Hey there, Rachel here! Last month I joined the wonderful PFM team as a creative content producer. As you may have guessed from the job title, I am obsessed with almost everything to do with design. Although graphic design has my heart, I love experimenting in other creative areas such as rug tufting, painting, sewing…the list goes on. This love developed into a small business last year which is where the real learning process began!
Social media is something we all use and are comfortable with in our day-to-day lives. When you’re starting out as a small business, social media can be a key step to ensure success is around the corner…but only if you’re using it correctly. As well as being completely free to use, there are almost double the amount of active social media users browsing different social channels each day compared to just five years ago. So why should small businesses let this opportunity go to waste?
On average, each user spends around 2.5 hours scrolling per day, although the screen time feature on my iPhone has let me know on numerous occasions that my scrolling time is much higher than this – oops. These few hours offer an incredible opportunity for you to grow your business by building brand awareness, connecting with your audience or even making direct sales through different channels.
Having some experience running a small business, here are some tips I’ve learned along the way on how best to utilise social media for your business!
1. Choose your platforms
To ensure you’re using social media effectively for business, I cannot emphasise how important it is to do some research! It can be easy to assume which social platforms your target market is using regularly, but you may be shocked when you get down to the nitty gritty figures.
For example, you may assume that the average age of Facebook users is between 35-55. With this thought in mind, you may be inclined to skip over this platform when trying to reach a younger demographic and jump straight into both Instagram and TikTok. However, according to Digital 2021, surprisingly almost a quarter of Facebook users are aged 18-24.
It’s always great to start on the platform(s) your desired audience are using and build from there. That’s not to say you cannot and should not use other social platforms as well! Trialling new platforms and different channels can be great for expanding your audience and meeting different business goals. The beauty of social media is that you don’t need to take an all-or-nothing approach: experimenting can be fun, insightful and is all part of the process.
2. Consistency is key
No matter what you may be selling or what service your business is offering, posting consistently will help build strong relationships with your target audience. This doesn’t mean you’ll constantly need to bring out new products and offer new services every other day: posts can simply be about keeping your audience in the loop. Sharing what’s going on behind the scenes, resharing products and services you already offer or even having some fun and jumping on board with current trends can help create a buzz and build excitement.
Basically, don’t go radio silent and disappear completely! With all this being said, I believe it’s also necessary to touch on the importance of keeping your audience’s current needs in mind. Making sure you are up-to-date with what is going on in the world (especially within your target audience) is key as social media is constantly changing. What might have worked last year or even last month may not work today!
3. Have fun and be creative!
In my opinion, coming from a background and love for all things design, this is arguably the most important tip when it comes to posting on social media as a small business. You’ve got to be loving the content you’re creating and putting out into the world for everybody to see.
Now more than ever with how many posts we see per day, it’s clear to users when a brand hasn’t put thought into their content. These posts will be met with a quick swipe of the finger and likely never to be viewed again! If you’re not enjoying creating your content then you can’t expect viewers to engage.
As I mentioned before, it’s not a secret that social media is constantly evolving. With this comes each individual platform adding new features for us to creatively play about with. Even switching between static imagery, video, carousels or interactive polls can do wonders and keep the creative juices flowing…just have some fun with it!
Need some inspiration for your social media marketing? To get a complimentary audit of your current social strategy, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.