Over the past couple of years, I’ve learnt a few things about making social media work for a small business. The teacher in me enjoys passing things along and I thought I’d start some Small Business Social Media tips.

One great example of this is a client of mine that asked for my help with getting her business up and running. She runs a sports massage company and needed to expand her client base. However, she was a Facebook hating technophobe, her words not mine, and she needed some help. Eventually after spending time with her the Facebook page was up and running plus she had some new clients. Then something happened. I got a notification that her business page was on Instagram and now following me. The best bit? I hadn’t set that up! She had taken her new confidence and skills and set up an account. Proud moment for me.

Small Business Social Media: The Old Days

So, I figured I’d share some tips with you. First up, Facebook isn’t what it was a few years ago. We will have all noticed the fact that we see what Facebook wants us to see. Rather than our friend’s posts in a nice timely order. This is known as the Algorithm and has had a massive impact on small businesses. It’s simply not enough for people to like your page, they will only get shown what you post if Facebook deems it ‘important’ or of value and so you need to get that across to Facebook. How? By your posts being engaging, getting interactions and being shared. Gone are the days of a quick status update, and my word I cringe when they pop up on my time hop!

Think questions or a post that will get people commenting. Some of the most popular posts I’ve seen are those saying ‘post the last picture you took of your horse’ cue heaps of comments with pictures of horses. The more comments, the more FB think it’s useful, the more it shows it to people and therefore the more comments. It snowballs and the amount of people that will be exposed to your post is known ‘reach’

Small Business Social Media: Reach for the stars

Reach is something that’s becoming a bit of a buzz word. Especially in the blogging, brand ambassador world. No value in having hundreds or thousands of ‘followers’ if you don’t have the reach to match. Getting good reach can be really challenging. Some posts I’ve put heaps of thought into have bombed. Like totally bombed, 3 people reached. Then a random post that I maybe did as a back-up, because you have to show up every day, just goes wild. There’s lots of factors that’ll influence it and to a certain extent it’ll depends who you are targeting your posts at. For example, city folks will be on the train at 7 am, perfect time to post for them. They’ll be sat scrolling through their phones and hey bingo there’s you.

On the flip side us horsey folk are normally mucking out, not on our phones. So I rarely post at 7am. For me I get the most interactions from 7pm till 9pm. Once the ponies are in bed. Just have a look at your posts and see what ones are doing well. Is there a common theme?

Small Business Social Media: Is it sunny?

Also think about external factors, things like the weather will have a huge impact. When it’s sunny I often hold off on posting something and will maybe save it for another day or when it’s dark! The winter is a great time for posting, dark at 4 so most people are indoors and often bored. Events such as Badminton will also impact my social media plans. Will people be at the event? Should I post about the event?

Just be aware of what’s going on in your specific industry and consider that when planning your social media. Hopefully that’s given you a good starting point to get the social media show on the road. Remember a lot of it is trial and error. Don’t be disheartened, review and analyse. Then try again. If you post engaging content that people find useful you’ll find it’ll get going all by itself.