Top 3 Social Media Questions from Small Business Owners, Answered
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What We’ve Heard You Ask, Answered in a Simple Way to Understand
You know you need to be on social media, but choosing the platforms, the content, the frequency, and troubleshooting can quickly grow into a complex combination of variables. These three questions cover the top concerns we see most small business owners facing.
We’re never one to leave you without a solution, so we’re giving you the knowledge you need to get started.
Question #1: What Platforms Should I Be On?
The classic question! Your chosen platforms come down to your audience, because your target customer will tell you everything you need to know. This means it’s time to focus on your marketing personas. If you don’t have personas created, these are the characteristics to consider:
• Marital Status
Once you know those points, it’s time to match them to the right platform. Every platform has its core user base, helping guide you to the right choice.
• Millennials are on Instagram.
• Gen Xers and Baby Boomers are on Facebook.
• Gen Zers are on Instagram and Tik Tok.
• Tech and journalism are on Twitter.
• Designers, foodies, and fashion lovers are on Pinterest.
• Creatives and educators are on YouTube.
You’ll also want to consider the type of content you have to share. If you don’t have the right content for a specific platform, then you’ll want to choose a platform that does.
Or, invest in content creation for the platform that fits your audience best.
• Facebook favors native video and articles.
• Instagram favors visuals, like photos, video, and design.
• YouTube requires video.
• Pinterest favors articles with high-quality images.
• Twitter favors native video, links to articles, and concise copy.
• Tik Tok is focused on music and videos.
Once you find the right combination of platforms and content for your audience, it’s time to answer the next common question.
Question #2: How Often Do I Post on Social Media, and When?
Do you have to post every day? What if I can only handle three posts on one platform? We hear these questions a lot, and for good reason. Everyone preaches that content is king, but what happens when resources are limited? This is why we always focus on quality over quantity.
While we recommend three to five posts per week, per chosen platform, this isn’t always possible for small businesses. If you can only manage three great posts per week, then don’t include two lower quality posts just to have five for the week. This is around 15 to 20 posts per month, and the content itself depends on the platform, as we discussed above.
Then you need to consider the day and time of day to post. Facebook and Instagram make this easy by showing when your followers are most active.
Go to your Facebook Business Page, head to Insights, then select Posts from the menu on the left. This shows when your followers engage with posts the most, helping you select the best time to post.
On Instagram, you’ll need a Business account. Once that’s set up, tap the hamburger menu button on the top right side of the screen, and select Insights. Go to the Audience tab, and scroll to the bottom. Here you’ll see the most popular times of day, along with other helpful demographic information.
Question #3: Why Isn’t My Social Media Working?
This is a loaded question with multiple answers depending on the situation. Before we can dig into the why, we need to know your Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs. These are the metrics you want to focus on and are derived from your business’s goals. If you want new customers, then one of your KPIs will be new sales. If you want to raise awareness online, then you’ll want to focus on engagement.
Once you have your KPI you can begin focusing on the metrics that matter most. If we continue with the new customers example, you won’t care about engagement as much as you do lead generation, which directly supports your new sales.
With your KPI in focus, begin to review your content. At its core, content needs to support you KPI. Lead generation-focused content will include more calls-to-action. (Not every post, but you do want to include them.) Another way to support lead generation is by sharing your product or service’s value often. Share why yours is superior, how it works, and highlight customer reviews.
Let’s go back to the engagement example. If you want engagement to raise brand awareness, focus on sharable content. This means images with quotes, viral-related posts, and becoming an authority in your niche. This will lead to higher engagement, thus helping you reach your KPI.
Bonus Tip: Facebook Ads: The Missing Piece
A few years ago, organic, or unpaid, social media was enough to increase lead generation, and improving engagement was simple.
Today, though, Facebook Ads is a critical piece to a social media strategy that works.
Facebook Ads offers a significant value for a low budget, compared to other advertising options like mailers, billboards, and radio spots. It can even be more effective than Google Ads, depending on the industry. (This applies to Instagram Ads as well, as they’re managed on the same platform.)
Targeting is based on geography, age, and interests. Consider your target audience’s interests, and use those to help you get better results. Always utilize all three of these to get the best results from your campaigns.
There are so many different ways to utilize Facebook Ads for small businesses, but there are a few key objectives we recommend.
Offer ads are just that: they let you promote an offer on Facebook, which people can claim and save on Facebook until they redeem it. This is an extremely user-friendly way to promote a sale, and there are multiple discount code options in Facebook Ads to help you track how well it worked.
Conversion ads will help you increase sales, memberships, or lead generation. It’s designed and targeted to optimize results. The cost will be higher than traffic or engagement ads, but that’s okay because you’re making a conversion, not just increasing engagement or website visits.
Traffic ads increase website traffic, and are best used when it’s used in conjunction with a landing page or valuable piece of content. This is the most similar to Google Ads, and offers a way to get your audience from Facebook to your website, where you can then provide value and offer a way to contact you.
Facebook Ads can get complex quickly, but these tips can help you start making social media work for you.
Social media can be a confusing web of platforms, varying strategies, and discovering what works best for you. With these three top social media questions answered, though, we hope you feel empowered to begin making decisions that will help your small business grow online.
If you’re looking for personalized help, let’s chat. Give us a call at (415) 640-8009 or send us a message.
By Marc Apple
Marc Apple is recognized as a leader in the marketing industry and has 20+ years of experience helping businesses of all sizes improve their digital marketing. He specializes in website design, SEO, social media, and paid search programs. He is a frequent contributor to other marketing websites and speaks regularly about marketing to small business owners and startups. To learn about Marc and to contact him, visit his author bio page.
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