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Social media can be the number one tool to grow your business, or it can be the number one distraction to KEEP YOU from building a business. I’m a social media consultant by trade and I want to teach you the basics that you need to know, as a mom and business owner, that will keep you on track and working towards your goals. Social media should be a tool to help get you there, and should not have to consume your entire world!

Have you ever found yourself scrolling Facebook?

Who am I kidding! We are pretty much ALL on Facebook (or something similar)…

I personally pushed back on getting a smartphone until a couple years ago, and I can’t even REMEMBER what life was like before having everything literally at my fingertips! I love my phone! BUT, it takes some serious diligence to keep the balance between being available on social media, and being dedicated as a mom AND getting everything else done.

I have struggled with this balance because I do have social media clients and I need to be checking in frequently. But for those of you who don’t have a 100% social media-based business, the good news is, if you focus on a few key principles, social media for your business can be simplified and easy.

But where do you start?

If you’re a new business owner, or trying to revamp your marketing efforts, it can seem really daunting to be running so many different social media platforms for your business. How can you do it effectively? Should you? Will it actually help your business?

In a social media world that’s changing faster than we can even BLOG about, we’re going to dive into some of the evergreen principles behind social media to help you grow your business!

social media basic principles for small business owners

Basic Social Media Principles to Grow Your Business

#1 – Know your audience, and go where they’re hanging out online.

This one is simple, but a lot of people don’t think this through entirely… Who is your audience? Be precise!

If your audience is moms, you probably won’t find them hanging out on LinkedIn. Are they moms who blog? Moms who are interested in kid stuff? Working moms? Niching down could mean the difference between focusing your efforts on Pinterest or building a Facebook group.

Another example: If your audience is younger, maybe think about mastering Snapchat and Instagram. If you can, talk with people who are in your audience and find out where they spend their time online. You might find a new social platform (they’re springing up all the time), or a surprising recommendation for a platform that you should be focusing on.

#2 – Focus on one or two platforms and get really good at them.

As with any process, if you try to do too much at once, you won’t do anything that well.

Piggybacking off of principle #1 above, figure out where your audience is online, and choose one or two of those platforms to start learning and using regularly. For example, I’m focusing my current social media efforts on Pinterest so I can grow my blog traffic. It’s OK to utilize other social platforms (I certainly do), but I definitely keep it simple and put the majority of my effort into Pinterest.

Don’t spread yourself too thin.

If it helps, think about which platforms might grow your audience faster and have more of an impact for the time you spend. For example, if you’re great on camera, Facebook lives might be a great fit for you to focus on. But otherwise, Facebook isn’t the easiest platform to grow on unless you have some ad spend, so you might have more luck putting your effort into Instagram or Twitter where you’ll see more rapid growth and engagement.

Once you’ve chosen a platform, learn it. Read about it. Use it regularly until you’ve mastered it and are in a good rhythm, then add another.

 

#3 – You don’t have to be everywhere.

Just toss that belief out the window. If it makes you feel better, go ahead and “reserve” your brand name on all the major social media platforms, but don’t feel like you have to populate them until the time is right.

#4 – Quality over quantity.

You don’t have to post every day.

As a general rule (in any marketing effort!), high-quality content outweighs a high quantity of bad content every single time.

Think of it this way: if you have 100 people in your Facebook audience, and you release an AMAZING post and 90/100 people “like” or comment on it… then Facebook sees that your audience LOVES your content, and it will show your content to them and their friends more often. If on the other hand, you post 10 different bad posts, and only one person in your audience likes them, Facebook will assume that your content is no good because no one likes it, so it pushes your content down and it doesn’t get shown as often.

It’s a vicious cycle. Break the cycle by only putting out your best content! Don’t post just to post!

#5 – Focus. Focus. Focus.

If you need tips on how to get more focus in your life, check out this post. But honestly, the only thing I’ve found to work with social media is to turn off notifications. Notifications are kind of like an adrenaline rush – Who is contacting me? Who liked my picture? Who do I need to respond to?

Nothing is that urgent in social media, unless you’re doing a special event or something like that.

