You’ve spent years honing your craft and skills that have brought you to this point of owning your own business here in beautiful Jefferson County. You’ve challenged yourself, you’ve taken the time to learn everything you need to know, and you’ve taken the risk to start a business.

But even with all that success and hard work, you’re still feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, and maybe even scared of building a social media following for your business.

If this is you, you’re not alone in this feeling. Building a social media presence can be overwhelming and exhausting, but so many sales begin with engagement on social media. According to Hootsuite, nearly three-quarters of American adults use social media of some kind, meaning there’s a chance to get your product on the screen inside someone’s pocket or purse if you know how to get there.

These are 10 simple tips to either get you started with social media or improve your existing presence.

  1. Create a plan

You own a growing business here in Jefferson County because you’ve made and acted upon some great plans. Let your social media presence be a positive reinforcement of that planning.

Without a plan, you’ll have no clear goal for why you’re investing time in this, and no way to measure what is or isn’t working. By making a plan at the beginning, you’ll be able to ensure all your efforts into social media support specific business goals. You’ll also be able to remove some of the constant decision making required for making new decisions for what to post.

There are so many resources, like Twitter Business, designed specifically to help you get started with this planning.

  1. Choose a platform that works best for your business

The most popular social media platforms differ dramatically. Some emphasize engagement (like Facebook and Twitter), while others focus on images and/or videos (like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok). Users on these platforms can vary widely, so you need to understand what type of content connects best with your customers.

While there’s a strong argument for having a social media presence on the most popular platforms, focus on one or two that work best for your business.

  1. Decide on a schedule

Like the aforementioned plan, you want your social media presence to be a reflection of the quality experience your customers will have while doing business with you.

This type of positive reinforcement shows in your posting schedule. When your posts seem to show up randomly, your business seems disorganized. Consistency will communicate to your customers you are reliable, and will also create interest and a sense of anticipation for when they can expect to see your posts.

  1. Know your audience

If your client base is primarily made up of retirees, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to invest in TikTok videos. It also wouldn’t make much sense to create Facebook posts for high school and college students.

Understanding your audience and presenting content where they are spending time online is key to effectively using social media. You can then start to dig into social media analytics that gives much more in-depth data into the social media habits of your target audience. There are considerable resources for Facebook and Instagram especially to create posts that will increase engagement.

  1. Expand your audience

Once you understand your current audience, now it’s time to grow your audience by reaching more people.

Start with finding similar audiences among different demographics or areas. You can also use tools like Hootsuite geo-search streams to monitor and respond to local conversations about your business and to build relationships with other local businesses in Jefferson County.

  1. Build relationships

Speaking of building relationships, we’re all in this together to build Jefferson County into a sought-after destination for visitors and business development. Partnering with other area businesses to create joint social media campaigns can increase your presence in the community.

It’s also important to build relationships with your customers who are engaging with your content. One of the powerful ways social media can make a difference is the emotional connection you can build with your followers. Also, as your followers share and like your content, your account will rise in the social algorithms and gain new, free exposure.

  1. Follow your competitors

This may seem counterintuitive, but this can be a great strategy for a better understanding of what type of social media is working for another company in your industry. Conversely, you can also see what isn’t working for your competitors and plan accordingly.

  1. Balance organic and promotional posts

Your end goal of investing time into social media is to gain customers, but you don’t want every post to be a sales pitch. Instead, find a balance between posts that highlight your personality and encourage engagement with posts intended for sales. Creating a genuine connection will drive sales even more.

  1. Post compelling images

The best social media posts almost always have a great image attached. Why? Great images grab someone’s attention. From there, you have an opportunity to showcase your great product or service.

Instagram and Snapchat rely heavily on visuals, but every platform benefits from using a great image. Twitter itself says, “The single simplest thing you can do to get more attention to your Tweets is to add an image or GIF.”

And living in beautiful Jefferson County, it’s not too hard to grab a great image when you’re in a pinch!

  1. Focus on quality over quantity

It doesn’t matter if you post 100 times a day. If you’re not sharing high-quality content, your posts won’t reflect well on your business and your social media feed will become an annoyance.

Remember, your social media has to offer value to your customers. If following your business no longer brings value in some way, it’ll only result in an unfollow and no sales.

Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce has the insight you need

Social media can be a challenge for any of our small business owners here in Jefferson County. But with the right planning and well thought out execution, your social media feed can become a powerful marketing and sales tool.

If you have a business in Jefferson County and learning more business growth strategies is your goal, we’re here to help. Become a member of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce today to start taking advantage of all the workshops, networking, and other benefits we have to offer. To find out more about how to join or to learn about how we can be a difference-maker for your small business, contact us online or by calling 865-397-9642.

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