Social Media Best Practices for Small Business
We love working with small businesses to create content and build their following on social media platforms, but we recognize – especially if you’re just starting out you may not have additional resources to dedicate to contracting out your accounts just yet so we’ve put together a few top tips to get you rolling.
Schedule in Advance
We hear time and time again how time consuming keeping up with your social media content can be. Our best advice is to set aside some dedicated time, either for an hour at the start of your week or a couple of hours at the start of the month to plan out and schedule in your content to roll out on it’s own so you can take daily posting off of your already long list of to-do’s. Later and Hootsuite are both free if you only have a couple of accounts to manage and are pretty user friendly. Here are some sample content calendars we’ve worked on for our clients:
Know What Content Works Where
You may have heard of the term algorithm before and essentially it’s a formula each of the social media platforms use to dictate if your content is good determining the likelihood of whether or not it will show up in someone’s feed. There are certain types of content that perform better on each platform – here’s a quick run down.
- Do’s: Really pretty photography performs well here. The appearance of your grid is important – get some inspiration from this post with 10 Instagram Grid Examples to Creatively Level-up Your Feed. Instagram Reels is essentially Instagram’s clap back to Tik Tok – a new feature that we recommend playing around with and trying out – here are a few tips on how: Introducing Instagram Reels. Hashtags also help you appear in more places to audiences who may not yet be following you – check out popular local hashtags that are related to the industry you do business in and go to town – you can use up to 30!
- Don’ts: You cannot link share directly on instagram, followers won’t be able to click through to the content you’re linking to if you publish it in a post or in a comment. Instead we recommend using a tool called linktr.ee to display your links on a single page and publishing your linktr.ee profile to the website section of your instagram bio. Simply call out the fact that you have a related link to check out by using ‘#LINKINBIO’ in the post copy. It’s also recommended not to over share, 1 post per day is a great target, if you have a large event happening we’d recommend sticking to a max of 3 posts in a single day.
- Do’s: Article shares do really well on this platform. The key to twitter is to keep it short and sweet you have to keep it to under 280 characters but the shorter the better. This platform is also built for volume, so feel free to tweet and retweet as often as you like throughout the day.
- Dont’s: Hashtag use is also encouraged but don’t over do it. 2-3 hashtags are the max recommended for this platform. Popular twitter hashtags include: #yeg #yegbiz & #yegkids.
- Do’s: Publish video directly to this platform. You’ll get more views and better traction on a piece of video content by uploading it directly to the site rather than publishing a YouTube link. Although we don’t traditionally use hashtags on Facebook there has been some recent research supporting their use on the platform. Facebook’s demographic is a bit older than the Instagram crowd so resharing community focused articles and posting family friendly content are all recommended. You can link share directly on this platform.
- Don’ts: Similar to Instagram, it’s also recommended not to over share, 1 post per day is again a great target, if you have a large event happening we’d recommend sticking to a max of 3 posts in a single day.
- Do’s: As a professional networking site, linkedin is a great place to reshare work related articles, share in the successes of others working in your sector and publish any job opportunities you might have within your company. E-newsletters and other forms of informational articles are also worthwhile for this platform as link sharing is popular.
- Don’ts: Sales isn’t particularly geared towards LinkedIn, because you’ll more often be connected with colleagues rather than the general public. Stay away from posting about your upcoming sale, what stock you have in store or a home that you just listed on the market.
Engagement is Key
Once you’ve figured out what to post and which content goes where, engagement is the final piece of the social media puzzle that shouldn’t be ignored. We define engagement on social as:
- The time you spend replying to followers who’ve commented on your posts
- Commenting on relevant posts from other users
- And following new accounts to make and build those connections in the community
This is the part that should be done daily, if you’ve already scheduled all of your content for the week we still recommend checking back on your accounts at least once every 24 hours, spend some time engaging with your audience and finding new accounts to follow. This step will go a long a way in building your social media accounts long term.
Just a few quick and dirty tips to get you started. If you have questions or would like some help to step up your social media game please reach out!
About the Author
Principal & Founder, Bangel PR
Catherine has helped numerous corporations, not-for-profits and small businesses meet communications and publicity goals. She has also continued to use her television background to assist brands in producing their own stories through video and written content for internal, social media and other online use. Catherine has a Political Science degree from the University of Alberta and a Journalism degree from the University of Regina.