how to manage social media for small business

How to manage social media for small business

Table of Contents

If you are new to using social media for business then it might seem pretty daunting. How do you go from a few likes to thousands of followers? How do you then convert those followers into customers?

In this guide for how to manage social media for newbies I am going to share some tips to make it not only easy, but successful too. 

Why manage social media?

Before we dive into how to manage social media for newbies, let’s just look at the main benefits of social media marketing.

Benefit 1: Volume

There are 2.7 billion Facebook users, 1 billion Instagrammers and 680 million on TikTok. That’s a pretty large audience you could be reaching and sharing your brand with.

We know the old phrase ‘market to everyone and you market to no one’ but check the next benefit.

Benefit 2: Target

You can target certain people on social media by adding relevant hashtags to your content and interacting with your target audience. When you have found out where your audience (virtually) hang out, which profiles they follow and the sort of conversations they are having you can start to join in. 

Benefit 3: Free

Social media is free. Of course there are ways to pay to play, and increasingly algorithms are changing to make payment more necessary. However, there are lots of ways to use socials without spending a penny.

How to start to manage social media?

  1. Join social media

Firstly, you’ll want to decide which social platforms are right for you. If you are B2C (business to consumer) you are likely to want Facebook and Instagram. If you are B2B you will be suited to LinkedIn. That isn’t to say that you can’t do all of them, you just need to work out the right, relevant message you want to share with your audience.

For example:

A small clothing retailer will be best suited to Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest over LinkedIn. Someone on LinkedIn is likely connecting with other professionals, talking about politics and business. If you crop up with your new clothing line you are unlikely to capture the audience.

However, you might set up a LinkedIn company page where you can share business related news and updates. Such as some press you have had.

Keep the fashion pictures to the B2C platforms, where people are hanging out not during work hours.

  1. Make your profile attractive

Whichever platform you are using for your social media make it look attractive.

Use the correct size header images and profile photos. Make sure they are quality and say something about your brand. A nice looking profile will encourage follows and build brand trust.

  1. Create a Content Calendar

Before you start posting, you need to think about your strategy. I’d suggest starting with a content calendar. On this calendar plot key dates that you think your brand needs to be a part of.

For example, if you are an author you might want to do some activity around World Book Day. If you are a small business selling handcrafted chocolate then national chocolate day could be one for you.

There is quite literally a day for everything.

Other things you might add to your content calendar is the copy for each post, the image and the hashtags (if using). You may even have a column on your calendar for ‘Why’ or ‘Who’. This helps you to keep your head clear as to why you are writing each post and who you are targeting.

Remember, you will need a different post for each platform. What you write for Facebook is likely to be very different from what you write on LinkedIn. Not to mention Twitter with a 280 character limit.

You could schedule your content calendar week by week or month by month.

Here are some headers for your content calendar

  1. Image
  2. Copy (Column for each platform)
  3. Hashtags
  4. Why am I posting this
  5. Who am I targeting

4. Schedule

There are lots of different scheduling websites, such as Later and Hootsuite. This frees up your time by allowing you to just sit down once a week scheduling your content, rather than being on socials every day.

On the scheduling software you can upload everything from your calendar and decide the day and time to publish.

Here is where you will want to think about the best time to reach your audience.

Are you targeting new mums, if so you might think about scheduling content in the middle of the night when they are likely to be awake.

If your audience is professionals then think about posting outside working hours or at lunchtime.

I have previously been a social media manager for a recruitment agency. I used to post job adverts on socials on a Monday around 6pm when my audience would likely be leaving the office and commuting home.

5. Test and Analyse

You might not get the scheduling quite right to start with, that’s fine. I would suggest that you do lots of A and B testing.

This means that you try one week posting at a certain time, then the next week a different time. You might even play around with various text and tone of voice to see what gets the most engagement.

When you come to analyse your social media engagement you might notice trends. You’ll be able to see how a post got more interaction one time over another. Also play around with different images in the same way to see what gets your audience’s attention.

On Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram you can see your business insights. From a little time looking at this you will be able to work out trends.

At first though, it is mainly just test, test, test!

  1. Keep the momentum up

Once you have started posting on socials you need to keep up with your posting. You don’t need to share something every day, but you need to be consistent otherwise you will slip through the cracks.

Just a few good posts a week should be enough if you don’t have lots of time.

Remember, just as you can under do it, you can overdo it.

Don’t appear too often in people’s news feed, particularly with irrelevant content as they will find the unfollow button looks a little too tempting!

  1. Avoid bots!!!

I can’t stress this enough. AVOID BOTS. Yes, 1000 followers in a week sounds great but at what cost? Instagram particularly punishes profiles who have bots installed.

These bots include anything which:

  • Auto comments
  • Auto replies
  • Auto follows
  • Auto unfollows
  • Auto messages

All of this is spammy and you will be punished by having your profile hidden, or even taken down. It really isn’t worth it. Plus it’s annoying to be the other end of the bot and you will likely find you are following largely irrelevant people.

What are the best tools to manage social media?

Knowing how to manage social media, means knowing how to automate a few processes, so using social media tools is going to make your day to day management of social media much easier. Here are a few tools to look at, mostly they are free with paid upgrades which you may not need.

  • Hootsuite
  • Later
  • Buffer
  • Sprout Social
  • Social Pilot

Is it easy to manage social media?

When you have a strategy in place and take time to create posts and assets then managing socials can be a breeze. A lot of people ask us how to manage social media for their small business as if it is something foreign, but it can be as easy as just getting started.

However, if you are already time poor then you might be best looking for someone to manage social media for you.

How much should I pay someone to manage my social media?

If you have read through this blog and aren’t keen on managing your own social media, then you can hire someone to do it for you.

How much you pay will depend on their skills and experience and how much you need from them.

The price could range anything from £10 an hour to £50.

If you do decide to pay someone to manage social media make sure that they understand your brand and your business goals.

Social media is a great way to reach your customers, share your brand and show yourself as a thought leader. Need some help or find out how social can work with SEO too? See how we can help you.

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