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Small Business, Little Time – Tips to Get the Most from Social Media

As a small business owner, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by social media. Your time and attention are already pulled in multiple directions – is it really worth promoting your business on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and more? Yes, if you’re doing it right. Follow these 5 tips to ensure your business gets maximum value from your online presence, with maximum efficiency.

1. Research before you start

Every successful venture begins with a plan. Before getting started spend some time understanding which channels your customers are using and why. While SnapChat might be an effective tool for reaching tweens and teens, it is unlikely to help you engage with customers who are 50+.

2. Automation is your friend

While you may see the best results from posting daily, or even several times a day, that doesn’t mean you have to be a slave to your keyboard all day. Take advantage of scheduling options within social media networks such as Facebook, or purpose-built tools such as Hootsuite, Sprout Social and Buffer.

With some careful planning and an hour or so of your time, you can schedule a week’s worth of posts across multiple social networks, add photos or videos and choose the exact date and time for each to go live.

3. Sharing is caring

Social media is about engagement, not selling. One key to engaging your audience is ensuring the content you share is truly relevant to them and not just a sales message promoting your business or product.

Sharing interesting content from other trusted sources boosts the quality and diversity of your feed, while also encouraging those sources to return the favour and share your content with their own audiences. Follow other businesses, bloggers, and thought leaders in your field to get relevant, sharable content delivered right to your news feed.

4. Repurpose with purpose

With the fast-paced nature of social media, your business’ post can get lost in a viewer’s feed within minutes. Re-posting the same message at different times and even on different days helps ensure your content reaches as many people as possible. Best practices include waiting at least eight hours before duplicating content, sharing one or two other posts between duplicates, and using different headlines and images to convey the same message.

5. Be human

While automation can be a great time-saver, your customers want to know they are dealing with real people who care about their concerns. Time spent answering online questions, addressing complaints and solving problems is time well-spent.

The customer who posted a comment feels listened to, and others viewing your feed gain confidence in your company’s customer service.