you to separate your business page from your personal page and allows you to tend to inquiries with ease.
It is important to note that each platform has different parameters when it comes to imagery. Because of this, it is crucial that you size each one appropriately. Take Facebook, for example. It prefers to serve images that are 1200 x 630 pixels in size to its 2.7 billion monthly active users. Instagram, on the other hand, prefers square photos. You can easily make adjustments within the scheduling option you choose to use, whether it be within the social media platform itself or a third-party service like Sprout Social or Hootsuite. You can also leverage free cropping tools on your mobile phone or computer if you prefer.
It’s never too late to launch or take control of your social media presence. The sooner you begin, the sooner awareness of your business’s services or offerings will grow. And, if you are consistent and strategic with your postings, revenue could soon follow.
Murray Lace is a senior account manager for Obsidian Public Relations, working primarily in the food, restaurant and hospitality industries.