I recommend you turn off your notifications, and decide how often you REALLY need to respond and interact with your audience. If it’s once a day, fine. Set up a time each day to log in and take care of your social media. If it’s twice a day (which is what I recommend), or once every two hours, that’s fine – just create discipline and structure around your social media habits. Check in for a set amount of time (set a timer if needed!), pound out your responses to comments and such, then log off. Then you can spend the rest of your time BUILDING your business! And that’s what it’s all about, right? My social media clients aside, I do MY OWN social media 2-3 times per day – right after breakfast, during my kids’ nap, and then I answer messages at night.

#6 – Respond quickly.

This is a caveat to the principle above 🙂 After posting on social media, it’s always a good idea to respond to comments and messages as quickly as you can – ideally within an hour. This helps the social platform (and your audience) see that you are engaging, so your posts will be shown to more people. It also helps you build relationships and start real conversations!

So how do you do this if you’re only checking your social media occasionally throughout the day?

If you’re only checking once per day, I recommend doing it 45 minutes to one hour after you send out your postings! This will be when you get the most comments, and responding to those comments within the first hour will show that you’re attentive to your audience!

#7 – Make a personal connection through live videos.

Social media is meant to be social, not all business.

One of the BEST ways to make personal connections is through livestreaming, or sharing videos.

Trust me on this one: videos are the way of the future on social media! Jump in and figure it out now! It doesn’t have to be anything crazy – once or twice per week, write down a couple bullet points/topics that you want to talk about, be friendly (smile!), and end your video with a call to action (tell your audience to do something). Length doesn’t matter so much as GETTING IT DONE. Don’t put a ton of pressure on it – just get it done!

The more you practice, the better you’ll get! The whole point is to be vulnerable. You don’t have to be perfect. You can mess up. But your audience wants to see the REAL you.

#8 – Don’t be salesy.

A good rule of thumb with social media postings is to do 80% engagement/value-add postings, and 20% “promotional” postings. There’s a reason I put “promotional” in quotation marks 😉 This is not link dropping, spammy, boring posts begging people to buy your product or service! When you do promote, CONTINUE to show VALUE. Don’t just drop links and ask them to buy – tell them how it will change their life for the better!

#9 – Use vibrant images and graphics to tell your story!

Dig into a free graphic creation tool such as Canva or PicMonkey and take some time create a couple post templates that you can be proud to share on your social media! Creating 3-4 reusable templates will save you time when you create graphics in the future – you can just change the wording, colors, and swap out the image for a fresh visual post.

Use images as a way to tell your story, and grab people’s attention. If you need some inspiration, hop on over to Pinterest or Instagram and just scroll through the images. Which ones stand out to you? Soak it in and think about what attracts you to certain images – is it the color? Lack of wording? Big bold words? People/places in images? If you’re still stumped about where to start, don’t worry 🙂 I gotcha. I’ll be sharing more about branding basics in an upcoming blog post >> subscribe so you don’t miss it!

#10 – Talk with your audience.

This might seem like a no-brainer, but take the time to respond to ALL of your comments and messages, and engage with your audience! When someone takes the time to support your social content, the least you can do is reciprocate and go like and comment on their posts! Share the love 🙂 Every connection helps lay the groundwork for your brand. It doesn’t have to take a ton of time to do this – just set a timer and push through! Think of yourself as a farmer… planting and watering the seeds NOW that will be your harvest later.

#11 – Work from a strategy.

Figure out your roadmap first! Don’t just post to post. Ask yourself, how will this bring value or benefit to my audience? Think through and create cohesive content across your platforms – blog, video, email, social media, etc – do they work together to tell your story? If you don’t know your story, start from square one and think about your WHY. If you need help figuring out the “why” behind your business, check out this post. 

#12 – It’s OK to repurpose content!

If you blog, share those tidbits on social media! If you create amazing videos, chop them up and release shorter versions on other platforms. If you email, share your email content on social media as a means to gaining subscribers. You can also repurpose old content, when relevant! That Christmas article you wrote last year might help someone again this year. When you learn to repurpose content in a way that helps your audience, you’ll save yourself a bunch of time and effort, and provide value.

 

Does This Sound Overwhelming?

It’s not meant to be! Take each principle ONE at a time and master it! You can do this! To help you out, I made a simple worksheet to walk you through your social media approach. Download it below, print it off, and work through it at your own pace:

 

What are your biggest social media tips or questions? Do you feel like this is something that you’re comfortable doing as a small business owner, or do you spend too much time managing it all? Leave a comment below, and be sure to SUBSCRIBE so you don’t miss how I turn one blog post into 23+ touchpoints 🙂