Social media basics for your business – using Facebook and Instagram

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We use Facebook and Instagram for our business promotion and also to keep up with the latest trends to help our local, small business clients.

While we aren’t declaring ourselves gurus when it comes to the socials, we’d like to help out and share some of the special sauce that keeps our accounts vibrant and relevant.

In light of this, we’d like to present the following freebies to our local community of small business owners and employees – feel free to message us with success stories or point out where you think that we are wrong!

OK, let’s get started with the tips.

Create great content!

It takes a little bit of planning but you should aim to post consistent, relevant content. Sometimes there will be the urge to take a quick pic and blurt out a comment but we advise caution.

How is the pic? Think about the little things; is it in focus? Is it appropriate? Does it give the right message?

What about the text? Check your spelling, grammar and punctuation. Maybe slow down, take a breath and re-read your content in a different way to check the message that you are trying to portray.

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Tell a story.

Think about the messages that you have been telling through previous posts and consider the overall story that you are trying to tell.

Many businesses just consider social media as another advertising platform and just post products and pricing as if they were advertising in the local paper. You should rethink this strategy and consider stories about the products, use cases and examples as well as customer stories.

Some advise the 80:20 rule which says that 80% of your posts should be informative and 20% should be about selling, but we feel that the selling comes from the exposure. Explain the product and it will sell itself. Push pricing and you will lose engagement with potential customers or clients.

Take your customers and clients on a journey with your products and build trust and a following for your brand.

Instagram tips

Instagram is all about the image, so make it good! Keep text to a minimum and think about the hashtags that are relevant to the post.

Hashtag ideas can be discovered by questions. What is it? Where is it? Who were you with? Why is it good? How is it relevant?

Research the tags and check if they are relevant to your business.

Find posts similar to yours and see what hashtags are working for them.

Create your own hashtag and encourage it’s use

Consistently using your own hashtag on posts provides another way in which your content can be found. Create it, use it and own it!

Tag people that are relevant to your content

Whether it is Instagram or Facebook, tag people that you were with or are in the photos associated with the post. This alerts them to the post and their interaction will bring in their friends and followers. Use the “@” symbol and start typing their username for Instagram or name for Facebook to tag them.

The nitty gritty – pet peeves

Here are some things that we see and we’d like you to avoid them 😉

If you post on Instagram and then share to Facebook, please ensure that you edit the Facebook post and replace the tags with relevant Facebook tags. Leaving the business name, location, friend tag as an Instagram tag in Facebook looks lazy and reduces engagement. Take a moment to edit and make the Facebook post relevant with the correct tags.

Use locations when you post

Tagging other businesses and locations is a great way to promote engagement. The business that you tag will get a notification which may lead to a like or comment – or just acknowledgement of your existence on the platform. Over time, this builds as others browse your posts and see the locations and businesses that you’ve tagged.
For Instagram, tag the business specifically in the post and add the location. In Facebook, browse to the images and add the locations.

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Hashtags need spaces between them but not spaces in them

#hashtags include the text after the “#” until the next space and are usually a word or combination of words strung together. If you put a space between words that are meant to be part of the hashtag, only the part before the space is the tag.

Similarly, if you forget to put a space between tags, tags will only work on Instagram and not Facebook.

So there it is – some of our special sauce!

Hopefully this article provides some actionable steps that you can take to improve engagement for your Instagram and Facebook.

If you would like to sit down to discuss your social media strategy and how these tips are relevant to your business, please contact us.

Posted in Clients, Community.