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Taking (Some) of the Guesswork Out of Social Media!

July 12, 2015
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For many small businesses, social media can be a tangle of guesswork. It takes a lot of time and effort to maintain your online presence, and you have to post at least once every day (every day!). Often, it looks like your posts aren’t reaching anyone. Here is a basic introduction to using Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest for your small business to take your posts to the next level, (and to make things a little less tangled)!

First things first:

Social Media Explained through donuts

Via Douglas Wray

These are the very basics of some of the most popular social media sites, but this post effectively shows the main message that each site is best at getting across. Other than Facebook, the most effective sites for small business owners to master are Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Facebook and Linkedin usage seems more intuitive to most people as many use it for their personal lives, so for brevity’s sake we will focus on the other three. But have no fear, we’ll talk about the others as time passes!

Instagram

Instagram is perhaps the most misunderstood of the social media sites. Instagram is a platform that focuses on sharing pictures from your mobile device, with additional video capabilities (15 seconds in length) and the famous filters to enhance photos. Instagram uses hashtags and campaigns to track engagement, and help users follow and explore content that they are interested in.

A good company account on Instagram balances fun images with pictures from your business. As Instagram is almost entirely visual, telling a story with your images is vital. Posting photos that are relevant to your brand and potential customers can combine to create a very powerful image on a platform that gets a lot of exposure.

Twitter

Twitter is a live social media platform intended to share information in a quick and efficient way, in 140 characters. Hashtags are used to track and categorize content, similar to Instagram. Hashtags are the most effective way to join the conversation, with Twitter continuously highlighting topics that are currently trending. Hashtags help people find your content, and helps you connect to theirs.

Twitter is a great way of telling your customers about promotions, new products, news, and any other information that you want to share. Think of Twitter as a very short newsletter that your customers get almost instantly. Combine this reach with trending topics, and you have a very powerful medium for staying relevant while sharing your content to your target audience.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a business owner’s dream. It is a social media platform that shows you exactly what your customers want – it is a visual social network that allows users to “pin” images to virtual bulletin boards that they curate themselves. They can be themed, or simply a curation of images that people like. Users can create, share, collect, and re-post information in picture, image, and video format.

Creating boards that show topics and categories that reflect your business values, culture, interests, products, and services will directly connect your to your target audience. Users can also now purchase products they like directly from the site. If that’s not a reason to get pinning, what else could you ask for?

social mediaVia Grammar Chic

 

Overall, the key to social media is consistent posting. You need to have content that engages your customers, and consistency is the most effective way to make sure your content is seen. Mix up original content with interesting pieces from other sources, and don’t forget to highlight your customers. Showing their contributions will help generate content for you, and fosters a sense of belonging that they will associate with your brand. Cross-posting your content on different platforms will also help to generate traffic.

There will be a learning curve, but the rewards are so much greater than the risks. So get typing, and ask us if you have any questions! We’re here for you, Schmoozees!

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