We recently joined a webinar on social media marketing called How To Make Sure Your Brand Is Dressed To The Nines with a special guest, Jessica Berlin from American Eagle Outfitters. Sounds like it’s meant for the big guys, right? Nope. While a large business would find heaps of useful info in the webinar, there were some awesome take-aways for a small business too, and not just for retailers either.  We’ve got 3 tips we learned to help build your social presence no matter what size your business is.

Facebook is your friend – We get asked a lot about what social platforms are the best and businesses should focus their social media efforts. The answer always is, it depends. Because it does; it depends on where your customers, or potential customers are, and do they use a particular platform and are they engaged in it? And while Facebook may not work for a few companies, for the most part the people who would be interested in your business are on Facebook. Let’s face it, with over a BILLION people on Facebook, your audience is most likely there.

It’s all a matter of testing – Knowing what content to post on social media networks is a challenge for most. It’s tough to know what your followers are going to be interested in, or engage in, until you put it up and see. Berlin talked about finding the balance between selling a product and providing interesting and useful info. And even the big guys don’t have a magic formula; it’s all about testing to see what audience likes, what they want and what they respond to. One tip is to use the stats that are built into your social network, like Facebook Insights. They’ll tell you who’s looking at your posts, when, and how engaged they are. Then you’ll know exactly who your audience is (it may surprise you!) and target their interests.

Put it all together – Social media marketing, or marketing in general, is not done in a bubble. Once you’ve grown an audience on Facebook, or any social platform, how do you get them to your website or blog? You ask them. If you’re a retailer it may be easier to get them to your site if you’re offering sales or discounts, but you can still drive traffic without a sale by including a link. If you have a great blog, share it on social to get people over there reading. And since you’ll know who’s looking at your social pages, you can make sure your blog is interesting to them. Or share your blog posts once a week at the same time to grow a following. Berlin suggests testing out a weekly cadence for posts, meaning sharing certain info on certain days. They do Wednesday Wisdom and share inspirational or fun quotes with their followers on Wednesdays. You can also drive people to your Instagram, Pinterest or other social pages as well.

Idea! Run a contest where people post pictures of themselves with your product. Share it on Pinterest or Instagram and then tell people to go check them out from your Facebook Page. You can use the following you’ve grown on Facebook and direct them to the other places you have a presence like your website, your blog or other social sites.

And it’s not all about Facebook either. Twitter has a ton of users and makes it easy to tweet about your product or service. Both platforms also work well for offering support for your product or service, even if 140 charters seems limiting. It may seem like the big guys have all the secrets to social media, but when it comes right down to it, they’re in the same boat as everyone else. Learn from what they’ve tested and found success with, and you could see your small biz grow. Want to see the webinar for yourself? Click here.

What tips do you plan to try for your business? Share away in the comments.

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