Social Media for Small Businesses: 101
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn…oh my! With the abundance of social media platforms to choose from, it can be confusing to know when — and what — to post for your business. Though there is contrasting information everywhere, Spot Color would like to share posting guidelines we (generally) live by.
How often should I post? Research suggests posting to Facebook 1-4 times per week. You will increase likes with one post a day, yet you will lose engagement if you are posting more than once a day. Apparently users like to know you’re there, but not barraging them with information. So save your daily post for something worthy. Quality of posts is more important than quantity.
What time should I post? Facebook tends to have the most observers during the work day (next blog post: How to Increase Productivity perhaps?) but there is a definite spike in user activity around 7:00 p.m. With that in mind, we suggest posting around lunch time and right after rush hour.
What should I post? We like to break topics down into categories. Though this scratches the surface of an endless realm of posting possibilities, we feel that if you’re within these guidelines, you’re probably on the right track.
- Links to Products: Be sure to include a photo of the product and a reason why your reader should care about it. This could mean an anecdote, product history, trend data, etc. Be sure to post only the cream of the product crop or your readers will be annoyed that the only thing you seem to be communicating is “buy, buy buy.”
- Links to Outside Articles: By linking to articles that discuss current events, trends, history, or what-have-you, you can offer your customers a glimpse into the soul of your organization. For example, you sell shoes, so you post an article about what the ladies were wearing 60 years ago and what aspects of those styles have remained timeless. Pair it with side by side photos of styles that have survived the ages.
- Something Funny: Unless your product or service is no laughing matter, don’t be afraid to show your company’s lighter side. For example, you are an IT firm and you post this:
- Shout-outs to Friends & Followers: It’s always nice to know you exist. Friend some of your Facebook “likes” and mention them in posts where you can. For example, you have a sale in-store, snap photos, tag them and post. Voila! Your customers feel you value them as individual people.
How often should I tweet? Research says you should tweet 4 – 5 times per day. If this is too hard to manage, shoot for at least once or twice per day.
What time should I post?
- The highest percentage of retweets happens around 5 p.m. EST
- The highest percentage of people who click on links happens between noon and 6 p.m. EST
- Twitter usage spikes towards the end of the week and on weekends.
What should I tweet? Because of the 160 character limit, tweets should be quick shout-outs or retweets, links to relevant articles that share something in common with your company, and to announce sales, promotions or events.
Visuals are everything here. This would be a great place to post interesting product shots. Make sure to use accurate descriptions and integrate keywords.
Instagram is the place to highlight the people of your company and their lifestyle. You want to show who your company is. Take shots of products in the warehouse, or an employee putting something out on a rack. Maybe snap a photo of the “lunchers” in the break room. However, Instagram is for the young and filtered; if you work in a dingy basement, perhaps skip posting the work environment on this social media site.
Posting on LinkedIn is less important than making sure your company page is up-to-date. Be sure to upload your logo, accurately and thoroughly describe your services and update important information that changes.
Most importantly… your social media platforms should speak to your company’s values and let your customers and clients know you want to engage in conversation with them. An interesting stream of information might just be the thing to set you apart from your competitors.