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A Social Media Cheat Sheet for the Small Business Owner

Social Media for the Small Business Owner

Learn how to score enormous engagement by knowing what to post and how often to post it.

“I have Twitter so I can tell people what I want them to buy and they give me money.” – Louis CK

If you’re a small business owner with a product or service to sell, that’s kind of the goal of social media, right? You ultimately want your audience to buy your goods.

In social media, audience engagement acts as a catalyst in the sales conversion process. And engagement all begins with a simple four-letter word.


But how often and what do I post?

It’s one of the most frequently asked questions we receive from our clients.

If you have 5,000 or 10,000 or even 50,000 followers, that’s great – good for you! But if you’re not engaging with them daily to cultivate relationships, thereby increasing your chance of sales conversion, you’re wasting your time.

Of course your focus should be on building your “house list,” as well as social media followers. However, it’s the actions you take once you’ve obtained a massive following that impact your bottom line big time.Scoring new leads isn’t the time to hit the pause button – it’s the time to step on the gas pedal. That’s what the big-name brands and social media champions do, and you – the small business owner – must do the same.

Let’s start with a paradigm for better engagement with your followers.

Your social media content is only as good as its consumption!

So, you say you’re posting content on social media on a regular basis, but you’re not receiving any likes, shares, re-tweets and the like?

Remember: your content is only as good as its consumption. If it’s not being “consumed” (liked, shared, re-tweeted, etc.), it’s time for a new plan of action.

Some people find that the more often you post, the more engagement or reader “activity” you’ll receive on social media. Check out these stats regarding engagement on Google+:

  • Stone Temple Consulting’s Mark Traphagen and Social mouths’ Daniel Sharkov each shared results from their own sharing on Google+. They discovered a positive correlation between frequency and engagement, finding that the more often you post, the more activity you’ll receive. When posting frequency wanes, the result was adip in traffic by up to 50%.
  • However… In another study, Socialbakers uncovered that posting once per week on Facebook was so low as to lose connection with your audience and posting more than twice per day was borderline obnoxious. Its 2011 study found that the right blend is five to 10 posts per week.
  • Along with their analysis of Facebook post frequency, Socialbakers also studied Twitter, taking a random sample of 11,000 tweets from top brands.They concluded that three tweets per day is the trigger at which brands start seeing big engagement.
  • On Twitter, social media thought leader Mari Smith has found hercomfort zoneto besix to seven tweets per day on weekdays, and three to four on weekends.On Facebook, she aims for five to six Facebook page posts per week.

Here’s the catch: Facebook has changed its news feed algorithm, resulting in rumors of “decline in reach.” If that’s true, fewer of your followers may actually see your posts.

In the past,social media thought leaders have advised posting between two and five times per day. However, what has worked for people in the past may not work now. More recently, Buffer app suggested posting two times per day on Facebook, seven days per week.

What’s the real answer to how often do I post? It will vary from business to business. The only way you’ll ever know the answer is to test, measure and repeat.Instead of relying on other people’s data and recommendations, find your baseline and understand what has been working for your business.

What does my social media audience want from me?

social media audience

While there really is no definitive answer to the frequency question, telling you what to post is more of an exact science.

Your audience craves:

  • Images – especially useful infographics
  • Useful, timely and newsworthy content
  • Video and other media

According to Buffer Social and its analysis of the “perfect Facebook post,” your post should:

  • Include a link
  • Be brief – 40 characters or fewer
    • Posts at this length tend to receive a higher “like” rate and comment rate – in other words, more engagement.
    • Studies of the top pages on Facebook have found that shorter posts – 40 characters or less – receive the most engagement on average (it also happens that these ultra-short posts are the least frequent types of posts on Facebook).
  • Posts at this length tend to receive a higher “like” rate and comment rate – in other words, more engagement.
  • Studies of the top pages on Facebook have found that shorter posts – 40 characters or less – receive the most engagement on average (it also happens that these ultra-short posts are the least frequent types of posts on Facebook).
  • Be published at non-peak times (post on Saturdays and Sundays and post after regular work hours. Facebook users are more active during evenings and weekends).
  • Follow other posts on a regular schedule.
  • Be timely and newsworthy.

There are 4 main types of posts you can make on your page:

  • Text posts
  • Link posts
  • Photo Posts
  • Video Posts

Here’s the breakdown and what your audience is looking for with each type.

Text Only Posts

A text only post is just a basic content post (words and ideas only) and is probably the most prevalent type across social media.

Text only posts are quick and simple, which is why they’re so common. They also tend to be the most lackluster, unless you can trigger your audience’s imagination, emotions or thought process – the best way to encourage them to participate in the conversation.

For an engaging text only post, one of the best methods is to ask a short question that requires a short answer.

Keep your text only posts brief to increase the chance that people will respond.

Link Posts

Pasting a URL to a news story or helpful blog article in the Facebook status box is a great way to provide useful, timely information to your audience.If you include the URL to your blog article or sales page, it is also a killer way to push traffic to your site. Your goal for link posts is to convince people to click on the link.

Make sure the text portion of your post is short. You don’t want to include too much information up front. That erases the need for the reader to click on the link and continue reading.Make sure your call to action is clear, direct and compelling so your audience can’t resist clicking on it.

While engagement might be lower with link posts (because you’re sending the reader off Facebook to another site), your real goal with link posts is to propel traffic to your website.

Photo Posts

It’s hard for people to resist eye-catching images in their News Feeds. No wonder this type of post tends to rank highest on the engagement scale.

A great photo is instant engagement bait. With images, your goal is to get followers to like, comment and share the photo with their friends and followers (who then have the opportunity to see it, comment on it and share it). Grab your followers’ attention with a unique image and you’ll see your engagement results soar.

Video Posts

Did you know Facebook videos actually perform better than YouTube videos when posted to Facebook pages?

Video marketing is huge and ever growing in popularity.According to a recent study by Social bakers , videos uploaded to Facebook achieved a 40% higher engagement rate over YouTube links posted to a page.The study’s analysis of 3,684 YouTube links and 458 Facebook videos also revealed that both sites receive the same amount of likes and shares, but Facebook videos receive more comments.The lesson: don’t just rely on YouTube – there’s a massive engagement opportunity for videos awaiting your business over on Facebook.

Do you need a social media manager?

social media manager

We’re not going to lie. It takes a lot of work to keep your audience engaged. Employing these social media tactics requires a serious time commitment, savvy content writing ability, and the ability to measure and interpret metrics.

Have you ever considered hiring a social media manager to take the heavy load off of your back?

We excel in all things social media – this is just a partial list of what you’ll get by partnering with us:

  • Setting up and managing Facebook business pages
  • Scheduling posts
  • Measuring your pages for engagement using Facebook Insights
  • Obtaining a Twitter verified account for your business
  • Instagram for business
  • Measuring your ROI
  • Using social media to secure repeat business
  • Video marketing

Yes, you can make money for your business through social media. It begins with better, deeper, more powerful engagement. If you want our top-notch social media experts to perform an audit of your social media pages and devise a custom engagement plan, click here and we’ll get started today.

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