How to use social media to promote your small business

Careers Entrepreneurs small business social media

Promoting your small business online is a great idea, especially now during the COVID-19 crisis. Not sure how to start doing this? Here are the basics.

Choose a platform

Before you start sharing your business online, you’ll need to choose the right platform. Consider the type of business you have, what kinds of customers you’re targeting and what kind of content would be best to share. For example, if you have a bakery, you may want to choose Facebook so that you can share the location of your store, contact details and post to Facebook groups. Or, you could have an Instagram account to show off all of your delicious cakes and pastries. It’s important to choose the right platforms for you, and not waste your energy on platforms that aren’t really relevant to your business.

What to post

The content you share on your socials is entirely up to you, and this is where you can get creative. If your product is visually appealing, some good quality photos or a video can be a great post idea. Always have text that’s short, relevant and includes a call-to-action (eg. “pop into our store” or “get in touch”).

You’ll also want to be mindful of current events and special days. Current events such as the COVID-19 lockdown may mean you can share a post explaining how your business is adhering to safety standards, while special days such as Father’s Day or Valentine’s Day mean you can create a fun themed post with gift ideas from your shop. Before posting anything, remember to proof-read for grammatical and spelling errors. Also, don’t forget to ask yourself “why am I posting this?” It’s important to post content that’s meaningful and relevant.

Engagement and UGC

A great way to get people talking about you online is to encourage engagement and user-generated content (UGC). Engagement posts ask the reader to either complete a poll, answer a question, comment on or share a post and so on. You can do this by creating a poll relevant to your business (eg. Which cake flavour is your favourite- vanilla bean or chocolate swirl?) or asking a question (eg. What’s your sweetest memory of eating cake? Comment down below!).

User-generated content is content that’s created and shared by your customers. You can incentivise this in different ways, like shouting them out on your page or entering them into a giveaway. Make the rules for entering simple- for example, they can share a photo of themselves using your product, using a dedicated hashtag you’ve created (eg. #LeratosBakingChallenge).

Be consistent

The key to having social pages that grow is to post consistently. You can create content for a week or even a month ahead using Excel or Numbers. You can also schedule posts ahead of time using a scheduling tool such as Hootsuite, Sprout or Creator Studio for Facebook.

Now that you’ve got the basics, it’s time to start posting. Remember to be confident, friendly and professional online. You never know- your next big client may just find your page. Good luck!

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