7 Ideas to a Better Social Media Experience in 2019

Yes – you absolutely need a social media strategy if you don’t have one yet. In fact, the question is no longer do you need one? But why in the world would you not need one? Your customers and clients live there, so, follow along.

If you already have one – Bravo! How is that working for you? If it’s working great – awesome, you have hired the right people and they are on top of the game.

For some small businesses, especially those that choose to go it alone, social media can be frustrating. In probably your first week of postings, you realize they have not driven as much traffic as you wanted, the medium is not as easy to use as it seems and you are spending hours trying to figure out just one post. In short, you don’t see much of a return on the investment you are making with time, research and man hours.

Here are some thoughts to consider:

Mind Your Manners

This time-tested value rings true today as it did eons ago with snooty Victorians worried about social manners and social standing. In 2018, how you socialize is still very important and for business, it’s important to understand that when you socialize on social media, even if it’s to the global community, it’s personal to every person who receives your message. Social platforms are used mostly for building relationships within one’s community. When a person likes what you are doing, they are going to share it with their friends, family, and community. That very first interaction with your business has to be on a personal level and not on a global scale. As with any relationship worth pursuing, your business needs to find a way to earn trust, and that starts with minding your manners when you come into their personal space.

Yes, You Can Post on Instagram Using Your Desktop (Mac)

It’s not always easy to post from a mobile device. Often you want to keep the business and the personal separate and unless you carry around two or three phones to separate accounts, or use different browsers and apps form different phones or you can install the new software that allows you to upload to Instagram or [fill in what your cousin has told you here] it can be pretty maddening. Now, to be clear, Instagram was meant to work on mobile platforms only, but you can hack your Instagram into thinking you are on a mobile phone. For instructions on how to do this, read this Macworld article.

Treat Your Employees Well

I read somewhere that employees are the new social influencers and that makes a lot of sense for a variety of reasons, but especially because when employees are happy, they brag about the place they work. They are happy, their family is happy, and everyone is happy. Communities love to support businesses that do well by their employees. Utilizing these happy employees to be your product influencers is the ultimate influencer strategy – they are not paid to do it, they are authentic and they know the product very well. At this point, consumers are savvy enough to be swayed by influencers who are paid to influence and as a business, are you sure you really want to base your strategy on who is the most popular person in the crowd? Time tested values of transparency, authenticity, and quality are what will make your business be around for the next 20 years and not just the next financial year, so invest in making your employees happy influencer employees.

Long-term is the Word for ROI.

As a new small business owner, I am acutely aware of the need to make numbers make sense at the end of the month. I am also acutely aware that I need to build relationships to make my business successful and those relationships in today’s world are increasingly found online. For the small business owner, it’s important to understand that awareness of your brand or business IS ROI. Your business being “considered” by a potential customer IS a ROI, even if they ultimately buy elsewhere. You will get that customer back by having a content strategy to engage customers, so you keep your business in front of their mind.

5. Don’t believe the hype about Facebook’s demise

According to a late 2018 report by Sprout, “Facebook remains a dominant force in marketing strategies and consumer behavior. A whopping 97% of social marketers list Facebook as their most used and useful social network, and Instagram blows Snapchat out of the water by social marketer users and consumer adoption. In fact, 83% of marketers use Instagram and 13% use Snapchat; 51% of consumers use Instagram and 30% use Snapchat”. So as much as consumers might hate recent news about Facebook and how it operates, they still use it as their #1 go to social medium. We are not only drinking the Kool-Aid created by Facebook, but we are also swimming in too -  so join the pool party!

Keep Abreast of Current Trends

Not to say abandon your product or strategy for the latest glitziest thing, but how can you use that latest glitziest thing to help your business? I recently attended a 2019 Trends Forecasting event at LPK and I was floored by some trends that are making a comeback and others that have been around for eons but are only now just gaining momentum. For example, “Insta-Spirituality” – an LPK term referring not to any sort of religion, but the “new age” holistic rituals that promise to deliver calmness, peace of mind or “spiritual out of body experiences”. I especially like this concept because of its awareness of multiculturalism (intended or unintended). I like to say that I came to America to escape eating brown and green things straight from the fields, and now I pay a premium for those brown and green things straight from the fields! (In an upcoming post, I will focus on what these trends were).

Choose the Right Medium for Your Business

Yes, it’s great to have a social media strategy for your business but you most probably do not need all of them. Conduct careful business analysis to come up with key business objectives. From there, determine which medium will work best with your business objectives. For example, if your business does not offer crafty products to showcase, you can probably do without a Pinterest account. On the other hand, I have met some business owners without LinkedIn accounts because “aren’t those for professionals only?” Yes, they are, and you ARE one. At the very least, you need a LinkedIn business page to build credibility and share information with consumers who fall in the high-income brackets. At the same time, make sure to utilize popular hashtags like #MondayMemories, #MondayMotivation, #TuesdayTrivia, #ShopLocal, #SmallBusiness, and others.

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