Social media is complicated. There are new trends to keep up with, new platforms to learn, and there are so many different ways to engage with your customers on those accounts. Whether you’re a social media newbie or veteran, here are some standard tips for small business owners to follow. 

1) Identify Your Audiences

The first step in developing any campaign for a product or service is identifying your key audiences. The same rings true for social media! You might already have a strong understanding of who your audiences are, but there are social media tools that can help you verify that information.

For example, if you have a business page on Facebook or Instagram, you can see your Insights over a weekly or monthly period. There are also many third-party tools that you can connect to your business accounts to help track this data. It’s all about finding the tool that works best for you and your business.

2) Engage With Your Audience

Customers might reach out to you via social media for many reasons. They might have questions, an issue that needs to be addressed, or just general comments about your business. It’s important to engage with these comments and questions, even on a basic level. Simply just liking a positive comment, or reply back with a nice “Thank you!”, can make a huge difference to customer experience. Reaching out to your customers to answer questions in a timely fashion is essential to building a deeper relationship and selling more.

3) Create a Calendar

Planning out your content is essential. This keeps you from having to scramble for content every other day. Below is an example of how we schedule out the content for our own Crossroads social media accounts on Coschedule.

Make sure you think about things like what content resonates with your audience, how often to post to each social network and profile, and how to create or source great content to share. 

4) Post at the Best Time

If you use a social media content scheduling platform, like Coschedule, then this step is easy. Usually, these platforms will keep track of when the best time to post is for your business pages. You can also figure out the optimal time to post by studying your social media sent messages and finding trends in when posts get top engagement.

5) Hashtag Research

It might seem like hashtags are a bit “old school” in terms of social media tools, but they can still be really powerful if you use them the right way. All social media platforms have different algorithms that decide how content is distributed. If you want your posts to reach more people organically, then start strategically using hashtags. They can also incentivize users to post about your product or service if you have a fun hashtag to go along with the campaign. 

6) Track Your Goals

Whether you’ve been running your social media accounts for a while or have just been dabbling in social marketing it’s important to track your goals and review how your posts are performing. Analyzing your social media will tell you what has worked, what hasn’t worked, what profiles need a bit of an update and so much more. At Crossroads, we use tools like Google Analytics and DashThis to keep track of how our content is performing. 

7) Use a Good Mix of Organic and Paid Media

If your messages aren’t getting the views or engagement that you’d like then it is always possible to put a few paid dollars behind some posts to give them an extra push. Even just a few dollars can get you hundreds of new impressions for posts. Paid media can range just from boosting individual posts on Facebook to creating full ad campaigns across multiple platforms. 

Social media can be overwhelming at first, but once you break it down and take it step by step, you’ll be a pro in no time! Overall, do your research to find what will work best for you, and then put these social media tips for small business owners into practice. At Crossroads, we offer social media management and strategy services, as well as brand development, graphic design, web design/development, and so much more. Call us today at (225) 341-4147 for a free marketing assessment.

This content was originally published here.