Getting the word out about your small business is no small task. We want the world to find out about all the wonderful work that we’re up to. But, there’s no one quick-fix to achieving this.
Ever wondered why you’re struggling to break through all the white noise of Instagram? It’s a common problem, especially when you’re just starting out on your small business venture.
So many businesses with self-managed social media channels find that they’re stuck on less than 20 followers, most of whom are their friends and family.
Don’t be disheartened though – social media is a notoriously tricky field. But, at its best, it’s a dynamic, innovative, engaging and inspired form of marketing. The creativity that is demonstrated on social by some of our UK small businesses is nothing short of remarkable.
That’s why we’re here to inspire you to create a social media campaign that is worthy of your business. We want to show you that the likes of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are not sites to be feared.
With these tips on hand, you’ll no longer feel that looming sense of dread when you read the words ‘write a new caption’.
So, in this, our second instalment of the small business guide to self-promotion, we’ll be delving into the world of social media marketing.
Where to begin?
If you’ve just set up a brand new platform, the blank social media canvas can be pretty intimidating.
At this point, your main goals will be to create a professional, attractive platform, which successfully draws in an audience.
So, start off by creating an engaging bio. Simply and clearly say what your company does, and give the reader an insight into your branding, by using the appropriate tone of voice.
Then, add in your social media icon. For this, use a high quality version of your logo, and carefully fit it into the frame.
To start to populate your account, write up personable and engaging posts, and choose good photos to go alongside them. Keep posting at a regular rate, as this will help any new followers to see what they can expect from your page.
Finally, follow relevant people, as these will be far more likely to follow you back. These could be people in the same industry who you admire, other businesses who are local to you, or businesses which share the same ethos as you (for example, showcasing environmentally friendly practices).
What are hashtags, and why do I need them?
Another key way to direct attention to your platform is through the use of hashtags.
By using good, applicable and engaging hashtags, you can draw new audiences to your social page. This is the key to getting your page out there and in front of people.
In essence, hashtags work by categorising content into specific groups, topics or conversations. By searching for a hashtag that they are interested in, users can find posts and accounts that they are more likely to engage with.
It’s a simple way of finding content that fits around a specific theme. Hashtags encompass pretty much every conceivable topic, including everything from ‘handmade silver jewellery’ to ‘artisan food in London’.
From a businesses’ perspective, hashtags are an incredibly useful way to get your brand in front of relevant people, who have a high likelihood of being interested in what you are doing.
But, not just any hashtag will do. You will need to spend some time doing a bit of research, and identifying the right hashtags for your business. You can do this by searching for what is trending right now, thinking about what your business stands for, and being imaginative with the hashtags that you use.
Adding a couple of niche hashtags to a post will mean that you are more likely to be at the top of a group, simply because there won’t be as many accounts trying to tap into that particular hashtag.
Websites like Hashtagify and the #HashMe Hashtag Generator are also handy tools to use when trying to identify strong hashtags for your account.
8 top tips for an engaging platform
To summarise, here are our top 8 tips for creating an engaging and effective social media platform for your business:
- Use high quality and attractive images (if you don’t have these already, we would recommend investing in a photographer)
- Keep consistent. Stick to a regular posting routine, and stay on top of this.
- Take inspiration from other successes. Check out the likes of Google, Nike, Levi’s, Boots and so on. See what the big brands are doing, and be inspired by their creativity.
- Don’t be too sales-led. Although it may be tempting to push for sales, keep your call to actions subtle.
- Be personable. Show your followers who you are and what your brand is about.
- Make a good portion of your posts engaging and informative. A viewer should be able to gain something from your content, even if it is only a little tit-bit of information, or a fun fact for them to take away.
- Know your audience. Understand who you are targeting and keep this target market specific.
- Trust in the process. Stay confident and keep doing what you are doing, and your followers will continue to build.
We hope that this guide to social media will help you to approach this form of marketing with a new lease of life.
With this strategy in place, you’ll be well on the way to expanding your audience and attracting new customers.
Another highly effective way to get the word out about your business is by signing up to the Roe River platform. We work to support the growth of small, independently run businesses, who are finding it tricky to get their shop in front of people who would be interested.
To find out more about what we do, or to sign up to our platform, don’t hesitate to get in touch – we’d be delighted to chat to you about how we can help your indie business grow.