For many start-ups and small businesses, social media posts are created in-house to minimise marketing costs and maintain tight control of initial brand messaging. That said, social media can be time-consuming and difficult to navigate if you don’t have much prior experience. Here are some of our very best tips for generating user engagement on your social media posts and channels:
Take your audience on your business journey
Audiences love hearing about how people started their business, and the challenges and successes they face on a daily basis. Why? Because these things are real, interesting and come from the heart. From the moment you start updating your social media channels, take your audience on your business journey with you (trust me - they’ll appreciate it!).
If you’re confident enough to do some live posts on your Facebook or Instagram stories, share these with your audience who will more than likely want to commiserate with you when things go wrong, and celebrate your successes.
Following on nicely from taking your audience on your business journey – the more personal your posts are, the more engagement they’ll create. We recently included a picture of the LIT Founder on the @litcommunication Instagram channel and doubled the audience engagement instantly compared with previous posts. The proof is in the pudding.
You should share some personal posts as well as business-related posts. Personal achievements such as raising money for charity, running a marathon, special moments with your children, reaching your goal weight or renovating your house are all things that your business followers will take an interest in. It also shows that there’s a real person behind the keyboard and naturally makes your audience more inclined to support you.
Remember that people don’t want to just hear the positives – it’s not realistic for everything to be plain sailing when you’re running a business. Share the challenges as well as the positives and you’ll find that your audience remains engaged.
Boost posts that call your audience to auction
A bit of paid advertising never hurt anybody. In fact, it can be just the ticket for highlighting specific offers/posts/competitions to your audience. Choose which posts you want to boost carefully and decide how much daily budget you can comfortably afford to put behind it. Paid spend between £1.00 - £5.00 per day should be effective enough for a small business post.
At LIT Communication, we recently boosted our client’s competition post and attracted over 50 new followers and countless competition entries within a week’s timeframe (spending £3.00 per day).
Use hashtags and tag to your heart’s content
Use a mix of small and large volume hashtags on your social media channels to get your posts seen by a wider audience. This is because the audience searching for those smaller volume hashtags might be much more relevant to you, and using a mix means your posts won’t get lost in the crowd, as they would if you only used high volume hashtags. You can add up to 30 hashtags on Instagram, so make the most of this and include relevant hashtags that relate to your posts. This could include location-based hashtags or industry hashtags, for example.
Do your research and find out which hashtags your audience engage with. It can be time-consuming to add hashtags so make sure you have a set to hand that you can quickly add to your posts and rotate if you’re on the go. You can also look at which hashtags competitors are using and see if there are any you could utilise to reach more people.
It’s also a good idea to tag other people or businesses in your posts. If you attend a business networking event, for example, try and tag some of the people or businesses that you met on the day in your posts, and don’t forget to add your location to expand your reach even further.
Run a competition
It can definitely be more difficult for a services-based business to grow their social media following. In our experience, product-based businesses have something more tangible to base their posts on, which attracts more followers.
If your aim is to attract more followers on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn – it’s always a good idea to run a competition. Think about what you would like to win from your business if you were a customer and base your prize on that. If yours is a business in the beauty industry, the prize could be a pamper day for example. If you’re in the automotive industry, you could offer a personalised number plate to the winner. The bigger the prize, the more likely you are to attract more competition entrants and subsequently, more followers. Make sure that social media users have to follow your account as part of the competition entry, and you should soon see your social media community grow.
When you do have the budget to outsource social media, it’s a good idea to pass this element of marketing to the capable hands of an expert. You’ll quickly find that this frees up time for you to focus on other elements of your business as it blooms, and your customers increase.
For a quote on social media management for your business, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We provide expert social media services for businesses in Huddersfield, Halifax, West Yorkshire and the wider UK.
Sophie Marsden, owner and PR specialist at LIT Communication