Social Media and My Small Business

Social Media and My Small Business

Instagram. Facebook. Twitter. Pinterest. Snapchat. There's so many social medias out there and as a small business owner it can feel like a lot of things to cover whilst also being a designer/maker/accountant/photographer/add extra jobs in here. 

Whilst I am by no means a social media expert, I'm often asked about things related to Instagram or Twitter and have been using those platforms since around their first appearance, and using them every day for my business has taught me a thing or two about how to use social media for small businesses. 

Twitter is one of my favourite social media platforms! I really enjoy taking part in twitter hours such as #handmadehour and #indieroller

You have to turn up. It might sound silly, and you may be thinking "but when I'm there, I have turned up". But think of it like this. If you're running an online shop (like I am) then social media is your metaphorical store, people swing by, they browse, they see some things they like, they mentally bookmark things for future purchases. If you had a job you would have to turn up at your work from 9-5 (what a way to make a livin') and social media is exactly like that. You've got to turn up, otherwise you've effectively closed your metaphorical store! Does it take time? Yes. But wouldn't you rather that people found you and your products and that you were on their radar? Now you don't have to turn up every day for social media, a couple times a week is totally fine. But make a plan and stick to it. Take time off when you need it (we all have life get in the way, it's fine!) but be transparent about it and try to check in every so often to remind people you're still there!

Batch your photos. If the idea of always turning up makes you stressed. Or you work full time and run your business as a side hustle. Or even if you're just like me and find yourself always putting off taking photos. Then batch photo taking is your friend. It basically refers to taking a whole bunch of photos at once and then having them in your social media photo vault to use whenever you need. I personally like to use Planoly to upload the photos and write out my captions so I just have to click and select "post now" for the image to be made ready for Instagram! I know sometimes it can be daunting to take a whole bunch of photos at once, but getting all your props together and setting up your photo area just the once makes it so much easier. You can even write down all the photos you want to take beforehand and just tick them off - that's great for Instagram challenges such as #marchmeetthemaker where the prompts are listed in advance!

Planoly let's me plan out my social media for weeks in advance and saves me so much time!

Pick the social media that works for you. You don't have to be on every social media platform out there! I feel like this is a super common misconception that is made. Being on everything is a recipe for overwhelm and you'll end up dropping one of them sooner or later, and it's much worse to have a social media presence that's not updated. If you really want to have a presence on multiple platforms but don't have the time I suggest using something like the If This Then That Too app, which allows you to cross-post across platforms. I use this for Pinterest and it works really well.

Instagram has opened a lot of new doors for my business - but what you may not know is I batch take a lot of my photos!

Put the social back into social media. A lot of people like to complain about the instagram algorithm. But honestly, it's only doing what software does which is read data and try to determine who would like to see your data! The best way to be seen on social media is to interact with other people. Think of it a bit like making a phone call - except without the added stress of actually having to speak to someone. Comment on other people's posts (if you actually have something to say, don't just go round spamming emojis at everyone). Like the images that you like. And encourage interaction on your own posts. Places like Instagram also like it when you use as many of their features as possible so use Stories to get people to your grid and see your images and comment! 

So there you go - my 4 tips and insight into how I use social media. I hope you've found it interesting! Let me know in the comments which social media platform you love using most.