Social Media. Everyone has it and everyone is always on it, so as a small business, you probably need it. But once you’ve set up your account on Facebook and Instagram, what do you actually do? There is an art to creating an engaging profile that entices your audience to buy, so lets run through it.
Aesthetic Instagram Profiles
Your brand has a personality, and on Instagram you need to make that personality shine. One way to do this, is to use a colour palette that reflects your branding. Choose between 3-4 colours, and make sure at least one of those colours is in every post you make. Another way to get consistency in your posts is to use the same filter for your photos. Don't feel locked into your aesthetic though! You can change it up every 20 or so posts (so maybe a new colour palette every month) if you wish. All you need to do is ensure is that visitors to your Instagram profile can get a feel for your branding from simply being on your page. But why are we making a fuss about good-looking profiles? With more and more people turning to Instagram to research brands, you need your profile to look as sleek as your website.
What to post
When it comes to choosing what to post, think as if your brand was a person. What would they post and share? It shouldn’t all be photos of your product – post inspirational quotes and images, videos and behind the scenes’ content. Give people the opportunity to get to know (and like!) your brand's personality. Share reviews and other brand’s content, introduce your staff and talk about the community. Do a shout out to another brand, show people enjoying your product and tell people about an upcoming market. And the ideas can go on forever. The main takeaway – make sure your content is varied!
Where to find content
Make it yourself! Use a free online editing tool like Canva to edit, add text and graphics to your photos, making them more engaging. Don't be afraid of using other people's content either, just make sure you tag them! And if you’re stuck, you can download free images on pexel.com or unsplash.com.
Post, and post often
When we are talking Instagram, generally speaking the recommendation is to make a post once a day. But do consider your target market when making decisions about post frequency. Young people who are always on their social accounts need new content all the time, and so you may need to post on your feed twice a day just to keep up. If your target market is skewed a little older, perhaps they won't appreciate being overloaded with your brand's content. Again, it all depends on what your target audience prioritises and how they engage with social media. Just make sure whatever your strategy is, it suits their interests and behaviour. When we talk Facebook, you don't need to post so often. This is because the platform has shifted its focus away from the content feed to Facebook Messenger and Facebook Groups (which is where most people find value in Facebook). Maybe post once every two or three days - but don't go too long without saying anything!
Stories are awesome
With more Instagram users turning straight to stories and ignoring their feed, this is where you need to be! They give you the opportunity to be super authentic and real with your audience. Imagine them as a little window into your life as a business owner. Share updates on what’s happening within your business and use GIFs and text to make them more engaging. Talking directly to camera is on trend for 2020, as is sharing the ups as well as the downs of your day-to-day life. Generally speaking, you can't really over-do it on stories, as they only last 24 hours and Instagram users can simply swipe past you when they've had enough. I'm sure you've seen many "Influences" with hour-long stories about nothing, yet people still watch it! Keep in mind, you don't want to be sharing absolutely everything all the time, make sure you are always keeping your branding top of mind when you share wiht your followers.
What about the other social platforms?
Good question! There are so many other social media platforms out there; Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, TikTok and Whatsapp to name a few. We consider these the 'nice-to-haves'. Instagram and Facebook are the big players, across all demographics in Australia. The rest might be more suited to certain industries or age groups. YouTube is probably next in line after Facebook and Instagram, and is highly recommended if you're interested in long-format video (5 minutes +). You could use this platform to show people you what your product can do, explain the production process or talk in-depth about specifications. If you're wanting to tap into today's teenagers, then you'll need Snapchat - maybe more so for advertising within than posting. And there is Pinterest, where you can find all your middle-aged women with 71% of users being female and a median age of 40 years old (Omnicore, 2020).
The main message is to keep your audience engaged on social media by sharing varied content in different formats with them… often. Be creative and experiment – you can’t really go wrong as long as you are true to your brand, kind to others and have fun.