Social media is a tricky world, and using it to your advantage as a small business can be confusing and downright challenging. How do you strategize your message in order to have the most significant reach on your followers? How do you the most significant reach on your platforms as a whole? How do small businesses who are just trying to get off the ground start and manage a social media presence that will have impact?

Here at Verity, I keep learning more and more about this. Here are some tips.

1. Create content geared toward your target audience. 

Realize who you target audience is (for example, are you primarily reaching out to men or women? young or old? what are their interests?) and post content that meets their needs. Your industry might not be easy to post information about, but if you can give a glimpse into your workday, or the materials/process that goes into creating your product, or the benefits of what you do, then you can succeed on social media.

Ask questions, but not just for the reason of increasing engagement. Use these questions or surveys to learn more about your audience so you can be genuine and cater to their preferences even more.

Strive for engagement, communication, and community with the followers you gain in the beginning. Numbers matter, but not as much as developing authenticity with those you have.

2. Post DAILY (or at least consistently) to your social media platforms. 

I’m realizing more and more just how important this is for small business! Whatever your platforms of choice may be, use them and post regularly. Facebook is probably the most popular. If you are a visually-oriented business, utilize Instagram. It’s fast-paced and you can easily make your images findable by using popular hashtags.

People prefer consistent posting over hit-and-miss messages from businesses. This also increases your credibility as a business.

3. Blog for your business on a consistent basis. 

This is one that I’m working harder towards in 2015. In addition to boosting your website rank in search engines, blogging allows you to share your knowledge. By building your ethos and credibility, it increases your business as a trustworthy voice of authority.

Have a brainstorming session. Get other people involved if you can! Figure out what is both interesting and helpful for your target audience and map out a plan and schedule for content. Break your broad topic into manageable bites and create a series.

Like I said earlier, some industries are harder to write about than others, so you certainly don’t have to blog everyday. Be creative. Use blogging as a means of reaching out to your audience and sharing relevant information with them, as much as your industry allows.

Bonus: realize that social media–now more than ever–is an effective way for small businesses to create an online community of like-minded people. 

It’s more than a place to sell your product or service. It’s more than showcasing your portfolio or project. I have heard it said that to create a successful social media community, only a small percentage of your posts should be about yourself. Rather, what you share to social media should be a healthy balance of helpful content, posts meant to foster community, and then how product and services provide value.

These are tips that, as Verity continues to utilize them in 2015, will hopefully be helpful for your small business too!

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