With so much attention focused on “going viral” on social media, small business owners could be forgiven for thinking that cat videos and goofy memes are the only way to make it on social media. However, by focusing on the “social” side of social media, small business owners can harness a powerful set of tools for discovering and promoting their business to a loyal band of followers.
The key is to realize that social media isn’t about the quick adrenaline rush of a viral video, but about building long term relationships through small, consistent gestures. Basically, using social media isn’t any different than building a solid business — take care of the little things, treat your customers with respect, and watch things grow from there.
You may not need a viral video to be a social media superstar, but there are a few easy things you can to do build a loyal audience.
Be where your audience is
You don’t have to be on every social media platform. Go to the platforms where your audience hangs out and get really good at them. If you’re a writer, go to Twitter; if you have a restaurant, Instagram can be great; if you’re a professional, get a LinkedIn account immediately. Do your research and find where you can make the most impact with the least effort.
It doesn’t matter whether you post every day or every week, just make sure you set a plan and stick with it. Nothing kills social media momentum faster than missing a few regular postings. Think of posting consistently as a promise to your audience, and when you miss one you’re breaking that promise.
Whether you’re a lawyer or a hospital, if you aren’t having fun then neither is your audience. You have a heart, you love your business, and you love your customers, so feel free to show it through your social media accounts.
As a small business owner you’ll likely never have a post that gets viewed a million times, but that’s OK. Instead, work on building a loyal audience every day, every week, every month, and you’ll have something far more valuable than a viral video — a loyal customer base.