Is Your Business a Good Fit for Social Media?
For many retailers, it's easier to create a steady flow of social media posts. Before setting up your social media account, consider these aspects that drive user engagement.
Have you been told to use social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or Pinterest, for your business?
Many small business owners got this exact advice and tried social media but didn't get much user engagement for their posts, let alone additional sales.
From Sharing to Entertaining — How Social Media Has Evolved
Facebook, in particular, no longer seems to be the platform for friends and family to share what they are doing.
Instead, the Facebook feed is filled with product advertising (sponsored posts), tips, news, and pictures or short clips of anything cute, funny, happy, goofy, enraging, or sensational.
While each feed is different and influenced by what the user has liked, shared, or clicked on, simple three-line messages with attention-grabbing images seem to get the most user engagement.
Keep in mind that users are rapidly scrolling through their Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest feed, spending only split seconds on each post, scanning it for anything interesting, distracting, or entertaining. Users, generally, are not searching for anything specific or serious; they are browsing.
Bite-Sized and Attention-Grabbing
If you are considering using social media for your business, here are five pointers that can help you determine whether your business is a good fit for social media.
Keep your message bite-sized. If users don't understand your post in a split second, they continue scrolling. Therefore, simple and short content is easier to understand than complex thoughts. A funny quote, a quick tip, or a few-second video creates the most likes, shares, or clicks.
Use attention-grabbing images. People love great photos. They are like eye candy. If these pictures are your originals, even better. These images do not have to be professionally taken, but they should at least be retouched to get the most out of them. If you cannot avoid using stock photos, I recommend placing them in the background behind some text.
Create high-quality content. Your post will appear in a user's feed among countless others. If it doesn't match the quality of the neighboring posts, users will likely not notice it and will continue scrolling. If you record a short video, ensure the lighting is right, the background is clean, and your brand elements are visible.
Stay on brand. Since you post as a business, follow your brand guidelines. Always use the same fonts, colors, and icons when designing a post. Also, don't forget to add your logo.
Post daily. Social media wants you to post frequently. In reality, it means daily. Every second day can work if you see good user engagement. However, I recommend posting daily to maximize your potential reach. You can schedule your posts for days and weeks into the future.
Creating high-quality on-brand posts with bite-sized messages and attention-grabbing images for Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest is a lot of work, regardless of what others tell you. It is normal to devote between one and two hours daily to creating the content for a post, designing it with Canva, Adobe Express, Adobe Illustrator, or Adobe Photoshop, and then scheduling it.
Some Businesses Are a Better Fit for Social Media Than Others
If you are posting daily, you need to maintain a steady flow of topics to talk about. That's easier for some businesses than others.
For example, retailers, boutiques, or specialty grocers can post about their products and how to use them. Dog groomers can show cute pictures of nicely groomed dogs and give tips on keeping pets safe. Yoga instructors and health coaches can provide valuable advice, or event venues can announce new performances or interview famous actors or singers.
However, for contractors, lawyers, accountants, photographers, or graphic designers, developing daily short and informative messages that interest a broad and demographically diverse audience can be more challenging. In my experience, these businesses are not a natural fit for social media, regardless of how much they intend to spend boosting their posts. A weekly or monthly newsletter and a blog on their website, which allows more space to write about a topic, might be better venues to get their name out.
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