1) In order for a small business to be relevant in today’s world, they need to be almost everywhere on social media. That means no less than having a Facebook business page, Twitter account, and a consistent blog presence (on your own website, shared to Medium, etc). Sure, not all applications will make the most sense for your business but figure out the ones that do – are you selling to a younger generation? Can you gain a ton of exposure by promoting with photography? Use Instagram. Are you pitching to an older crowd? Selling a product rather than a service? Then perhaps Pinterest would be a good addition for you. Know your market… then be in attack mode.
2) You’re only as good as your last post (or blog, or tweet). You need to make sure that your next bit of published content is bigger and better. Know who your audience is, be concise, and be original. In addition, think in terms of this fishing analogy: The occasional share or retweet of the information of others (especially those in your industry) is minimal bait, garnering some attention and small bites. However, the posting of original, high-quality content that speaks to your target audience is what will net you the largest amount of attention, and catch you the ‘biggest’ fish.
3) The quickest way to lose a following on Twitter or Facebook? Constant posts that are nothing but advertisements and infomercials. The occasional ad or marketing promo is accepted and totally expected – but if that becomes an everyday post, well…it’s then treated as spam, understood that your sale isn’t going so well, and the ‘Unfollow’ button is simply tapped. Game over.
4) Always be trying new things – a new way to market on Facebook, a different approach to blogging, a variation on URL placement within Instagram. This testing ground will enable you to one (1) stay on top of new trends in marketing and social media, (2) potentially discover new “best practices”, and (3) reach a whole new audience with your brand. Even when you’ve found the way that ‘works’, continue to try new things – you’ll find additional advancements both for the business, as well as for you individually.
5) Something is always better than nothing. A post doesn’t have to be perfect, a video doesn’t need a Hollywood lighting team, and an article… these days you don’t even need to write in complete sentences. Just getting the word out, that is the key. Sure, edit your writing to make sure that it is free of errors, but you certainly do not need to be an absolute perfectionist. A video made by amateurs with an iPhone will go further than someone who put nothing out. And yes, listicles are a major part of how society currently digests content (ahem…have you seen Buzzfeed?). Craft what it is that you want to say, and say it…get the content OUT THERE.