By: Johana M. Caba, M.A.
As a small business owner, you might not know where to begin with creating your business presence online. You know that you should have social media accounts, maybe a website, run some ads, etc. But, it takes more time, planning, and creating content to grow your following, reach your target audience, and convert your followers into paying customers or clients. In this post, we will go over the basic tips you should follow on your social media accounts if you do not have a social media manager to create and manage your content.
Your logo is very important to your brand and your business. If you need some tips on how to use graphic design to create your own logo, visit my blog post explaining everything in detail. You should make sure that your logo is always on your brand images online. If you take a photo of your products or of models for products, make sure to place your logo at one of the corners of your image. This will do two things: (1) make sure that your image is protected from being used without permission or giving credit, and (2) will ensure that your brand gets exposure. Placing your logo on your images is a great way to increase brand awareness by subtly including your logo in all photos or brand images that you share. You do not have to place your logo on every single image on your social media accounts. But, it is a good practice to start doing, especially for smaller creators and smaller businesses. Another tip is when you are placing your logo as your profile picture, make sure that the logo fits within the proportions of the profile image of the platform you are using. This will help your logo be fully visible and it will make you come out as more professional to your audience.
An important part of posting is using proper hashtags and proper hashtag etiquette. When using hashtags, you should keep in mind your industry and your target audience. Start by researching your industry and audience in order to understand what they are looking for online and which hashtags resonate with them the most. For example, as a hair salon you can use #HairDresser, #HairDresserMagic or #ModernSalon. Keep in mind that when using hashtags, proper etiquette is to capitalize the first letter of each word. This makes it easier for the words to be read and understood, especially for longer tags. Using hashtags will also categorize your content and help you pop-up in search queries on social platforms.
Sharing Customer Content
It's important for you to keep in mind that you should tag or give credit to your customers when sharing content that they posted. Sharing customer content is a great way to showcase positive reviews and comments of your services and products. User-generated content through customer reviews or comments online is one of the best marketing techniques because word-of-mouth (WOM) is one of the most trustworthy forms of marketing. Brands and other businesses usually promote word-of-mouth because it generates more brand awareness and has the potential to increase sales. Although WOM is harder to keep track of and control in terms of the content and commentary being shared, it is one of the best ways to promote a brand, sell products, and raise brand awareness.
One of the best ways to grow your following, reach your target audience and stay in touch with your industry/community is to engage. Engagement includes liking posts, commenting, and sharing others' posts on your company's social media accounts. An important reason why engagement is crucial is that it creates a positive brand image. In public relations terms, by engaging with your audience online you are creating a positive brand image which helps increase brand awareness, network, increase sales, and solidify your brand. You can always maintain your engagement by being consistent, responding to questions and comments, and partaking in social listening to keep track of what others are saying about your brand. This is particularly important to do because customer service through social media matters a lot for the image, transparency and reputability of a business.
Selecting the right photos for product promotion is very important for small business. It' important to have the right tools and the right techniques to take photos. A lot of the photos of products that get the most engagement are those that are clear, crisp, aesthetically pleasing, and use the right brand colors. Of course, it all depends on your brand and industry. For example, a hair salon can take their photos of clients on the salon chair or designate a spot in their location for photos by using a solid color wall, a ring light and a good camera (this can be a mobile device with a good camera). A ring light is a great investment for taking product or service photos because it helps bring out the features of the subject by placing the lighting in the right places. Another good tip is to use the right photo editing apps. There are a lot of photo editing apps that can bring your images to another level that leads to more engagement and shares of your posts. Read my post on the best and easiest to use photo editing apps for mobile devices for some more photo tips.
One of the most typical ways for businesses, brands and content creators to reach new audiences and network with other brands is collaborating. Collaborations are a great way to raise brand awareness with new audiences, enter new markets, and take advantage of hype around certain holidays or events. For example, small businesses can partner together during the holidays for giveaways in which their followers on social media share images of the brand products or services, tag a few of their own followers, and follow each business/brand. This is a good idea when a small business is trying to reach more people, grow their followers, and network with other small businesses. Collaborations and partnerships are always great on social media because they have many benefits for the businesses involved.
Thank you for reading my tips. If you have any questions or would like me to audit your small business or brand social media accounts, fill out my form on the services page or leave me a message in the comments below.
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