Did you know some businesses still haven’t harnessed the power of social media to spread the word about themselves? It’s 2016! Unbelievable. This article will cover the basics of using social media for your business, specifically small and local businesses and will make some headway in establishing us as leaders in digital marketing as well as digital signage.

Which platform should I use?

So you’ve decided to get involved with the internet. Congrats on making it into this century. Now the only question that remains is which platform you should be using. Got a lot of visual content? Try Instagram– and stay there. Want to build a more serious community? Facebook’s the place for you. Want to reach only businesses with a higher click rate with your informative blog posts? Hop on over to LinkedIn– that’s where you’ll find your market. Looking to update your page frequently or do some live-blogging? Try Twitter.

Ultimately, you want to end up on all major platforms– but don’t feel overwhelmed and try to start an account on five different websites, get stressed out, and abandon them all. Focus on building a community on one first, and then announce a new profile on another platform and encourage your followers to migrate over there to see more content exclusive to that particular network, and so on.

How do I get a better engagement rate?

Your business, company, or brand is finally up on social media, and you are ready for those “likes” to start rolling in, whatever that means. Kids these days! Blah! But.. time goes by and you’re seeing nary a like, heart, or comment on your page. What are you doing wrong? Let’s dissect.

  • Hashtags
    • Are you using hashtags on your posts? These work great on Instagram, and guarantee at least 10 likes if you use the right ones. Don’t be afraid to use niche hashtags with not that many uses– chances are, those are the ones most relevant to your industry and that’s how you can target the specific audience you need.
  • Involvement
    • How can you expect your community and followers to respond and be involved with you and your posts if you’re not interacting with theirs? Comments, like, and repost stuff from relevant accounts to make yourself know.
  • Ads!
    • Oh, you don’t want to spend money on social media advertising? You should. Instagram and Facebook ads are proven to be successful– and one of the cheapest marketing tools out there to promote awareness of your business and encourage customers to actually make a purchase. Find new customers with social ads and keep current ones interested with unique content.

What should I post?

Are you marketing to other businesses, or to your customers directly? A B2B social media strategy is radically different from a B2C strategy. A business might want to see images of what your business (be it software, consulting, marketing, etc) can do for them– customer testimonials, images of your software, success stories, etc) and might require more calls to action (CTAs) to encourage them to buy into what you’re offering them. Consumers require more product pictures and want a more personal approach. Study businesses like yours and see what they’re doing right and what you can learn from them.

When should I post?

Every day. You heard me– every day. Build yourself a strategy– you can find all sorts of templates online (here, here, here) to create a strategy to make sure that you’re up to date on your posting and not just regurgitating the same content over and over. Post at least once a day to start growing your audience and strategy– sometimes even more than once a day, if you feel your content is relevant or attractive enough to warrant showing up in your followers’ feeds more than once.

So, now what?

Get started! Make a profile and set it up properly– you need a business profile or page on Facebook or Instagram, and you need to dominate your industry. Don’t just sit around and think about getting online– do it! And don’t forget to use a strategy instead of random posting. You want to keep your posts consistent and uniform so your feed looks solid and makes sense, right?

And don’t forget to like and follow us on our favourite social channels, Facebook and Instagram.

Happy posting!

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