7 ways to boost your small business social media presence

Social media represents an important part of your marekting strategy and helps your brand to stand out.  According to Sprout Social’s research, 80% of businesses use social media to increase brand awareness. Other key reasons include increased community engagement and web traffic, lead generation, content distribution, increased brand advocacy and customer support. The social landscape is more competitive than ever before, making it more challenging for brands to stand out, even more so when you are a small business with limited brand recognition.

An effective social media brand awareness strategy requires creating consistent and engaging interactions with your followers through a combination of tactics to boost your presence:

1. Fine tuning your social media profiles

Make it easy for everyone to recognise your brand using consistent visuals such as logo and cover photo, name and description – it should be obvious to your followers at first glance that it’s you. When drafting your business’ description, focus on relevant keywords that will make it easy for your potential followers to find you – SEO is just as important for your social media profiles as it is for your website.

Here is an example of our profile on Instagram:

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Followed by a matching profile on Twitter:

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2. Sharing your story

No matter what your story is, it’s unique and it will help your brand to stand out. Your followers will appreciate personal content and you will find that story driven posts are more popular than the ones with a title ad link only.

Airbnb is a great example of a brand that uses visual storytelling to engage with their followers:

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3. Maximising the use of hashtags

Posts with hashtags are more popular than those without. This is because hashtags are keywords used for your posts to be found by other users. More niche tags are more likely to help you reach a more targeted audience, but it’s also worth discovering trending hashtags to join relevant conversations. Remember the space between hashtags, otherwise they won’t be picked up in searches.

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4. Encouraging a social dialogue

To reach new followers, encourage them to use a unique hashtag (#) and/or tagging (@).  It’s easy and a very effective way to spread the word and reach new audiences. Respond to comments and tag others if relevant – the more interaction the more visible and recognised your posts and profiles will be. Instagram is now allowing to ask questions through their story feature and more and more brands are using Twitter for chats – so there is plenty of opportunities to start a conversation.

Longreads uses Twitter to accept article submissions –  to submit a story for Editor’s Picks consideration, followers are encouraged to share a story link with @Longreads or using the #longreads tag.

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5. Re-publishing your content

Very often, original content only gets promoted once – on the day when it’s published. By not re-cycling your existing content you are missing an opportunity to reach new audiences as well as reminding those already familiar with your posts. Be mindful of time sensitive posts, but where possible, publish your content more than once. If you are worried that your posts get less relevant this time, you can consider using hashtags such as #throwbackthursday or #tbt.

6. Timing your activity

There are many studies suggesting best times for your updates, but I would recommend that you observe what works best for your brand before making any conclusions. Test a few different times a day and measure the level of interaction. The volume of activities will depend on your target audience and when are they most active. Some of the obvious times include early morning on a weekday as you will be catching people as they check social media en route to work or lunchtime when they take a break at work – but you will only find out what really works by analysing your own audience.

7. Being consistent

Keep your social media presence regular and profiles consistent. Making your interactions with  your audience part of your daily routine will remind them about your business regularly and a consistent look and feel of your profiles will make it easy for them to recognise you and what your business stands for – so they can get to know and like your business, even before they become a customer.

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