7 Step Checklist to Get Your Small Business Visible on Social Media
Whether you offer a service or a product, social media can be one of the most effective ways of building your audience, creating a community and of growing your business. Very often small businesses spend lots of time on social media but they still aren’t getting seen by their audience. Use this 7 step checklist to make sure that you are doing what you need to do to get your business visible.
- Claim your username
Your username is one of the important parts of establishing your identity on the different social media platforms. Ideally you want them to be the same on all platforms so that wherever your audience sees you, you are recognisable (it also makes it easier on business cards or printed material). Make sure that your usernames are clear and inline with your brand. If they’re not they can make it more difficult for you to be searched and to be found.
- Fully complete all sections
When was the last time you checked or updated your bio or about section on social media? When you first created your account maybe? The bios and about sections so often get ignored but they are a really great way to not only be found but also to create a great first impression with your potential customers. Bios are highly searchable from outside of the platforms (i.e. search engines) and from inside the platforms as well. They are also a really easy to use way of making a great first impression. People will read your bio and/or your about section to find out more about you, to check you are who you say you are and to find out useful information like your website and other contact details. Explain what you do and show a little bit of your personality and don’t forget to use your keywords.
- Get everything up to date
Take a look at your profile. Is everything up to date? Is your header image and your profile picture the best ones you could use? Do they show your branding and who you are? If you’ve got something pinned to the top is it less than a month old? Remember that first impressions count so if a potential customer sees your profile for the first time they want it to show who you are now and not who you were. They don’t want to see out of stock or old products. If the first post or article that they see is a really old one they may even question whether or not you are still active or in business.
- Respond to comments and messages
Being as responsive as possible is important for two reasons. Firstly, imagine a real life scenario of a customer coming up to you and asking you a question. You stand there and don’t answer them for several hours or even days. Would you still expect the customer to be there? Probably not. Secondly the platforms expect you to be responsive. If you receive messages that go unanswered or comments without a response then the platform does notice and it goes against you. Make sure you have notifications set up and keep an eye on your accounts so you can respond when you need to.
- Use Call To Actions
Call to actions are the bits in your content that help your customers do what you want them to do. These are the “Buy Now” or “Book Now” of the online marketing world. Call to actions are a great way to remind your audience what they need to no or where they need to go next but use them wisely and experiment to find the ones that work best for you. So for example does “Save your space” work better than “Book now”. Think about the psychology behind an instruction as well. Psychologically telling someone to “Remember to sign up” to something is much more likely to work than saying “Don’t forget to sign up”
- Create content regularly
The platforms and your audience want to see regular content from you. The algorithms behind the platforms thrive on it. Lots of small businesses fall into the trap of only concentrating on social media when they have the time or as an afterthought so they’ll have a couple of great weeks with lots of posts, a week with nothing, then a few days with a couple of posts, then a few days without etc. Sound familiar? It’s what a lot of businesses do but it’s confusing to your audience and the platforms. A regular and consistent stream of good quality content is much more likely to work for you. Create when you have the time, schedule some for when you don’t and have a plan in place so that you avoid gaps.
- Tell not sell
The clue to social media is in the name and yes I mean the social part rather than the media part. Imagine a real life situation where you are talking to a potential customer. Do you go straight in with a “this is what you want so buy it now” or do you ask questions, find out more, show the benefits and help them to make a decision without making them feel like you telling them to buy? Which do you think would work better? On social media we have a tendency to go straight in for the “please buy” message but just like in real life it rarely works. As a (very) general rule only 20-30% should be specifically about what you do. The remaining 70-80% should be about everything else. You can still relate it back to what you do but the focus should be on something else. Got an audience with lots of parents? Share hints and tips for keeping little ones occupied during the summer and free activities. Bricks and mortar presence? Share news and updates from your local community. Find out what else your audience is interested in and talk about that. When they are ready to buy they’ll know where to go.
You can download my handy checklist so that you can work through the 7 steps. If you want more small business and online marketing hints and tips then why not join my free Focus VIP Facebook group.