This quote is from a fortune cookie I got 5 or 6 years ago. It’s been on my bathroom mirror since then. It’s a daily reminder that anything worthwhile is never as easy as I wish it would be.
This is my first blog post for precisely that reason. I’ve been wanting to start a blog but have been putting it off. When I made this my screensaver, I realized it was totally fitting for a first blog.
I’m a huge fan of podcasts and I particularly love the the ones that remind you to just get off your butt and do your thing, whatever that is. My thing is to inspire and teach small business owners like you to improve their social media presence. It can be so overwhelming but it’s one of THE most important things you can do especially if you’re a small business.
Enough backstory…here are 5 simple things you can start and stop doing TODAY to improve your social media presence…
STOP posting every day only about your business or your daily special.
Think of someone at a party who only talks about himself. Don’t be that person. Similarly, social media is not a bullhorn where you can just shout about yourself all the time. People start to tune out.
More importantly, earlier this year, Facebook changed their algorithm which decides how your posts get on your fans’ newsfeed. If you only talk about yourself, multiple times a day with little to no engagement, the number of people who Facebook allows to see your posts starts to decline.
Think about quality over quantity of posts. A good rule of thumb is 1 call-to-action post about you or your biz for every 9 posts.
START looking at your engagement.
So what should I post about? First look inward! Figure out which posts get the most engagement (comments and likes) and start doing more posts like that.
Just look at your last 20 posts and see which ones had the most comments and likes. Was it a photo or a video? Did it have a person in the picture. Hint: photos of people tend to do better.
Look at what day of the week and time it posted. You’ll start to see trends.
The image here is Facebook’s Insights. First click on “Insights” at the top of your page, then click on “Posts” in the left margin. You can look at “Post Types” to see what kinds of posts do best (photo, link, or video). And you can also look at “All Posts Published” which shows the reach and engagement of every post. Look for posts that have high engagement (post clicks, reactions, comments and shares).
START getting into the conversation.
Be engaged. Social media IS social, so you have to LISTEN to know what people are saying. This will put you ahead of the competition because most businesses don’t do this.
For starters, like or reply to EVERY comment that you get on your page. If it’s a question, …answer it honestly and quickly like this example from Wendy’s. If they hadn’t responded to this one tweet, it would have never set the record for most retweets EVER! True story.
Secondly, like/comment on and share other people’s posts that are relevant to your business and what your audience is interested in.
Do keyword searches on your business name and relevant topics. You can search right on the platform and you can also set up Google search for keywords. You’ll get a daily email with current news topics to choose from.
When you share a link, be sure to put your take on it; like why you think it’s worth their time to read it. I love following REI. The majority of their posts don’t have ANYTHING to do w/their products. They are speaking to their target through the topics that their audience cares about.
Just figure out what the conversation is and get into it.
STOP putting all those hashtags on every Facebook post.
There’s been so many studies on hashtags but a good rule-of-thumb is 1 to 2 on Facebook, 11 on Instagram and 1 on Twitter.
If you’re gonna use hashtags, be sure they are relevant and purposeful to the content you’re posting.
Do some research to find the ones relevant to you and your business.
I like to search for hashtags on Instagram and also use all-hashtag.com and hashtagify.me. Experiment to see what works for you.
START being yourself.
People don’t want just pretty posts and pictures, they want you – the real you which is what they relate to.
That means talking in your own voice the way that you would talk to a friend – not business speak.
This example from Applegate is great because they know their audience. They’re speaking to moms with kids with a cool video that
shows the sandwich builds. A (bad) alternative for the copy could read: “Try our delicious deli meat today” but who really talks like that?
Be friendly. Be conversational.
Read your post before you hit send and ask yourself if it sounds like you or a robot!
I hope that these suggestions inspire you to make a few changes to your social media pages. While it may seem overwhelming, forming these new habits are worthwhile in the long run.
If you are still unsure or need some help with social media, please send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from you.