While it seems like everyone is a social media guru today, the industry is oversaturated with advice and different methodology about how, where, and when to post. But what about marketing your small business on social media? It’s difficult to know where to start or which methods to apply. So today, we’re going to uncover some social media secrets that often aren’t talked about, and then share how you can start applying them to your business marketing today.
4 Social Media Secrets for Small Businesses
Here are four major social media secrets we’d like to share:
Social Media Secret #1: Having a Social Media Account Isn’t a Strategy
Often when social media comes up in a conversation, we hear a lot of comments like this: “I have a Facebook profile, so I can do that, too!” Or, “my nephew is on TikTok.” Or, “Anyone can do that!” And it’s true – anyone is capable of occasionally posting to social media. But what most people don’t realize is that there’s actual strategy behind social media marketing. Some of the strategies we employ early on in the process include:
- Defining and setting goals
- Researching a target audience
- Establishing a consistent posting schedule
- Curating posts, from developing the copy to designing the graphics
- Utilizing paid advertising
- Researching best days/times to post
- Creating a variety of post types
- Determining aspect ratio for video posts
- Researching hashtags where appropriate
Takeaway: Just because you have a Facebook or Instagram account for yourself or your business doesn’t mean you’re going to get results. You have to apply strategy if you want to be successful in the long-term.
Social Media Secret #2: Successful Social Media Strategy Isn’t Glamorous
While Emily in Paris would rather you believe differently, successful social media strategy isn’t glamorous. If you want to be successful with your social accounts, you have to work hard. There’s so much thought and work that goes into each post, from the type of post, to when it’s posted, to the size of the video, to the hashtags used, to even the number of hashtags used.
Want to have an effective social media strategy? Employ these three Cs:
- Clear – make sure your message is communicated clearly and cohesively. Your followers should know exactly what to do whenever they see a post. What is your CTA (call to action)? What is the goal behind the post? While it may require a lot of strategy behind the scenes, it should be very clear and simple to those who see the post.
- Consistency – your social media accounts should have consistency so customers know exactly what to expect when they’re on your pages: consistent messaging, consistent posting, and consistent branding. If you don’t regularly post, this needs to change. Customers won’t come to rely on or trust your business if you lack consistency.
- Commitment – social media strategy isn’t for the faint of heart. Commit to which platforms you’ll be posting on, and don’t stop when you get busy or it gets difficult. Giving up is the worst thing you can do! And if you don’t have the time, hire an in-house marketer or outsource to an agency like Paragon who is ready to help.
Takeaway: Successful social media strategy isn’t glamorous. It requires clear communication, consistency, and commitment in the long-term. And remember, even if you start employing the three Cs, you won’t get instant results. Good things come in time.
Social Media Secret #3: The World of Social Media Is Always Changing
Is this really a social media secret though? While the fact that technology and social media is always changing isn’t a secret, the impact of that change on strategy is surprising to many people.
That old adage, “I’m going to do this the way I’ve always done it” won’t cut it in social media strategy. What’s true today may be false tomorrow.
So many changes to Meta Business Suite have rolled out even within the past year. Every platform has its own “algorithm” that’s constantly changing. One platform comes out with a very successful strategy to gain followers, and then others often follow.
Here are a few changes that have happened over the last couple years (that are certain to become outdated once this text is published, just to emphasize this point):
- Twitter rebranded to X – the year 2023 brought a new Twitter CEO and a new name for the platform. While it still seems to be “in a complicated relationship” with its branding, how will the language of the platform evolve (are tweets now Xs)?
- Instagram posts can now be scheduled through Meta Business Suite – as recent as early 2022, this was not an option. Social media strategists and content creators were celebrating everywhere when this became a reality.
- Nextdoor doesn’t allow post scheduling . . . yet – we’re still posting Nextdoor posts live, but how long will this be the reality before they permit scheduling?
- Stories, Reels, & TikTok have changed how we record video – say goodbye to 16×9 video aspect ratio. When it comes to mobile, vertical is now king.
Takeaway: Social media is always changing. You have to be willing to change up your strategy at a moment’s notice. You need to be aware of the latest trends.
Social Media Secret #4: You Can’t Half-Ass Social Media Marketing
Is there really anything in life we should be half-assing? Probably not. But the reason this is such a big secret is because SO MANY PEOPLE DO THIS.
We’ve heard many business owners claim they can just do it in their “free time,” but what business owner do you know with “free time”? Even if they did, they don’t have the time to do it right and apply actual strategy.
Here are a few recommendations we’d make to business owners starting out with social media and trying to figure out which platforms to use:
- Find your audience – do you sell primarily to men in their 60s? Or are 30-something aged women your target market? Maybe you sell only to homeowners? Once you know who your audience is, then research which platforms they spend time on.
- Consider your availability – after you know on which social platforms your audience spends time, figure out how much time you can set aside to apply the three Cs – clear communication, consistent posting, and commitment to posting. Is that an hour a day? Great! Is that 15 minutes a day? That might work. If you have a realistic viewpoint of how much time you can truly spend on your social posting, then you know what approach to take.
- Start slow – no business needs to start off posting daily to 7 or 8 different social platforms. So if you know where your audience is, you know how much time you can dedicate to your social media marketing. We typically recommend choosing 1 or 2 platforms to start getting your content out there.
Takeaway: It’s better to “whole-ass” a couple platforms than to half-ass several. And if you can’t manage that, consider finding a marketing agency like Paragon who can help.
Here’s a Quick Recap:
- Having a social media account isn’t enough. You have to apply strategy to be successful.
- Successful social media strategy isn’t glamorous. It requires clear communication, consistency, and commitment.
- Social media is always changing. You have to be willing to change up your strategy at a moment’s notice.
- It’s better to “whole-ass” a couple platforms than to half-ass several.
We hope that uncovering these social media secrets for small businesses was helpful to you!
At Paragon, we understand that it can take a lot of time, work, and research to successfully market your business on social media. As always, we want to be a resource for you. So as you have questions, we’ll be here to answer them.