How do you feel about your business’ social media presence? Is it something you’re pretty good at keeping up with? Or are you one of those business owners who neglects your social accounts in favour of handling those seemingly more important or time-pressing tasks?
If you fall into that latter camp, you aren’t alone. But here’s the thing: Your customers are searching for you on social media. Research shows that more than one in three users turns to social media when looking for more information about a brand or product.
That means you not only need an active presence, but also an impressive and accurate representation of your small business.
Are you cringing? It’s easy to let your social profiles collect dust. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can follow to clean up your small business social media presence and capture the attention of those potential customers.
1. Double-check your contact information
Let’s start with the basics. You first need to confirm that the nuts and bolts information about your business—things like your address, phone number, and website address—are listed properly on any social platforms that display them.
Nothing frustrates a user faster than clicking your website link from your Facebook profile only to be brought to an error page. Or worse, driving to the address you listed just to find out that you’ve moved. What do you need to double-check? Different social platforms allow for different information to be displayed.
Facebook: The “about” section of your Facebook page has designated fields for all of your contact information, including your address (plus functionality that allows people to get directions to your business), your website link, your email address, and your phone number.
Twitter: Your Twitter profile has fields for your website link and your general location (meaning only your city and state). If you have a brick and mortar location, include your address within your bio so people know where to find you. List your best contact information (a phone number and email address) there too.
Instagram: Instagram bios don’t offer as much flexibility—there’s only a space for one clickable website link. However, you can incorporate your contact information into your bio copy so that it’s accessible to users. You can also consider making the change to a business profile on Instagram, which allows you to add links for people to directly call you, email you, or even get directions to your business from within the app.
LinkedIn: If you have a LinkedIn business page, the “about” section has fields for tons of identifying information about your business (including industry, company size, and even when you were founded). There are also spaces for your address, website link, and phone number.
2. Update your access and permissions
Who has access to the social profiles for your business? You might be surprised by how many outdated users or ex-employees are still lingering as administrators on your social accounts. This is easy to lose sight of. When an employee leaves, you remember to collect their office keys and remove their access to your company files, but social media slips through the cracks.
The administrators of your social accounts should be limited to only people you want to have access right now (as this means they’ll also be able to post on behalf of your business). Remove anybody else who should no longer be there. This process should be fairly straightforward through your account settings.
While you’re at it, it’s wise to change the passwords for your social media accounts as well. This ensures that any previous employees who were given your login credentials won’t be able to gain access to those platforms in the future.
3. Leverage your bios
Think of your social media bio—whether it’s your “About” section on Facebook or your short Twitter or Instagram blurb—as your elevator pitch for your business. Customers will look there to get a brief rundown of what your business is about. Yet, a surprising number of brands leave that space blank or list nothing more than an ambiguous slogan or tagline. Your social bio should clearly explain what your business is, what you offer, and any unique attributes that make you different.
This summary doesn’t need to be lengthy. In fact, it shouldn’t be. Prospective customers should walk away with the details they need to decide whether or not your business is what they’re looking for. While on the topics of bios, your own bio as the business owner matters too. If your LinkedIn profile doesn’t already have the details of your business or your responsibilities as the owner, it’s time to make some updates so your personal profile is an accurate representation of your current role.
4. Craft a cohesive brand
Is your Facebook or Twitter profile photo an old version of your logo? Is your cover or background image a stock photo that hasn’t been changed in years? Visitors should experience a cohesive visual aesthetic between your website and your social media profiles. If your website recently went through a rebrand and then they click over to a Facebook page that has totally different colours or logos, it’s jarring—and can even shake their confidence in your overall brand. Take some time to go through and make the necessary updates to those visual elements so that your entire online presence is polished and consistent.
5. Remove any neglected accounts
You know that social media is important, but you also recognise that you don’t have the time to be everywhere at once. Perhaps you had great intentions when you started a Twitter profile for your business, but you just can’t keep up with it the way you can Facebook. Now’s the time to just deactivate or remove any social accounts that you know you won’t have the time to maintain. Ultimately, not having a presence on Twitter at all is preferable to having an account that hasn’t seen any activity since 2012.
That’s right—you don’t need to have a presence absolutely everywhere. Instead, figure out where your target customers are spending their time by:
- Doing some online research into those demographics
- Identifying which of your social accounts have the most followers
- Looking at your social account analytics (available in your settings) to see which ones experience the most engagement and interaction
Channel your time and attention into the accounts that actually make a difference for your business, rather than getting bogged down by maintaining unnecessary profiles and pages.
6. Respond to reviews and messages
As the name implies, social media should be about interaction, rather than constant, one-sided broadcasts. If you’ve previously been bad about responding to comments, reviews, and messages, it’s time to make things right. Going back and replying to outreach that happened months or years ago won’t do you any good at this point.
However, if there are unanswered interactions from the past few weeks, it’s still acceptable (and even recommended) to respond to those. Next, set aside some time each day or week (physically put it in your calendar!) when you can log into your social accounts and reply to any messages or comments that came through. You’ll get back to people in a more timely manner and forge solid relationships with your followers—which is really what social media is all about.
Be proud of your small business’ social media presence
When you’re spinning so many plates as a business owner, your business’ social presence is something that’s easy to lose sight of. However, a lot of customers are searching for you there—and you want them to like what they find. Follow these six steps to dust off your social profiles and craft an online presence that does your business justice.