You started a new business—congratulations! What’s next? As a small business owner or entrepreneur, there are so many things that need to get done and one of those is getting your business online—making you visible to potential clients and giving your company a reliable, friendly face. Or, maybe your business has been around for a while but you think it could use a boost.
Social media for business is a whole other world. To get you online and in touch with your customers, we’ve come up with a very basic cheat sheet for you to follow, to quell any fears and get you on the path to success with social media.
Here is our super-simple guide to getting started with social media for your business.
Getting your new business online
Sharing your new business on social media can feel daunting. With so many books, articles, tips and resources already online, sometimes it’s hard to just pin down the basics. We promise you that once you understand each platform, you will get the hang of it and experience the benefits of sharing photos, related articles and getting in touch with your customers.
Remember, you don’t need to have every single type of social account. Start with the one most appropriate for your business and decide where you’ll go from there.
We’ve broken down the top three social media platforms and provided tips on how to best use them to boost your business.
But, first things first
You need a website. It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive if you start with basic information and content that doesn’t change. This will create a single source of truth so that people know this is where they can get accurate information about your product or service. Go for a simple clean look; try to use pleasing or classic color combinations and remember that generally, less is more.
Your new business also needs a web address or domain name. Luckily for you, Hover has monthly sales on tons of domain names so you can head over to our main page to check what’s on sale this month. Once you’ve done that, use a free template from a site like WordPress and off you go. You can spruce it up later, maybe after you get some feedback. You can also set it up so your website directs emails to your personal email account, making it super low maintenance.
Put yourself on the map. Literally. Tag your business location, upload a few attractive pictures, enter some contact details and business hours if you have them. People look for the easiest point of contact and right now, that means the top Google result. If they can’t find you on the first couple pages of Google, they might not bother finding you at all.
Have a goal in mind. Are you trying to reach new customers? Stay in touch with current clients? Share industry information or insight with the hope to educate or create change? This will help you figure out what you should be posting online, how you talk to people and where to place effort and focus.
Brand and personality
We suggest coming up with a couple of words to define your business presence online. This will guide what you share and how you present yourself. These can be simple words to guide you—are you serious or funny? Are you conversational or formal? Deciding these will help you engage with people and other brands online.
Anything you put online may end up being saved, via download or screenshot, on someone’s phone or computer, so whatever you put on your business page needs to be prepared as public-facing, quality content. Pictures, videos and words need to be well-thought-out. Put yourself in the client’s shoes and create content you think customers are likely to share.
The best social media apps for your new business
Great for: Sharing updates, sales, news and articles. If creating a website feels like too much right now, Facebook is your next best bet. On your company business page, you can enter all the contact information and extra details about your business, such as a background story and helpful photos. Make sure you post consistently as FB is the best platform to build your community, provoke discussion and engage your audience.
Tip: Share industry information or articles so people get more than just a sales pitch about your product or service.
Only on FB: Lots of space to write
Great for: Highlighting products and making anything look pretty with the right filter. If the nature of the business is a service not a product, use photos of people and use the Stories feature to highlight amazing service or quality. Stories shared on Instagram can be posted directly to your Facebook account, making it really easy to share across both apps.
Tip: As this is a visual platform, it might be a good idea to pick a theme or pattern for posting.
Only on Instagram: We recommend no more than 10 hashtags per post and to place them in the comment section rather than the caption.
Great for: Starting conversations with brands and engaging with current topics and trends.
Tip: While it is the easiest place to have a conversation, it’s also the easiest place to get into trouble if you say something off-brand, controversial or insensitive. Keep it enjoyable by following fun hashtags and following thought leaders.
Only on Twitter: With 280 characters, you can build relationships with similar brands, influencers, and companies just by showing interest, retweeting and contributing to conversations. We recommend using less than 280 characters to do all that though.
One last thing
Remember to set some time aside to do this “Internet stuff” for your new business, it is crucial to see what is working and how to adapt your content accordingly. You will need a schedule to make sure you post regularly (at least weekly) and also check your business Google search results, website and social media accounts to see if anything is amiss. Consistency generally leads to higher engagement which is your ultimate goal on social media. It means people like what you are putting out there and are more likely to trust you, buy whatever you’re selling and communicate with you directly.
Most importantly, reply to your followers. This may be the easiest and most important way to build your platform and business online. Showing up for your customers, online and in-person, is a key to success.
Good luck, and have fun with it! Don’t get disheartened with low likes or engagement, just get your name out there and be consistent! You’ll do great.
Let us know in the comments if you would like more social media tips for your business!