Set Your Business’s Sights on Social in 2018
Another year has begun to a surprisingly blistery cold start in Salisbury, North Carolina. While the optimistic masses are signing up for gym memberships so they’re swimsuit season ready for High Rock Lake, I’ve been contemplating resolutions that every small business should have on their list in 2018 to make social media work for them.
Although I’m not originally from here, I’m proud to belong to the small, tight-knit community of Salisbury. It’s the kind of place where everyone seems to know everyone if you just put in a little bit of effort. At Miller Davis, part of my job is to stay tuned in to what is going on in our community for our local clients. I am always following the latest social updates from Rowan County businesses. It’s easy to see who is doing it right and which businesses could use our help…or just some self-help.
At Miller Davis, our clients not only vary in industry but also in size. Our digital team offers a wide variety of social management options, ranging from fully customized service to starter packages that will dip your toes in the social marketplace while still garnering results for your business with limited investment.
Despite the affordability of our Starter Social Exposure Package, not every small business is ready to take the plunge into the agency world. Here are three simple social resolutions that small businesses can make in 2018 to help themselves to a piece of the social pie.
1. Stake Your Claim
Many businesses might be surprised to find out that they already have a presence on social media even though they may have not set it up themselves. I have worked with several clients who either had duplicated accounts that required merging or a mystery account that was auto-generated. These Unofficial Pages are created by the system (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Google, Bing, etc.), usually when a user checks into a place that doesn’t have an existing page.
This can be a recipe for disaster that should be resolved as soon as possible for various reasons, one being that if you’re not in control of a representation of your business online, you can’t control or direct the message. When a customer has a bad experience, typically the first thing they do is turn to social media to blast the business that “did them wrong.” A bad review that goes unchecked can spiral into a viral tailspin as it may be shared and re-shared over and over. This becomes a PR nightmare, and it can take substantial time to heal the wound left by this social mayhem. By managing your message, you can address negative reviews as they happen, which demonstrates to the public that your business holds itself accountable and is self-aware. Most people just want to hear that their voice is heard and valued. Remember, you can’t please everyone, but you can monitor feedback and implement damage control when necessary.
Users can request to claim the Unofficial Page and become its administrator or sometimes, depending on the platform, they can merge the page into an existing one. If you have difficulty figuring this out, reach out to us and our Digital Marketing Team will be ready to help you!
2. Be Your Own Cheerleader
Okay, you’ve set up your business’s social media account(s). If you take the approach of “if you build it, they will come,” you are wrong. It may be blunt, but it’s true! If you want social media to be a worthwhile endeavor, you need to be your best cheerleader.
Some clients I’ve worked with have had difficulty with this boastful task, but I simply tell them they must get over it. How can you convince anyone to patronize your business if you don’t tell them why they should? Setting up your accounts is only the beginning. Now, don’t get overwhelmed! You don’t need to post something to your social accounts every hour of every day. In fact, DON’T do that. You do need to take a strategic approach, though, and post on a regular basis. Sit down and think about what you want to say about your business, brand or product. What are the positive attributes that will help tell your business’s story? Make a list and monthly schedule of the content you plan to share, gather media (photos/videos) to share, and then implement your plan. Don’t be afraid to share on-the-fly content that isn’t already built into your schedule.
There are tools out there to help schedule your content to make it easier to manage. Our Digital Marketing Team at Miller Davis uses Buffer and SEMrush for our clients, both to schedule content and track each account’s success and areas of potential growth or improvement.
Social Tip: Sharing is caring, but sharing quality content will drive better engagement! We live in the age where almost everyone has high-res cameras built into their phones. Take the extra effort to share good quality photos or videos. There isn’t a single social network that doesn’t rely on compelling images to garner interaction. But user beware: Don’t share media that you don’t have the right to share. Stealing copyrighted images from Google is a big no-no. If you are not creating your own original media, make sure you are using photos or video that you have the right to post.
3. Keep It Current and Complete
You’ve been using your business’s social accounts for a while. Has anything changed since they were set up? Maybe it’s your hours, address or phone number. Or perhaps you’ve created a new logo but haven’t yet made it your profile photo (best practice). Is your website listed on it? Is everything sized appropriately for mobile and desktop, or are your images being cropped on different devices?
These are rookie mistakes that can easily be avoided by taking a little initiative. Keep your accounts up to date and as complete as you can. Your followers will thank you!
A Little Bit About… Mollie
Mollie Ruf is the Digital Marketing Manager at Miller Davis. A native of Kansas City, Missouri, she moved to Salisbury after graduating from Florida Southern College. She is very involved in the local community and earned the nickname the “Event Jedi” from planning numerous events for Downtown Salisbury, Inc. before joining the Miller Davis team. She can be seen driving around in her dragon Jeep dubbed "Smaug." She lives in Salisbury with her husband and three doggies.