If you’ve tried your hand at social media management for business and you’re not convinced that it’s working well for you, then perhaps you need some help.  Or maybe you’ve never done social media management and the thought of it fills you with fear!  Well, it’s not as hard as you might think but it does need time and dedication to get it right.  However, it’s worth the output because the rewards can be incredible!

One thing is for sure. Your audience is definitely using social media!  There are 4.62 billion people across the world using social media so if you’re not online, you are missing out.  What’s more, you’re handing over customs to your competitors.  

In this piece, we will help you understand social media management, what you can do with a small budget, and the things you need to think about to get your social media off the ground.  Firstly though, let’s talk about why you need social media for your business.

The Reasons Why You Need Social Media for Business

There are so many reasons why you need to use social media for business, regardless of your industry sector.  We’ll go through the list below:

  • Your audience is on social media!
  • You can monetize social media.
  • You can connect with your audience and grow a community.
  • You can use it to canvas opinions on your products and services.
  • You can run competitions and further grow your followers.
  • You can use it as a shopping channel.
  • You gain more kudos as a business by having social media channels.
  • You can become an Influencer or use Influencers to build your brand online.
  • You can use it as a customer service channel.
  • You can gain important insights and metrics into your customers and measure performance.
  • You can keep an eye on your competition.
  • You can integrate your social media channels to your website and any online activity plus sync some of them, so they all work together.
  • There’s an opportunity to gain many more prospects and turn those prospects into paying customers.

That list isn’t exhaustive but as you can see, there’s a lot you can do!  Most especially, using social media management, you increase your business’s visibility online and keep your brand high in mind.  Social media has evolved to such a degree that you can even create shopping channels from Facebook and Instagram, so your posts are shoppable.  You can also integrate “book here” buttons if you run a service-led business and there’s the power of video and Live TV (the latter on Instagram) where you can highlight your products, services, or brand using mini movies.  There’s just so much you can do so you should really think about developing your social media strategy.  We’ll talk about that soon but first, who’s going to do your social media?

What Social Media Channels Will You Use?

Building social media channels takes time, patience, and dedication.  It won’t happen overnight.  It is also much better to have one or two strong social media channels than have visibility on every channel but poor engagement.  So first, you need to decide what social media channels you want to use.  If you’re already visible on some social media channels, evaluate how they’re performing for you.  Those that are poor-performers should be deactivated and possibly held on ice until a later date when you can revisit them and try again.  Those that have potential are the ones you want to concentrate on first.  Get those one or two right before moving onto another platform.

Know Your Audience

If you’re not on any channels yet (or even if you are but you’re not sure if they’re right for you), get to know your audience.  Here’s what you should do:

  • Work out the best channels for your sector.  E.g., LinkedIn is good for business to business.  Pinterest works for Baby Boomers, Instagram is good for GenZ, TikTok favors the younger generations etc.
  • Check out where your competitors are especially as they share your audience.  What channels do they use?  Where do they get the biggest engagement?  How well do they interact with their customers on the channels they use?

Once you’ve identified exactly what channels your audience uses, then you can move onto the next question.

Who Will Be Responsible for Your Social Media?

This is a very important question to consider.  If you’re far too busy to do a good job, then perhaps it’s worth investing in someone to do it for you.  While big businesses will often employ a team of social media marketers to do their social media, or an agency, both of these routes are expensive.  If you can afford to use a small social media agency, then that’s half the battle and frees you up to concentrate on other areas of your business.  If you have a small budget, why not see if you can employ a freelancer for a few hours a week?  Or a student on an ad hoc basis?  If you don’t have a budget at all then you can give it to a member of your team if you have one or do it yourself, but you need that time and dedication we’ve mentioned (an hour a day would be good).  You also need some help with the online tools available which we’ll discuss later.

Next up, social media strategy.

Building a Strategy

Once you’ve established the social media networks you’re going to concentrate on and who’s going to be responsible for your social media, the next step is building your strategy.  Your social media strategy should be a one- or two-page document that’s a brief overview of what you want to achieve and how you’re going to get there.  Here’s some of the things you might put on it:

  • Develop your Instagram channel.
  • Build your followers to 10,000 by March.
  • Create a competition.
  • Build an advertising campaign to reach more followers.
  • Develop a shopping channel on Instagram.
  • Do weekly LIVE Instagram posts to highlight your new products or services.
  • Build a customer service channel on Twitter.
  • Schedule two or three posts a day on your channels.
  • Build a community of people on a Facebook group.
  • Perform audience research.
  • Analyse your performance, here’s a guide to social media metrics that can help.

Then you would add those items to a social media calendar, so you know what you’re doing when.  The posting schedule would be a daily task, the shopping channel might take a couple of weeks.  The point is, it’s a document that gives you goals, and these should be within a 3-month, 6-month, 9 month or 12-month time frame.  Your strategy should also be fluid and evolve over time.  It should never be 100% set in stone.

Useful Online Tools For Small Businesses

Whether you’re doing your own social media, or you have a small business and one of your team is doing it for you, there are some useful online tools that can help you.  Some of these online social media management tools are free to use, others are paid for.  Here’s what we recommend:

  1. Buffer.  This is an online social media management tool that is paid for.  It helps you to manage all of your social media channels in one place and because it works on mobile and desktop, you can manage your social media on the goal.  Additionally, it has a scheduling tool, so you can do your social media once a week and get on with other things that are necessary to build your business.
  2. Hootsuite.  A popular social media management tool, this one is also paid for and has a scheduling feature as well.  It also offers insights and metrics so you can track your social media performance.
  3. CoSchedule.  Another paid tool, this social media management tool has the added bonus of offering a social media calendar template, along with being able to publish your blog direct from the tool. There’s also a scheduling feature so you can schedule everything in advance.

Final Words on Social Media Management

Remember the basics of social media management. Start with one or two channels and perfect them first before moving on.  Know what channels your audience uses, post regularly but make sure it’s interesting and engaging content. Learn how to create videos and images  that your audience wants to see. Have a social media strategy in place and use the advertising features to get your posts in front of your audience.  Keep an eye on your competition and see what works well for them, perhaps you can do something similar?  Remember, it doesn’t always happen overnight, and you will need to have patience before you see strong results, but they will come!