With the ever-expanding world of social media— including the addition of a “Shop” tab on Instagram, the opportunity for content creators to monetize their following, and the shift of TikTok from a dance app to the useful marketing tool it’s become—it’s no surprise that many small businesses are looking towards these platforms to boost sales. If you’re a small business owner with an online presence, you may be wondering how you can take advantage of the marketing opportunity already at your fingertips without getting lost in it all.

Be specific with your goals and act from there:

  • Do you want to generate sales? Are you looking to increase follower engagement? Or brand awareness? Whatever it is, be specific and build your content using your goal as a base.
  • Don’t try to do too many things at once for the sake of being active—it’s more important put your attention on one goal at a time and be patient. If you put in the work, you’ll see reward!
  • Avoid being overly promotional—it often comes across as pushy and discourages follower engagement.

Inspire interaction:

  • While it may feel this way, social platforms are not a place to monologue—they’re your best tool for communicating directly with your clients and customers.
  • Take advantage of instagram stories where you can post polls or allow your followers to ask you specific questions. People like to engage, and even more, they like to feel heard.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask your followers exactly what kind of content they want. Can you provide information that is valuable to them? Find out!

Prioritize at least one platform (but don’t sell yourself short):

  • Be aware of where your clients are most likely to find you—do they love an interactive Instagram story, or are you more likely to engage them in the comments section on Facebook?
  • On the other hand, don’t limit yourself—you never know when or where your following may begin growing. For example, what most people saw as a silly dance app for teenagers (TikTok) is now considered one of the best platforms for marketing. Because their algorithm gives you an even playing field, anyone has opportunity to go viral despite how many or how few followers they have.

Track your metrics:

  • Use a platform like Google Analytics so you can understand the impact your content has on business.
  • Similar to sending newsletters, if you don’t know how people are interacting with your content, you won’t know how to improve!

Don’t try to do it all by yourself:

  • In order to allow your social presence to reach its full potential, you’ll need at least a few people who can handle the demand of interacting with and creating for multiple platforms.
  • Social Media management has become a full time job—and a vital one at that! That’s why its more important than ever to include it in your budget and find someone who can take it on and make it their priority.

Social media can feel daunting. But the truth is, if you take the time to figure out where your business fits and what your audience wants, you’ll see the benefits and bounty of this widely accesible marketing tool! Happy posting!