Social media can be a great way for small business owners to connect with prospects and customers. Done right, it can make sales skyrocket. Some entrepreneurs have even built an entire business on a social media platform, like Rachel Dunston, the founder of Rachel Bakes More Cake, who built a thriving cake business on Instagram. But if you’re not careful, it can be a distracting time suck, or even backfire by alienating customers and prospects.
Here, 10 small business experts share strategies small business owners can use to nurture a successful presence on social media.
1. Lead with objectives
“Start with your top three marketing objectives, then evaluate how social media may help you achieve them. Too often business owners buy into the idea that ‘I have to be there. I have to be in all these new places or I’ll be left behind.’ But social media has to help you reach your objectives or you’re just wasting time. Don’t think of social media as just a megaphone for your business, but think about how it can help you reach your goals.”
2. Build your authority
“As a business owner, I believe that you can’t over-invest in your LinkedIn presence in 2018. This also applies to anyone looking to further their career or success, particularly those working in sales or marketing. Concentrating on growing audiences and engagement on LinkedIn can absolutely boost sales and conversion rates. It will also lead toward amazing opportunities for collaboration.
As someone who turns entrepreneurs into media celebrities, I teach that LinkedIn is also excellent for attracting amazing opportunities to be seen as the go-to authority for your industry. Authority is a currency. The more of it you have, the more you can cash in on opportunities for growth of all kinds.”
Josh Elledge, founder of upendPR.com, and a weekly syndicated newspaper columnist who reaches more than 1.1 million readers; also regularly appears on radio and more than 75 TV stations across the country.
3. Start a conversation
“The key thing with Facebook is to remember that the algorithm they use rewards posts that have interaction. If a business posts something, but no one responds, then Facebook won’t show it to anyone. They’re trying to keep people on their website, and they can only do that by showing posts and stories that people find interesting. It’s going to get more difficult, as Facebook announced they’re going to be changing their algorithm. They’ll now favor content from friends over companies and other pages.
The key is to ask questions and respond to the answers. A car dealer could post a picture of someone buying their first car and, sure, it’s interesting enough. But if they turn around and ask people, ‘What was your first car?’ they have a chance to get people to answer, and then they can respond. Now, to that person who answered the question, it’s not a car dealer, it’s a car dealer who knows his first car.”