What is the Right Social Media for My Small Business?

Let's face it, most small businesses have little to no presence on the web and others barely have a website put together. The most common question I get with small business owners is, "What social media platforms should I be on?" Most think that they have to be on all of them, but that couldn't be further from the truth.

Here are three questions you need to ask yourself when it come to figuring out which Social Media platforms your company should be on.

1. Who is MY target audience?

The most important social media platforms that you should be on are the one's where your target audience is. What does that mean? Well, if you're target audience is teenagers then SnapChat might be something you look into. If it's creative young do-it yourself mothers, then Pinterest should be on your radar.

It's important to know your target audience as specifically as possible. If they are men, what kind of men. What are their hobbies, interest, etc.. The better you know your audience, the better you can market to them and know where they go.

2. How much time can I devote to Social Media?

30 min to an hour a day is almost minimum for monitoring and managing your Social Media accounts. Ideally, you should staff a digital marketer who can do all of this for you and more, but many small business can't afford that so there are a few tools you can look into that act as a sort of aggregate to social media. HootSuite is a great one that allows you to login to one place and manage and post to any of your social media sites (well almost any of them). It also measures performance and give you some analytics tools as well.

Some have asked,"Why not just schedule a weeks worth of posts in one day then only check it once a week?" The reason is because you need to monitor what others are saying about your brand. If someone complains about you on your social media site and you don't respond within 24 hours at the latest then it can really make your brand look bad. Here are some examples of what can go wrong (6 examples of social media crisis).

3. How will I utilize the Social Media platforms I join?

So now we know who are target audience is, and where they are. We've joined the two or three social media platforms and are excited about getting started. The problem now is what do I post? This is not uncommon for small businesses to feel this way. This is why you need a plan. 

Decide before hand how many times you will post each week to each social media platform. If you are writing a blog, three original posts a week are stronger than daily regurgitation. Twitter and Facebook can be updated at least 4 to 5 times a week, and more if you find yourself in conversations with customers. 

It is very important that you don't just replicate the same material on all of your social media channels. Make sure each social media platform that you are on has a specific purpose that you are utilizing it for that is different than the other platforms you are on. For example if you are using Facebook for news updates about your company, don't just make yourTwitter account an aggregate for your Facebook feed. It's ok to post links for update to Twitter too, but use your Twitter account as another way for potential customers to contact you with questions, or host monthly Q&A sessions with other professionals in your field.

Just remember that you need to know your audience which will in turn help you know which Social Media platforms you need to be on. But have a plan once you decide where you are going to be and be consistent at executing your plan. And lastly, always ask for feedback so you can constantly be improving your methods. 


As always, please ask me any questions on here or on my Twitter account @daviddoughty83

3 Ways to Leverage Pinterest for Your Business

Now that you’re intrigued with the thought of adding another consortium to your online marketing strategy, let’s review some ways you can use Pinterest intelligently.

Connect – Promote your company’s brand on Pinterest by creating visual boards that represent its product or services and attract an audience. Each time a user on Pinterest bookmarks an item of interest it’s pinned to their board and shared with other users who have similar content. This means an exponential increase in opportunities to reach more consumers since over 20% of Facebook users are also active on Pinterest.

Drive – Pinterest creates another opportunity to direct consumers (70+ million) to your company’s main website. You can take advantage of this by posting interesting visual aids and content to compel readers to investigate. They will quickly find the source of the information, your company’s website, and browse. Since we know that referrals from Pinterest generate more sales, funneling consumers to your site creates another valuable channel of online traffic.

Retain – Once you begin attracting an audience for your business on Pinterest it’s important to engage them. If someone pins or comments on content that you’ve posted, be sure and reply to interact with your audience. You can spend time promoting your company by answering questions, adding content, and commenting on other users’ interests and content. Like interacting with any online community, responding to users can add merit to your content, improve your company’s brand image, and create new and repeat customers.

Social media management requires creativity and perseverance to reap the rewards. If you’re struggling for ideas to develop a Pinterest account, search for content posted by your company’s competitors and build a mirroring strategy to compete and win. Or, begin by setting up your own account and build a board of interests and hobbies to establish connections. You can also interact with your competitors through content posts and comments to attract readers and build relationships.

Having the right social media framework to support your company’s business development goals is important. It will increase traffic to your website, improve brand visibility, and result in a broader online-audience. Take the time to evaluate Pinterest as a strategy to drive business growth by appealing to consumers through a preferred platform.

Photo Credit: Business on Pinterest/shutterstock
Authored by: Michael Jaccarino

How to get the most out of Pinterest for your small business

This is a reblog from Emily Schiola on Digital Trends

1. Make boards about things customers wouldn’t think about

better beer pinterest

Most companies post photos of their product or services, but it is way more fun to think out of the box, or boards … I’m not sorry. Follow the lead of Deschutes Brewery in Oregon. Their page has boards for recipes using beer, lists of events they are putting on and even how to reuse old bottles around the house. This is a fun way to extend your brand and make your company even more useful and accessible. Deschutes even has a board for beer news so people can learn more about their product. Become the go-to for information on your product while also producing some really interesting content. Pinterest is hip and educational. 

2. Contests

pinterest contest

It is hard to go wrong when feeding into people’s basic human need to be better than someone else. Randomly choose a “follower of the week” and put that person on your page for the whole week, or even offer up a weekly prize. People will want to get in on the action once they hear about the $25 gift card. There are many ways to do this, so make it your own. 

3. Add a pin it button to your website

pin it button

This is the easiest way to use Pinterest in a business. The Pinterest button works just like a Facebook or Twitter button. Allow people to share things they think are cool from your website and your name will get out there. Social Media is all about being lazy convenience, so adding a button is a quick and efficient way to get people involved in what you’re doing. It’s free, it’s easy, and you can set it up for your site by following the instructions here. The people that pin things from your site will most likely follow you as well. It is just the right thing to do. 

4. Bundle your social media

Nothing goes better with social media than other social media. If you don’t have your Twitter connected to your Facebook and vice versa, you’re doing it wrong. Cross promote everything on everything and people will follow. Why do you think they’re called followers? 

5.  Coupons

Pinterest coupon

People love coupons and they will print them and cut them out for stuff they don’t even need. It is a proven fact that even if they won’t use the item the coupon is for, people will consider buying it just for the discount. I’m not going to back up that claim, but it’s true. Posting coupons is a great way to get people picking up what you’re laying down, so to speak. Just make them super easy to print, and don’t put in any crazy expiration dates or small print. These are tips to help your business not make everyone hate you. There is a fine line between being reasonable and just being mean with coupons. Don’t cross it. 

6. Actually use it

Surprise, you actually have to update a Pinterest account. People have short attention spans and will only look at the same five pins so many times. Update regularly. If you neglect it you will lose pinners and respect in the world of Pinterest. Pinterest is probably the easiest social media platform. Just put up things that are cool to look at and you are golden. Don’t pin just for the sake of pinning, make it something cool that people will appreciate. 

Pinterest Experiments with Promoted Pins

This could become a big deal for marketers. Imagine trying to decorate your living room with a certain color or theme and getting a promoted pin from the local hardware store or from Ikea. All of a sudden your inspired ideas have a location to purchase them.