Why bring your business to social media?
What makes growing a brick and mortar small business today different from 20 years ago?
Two words: social media.
Today, you can promote your business in over 200 media channel options, and most of them are accessible through the Internet.
Statistics show that 48% of consumers inquire about a merchandise online and 42% of social media users can convert into customers once provided with accurate, helpful information about your business or product.
Social media has become a business partner, a marketing tool, an effective marketing strategy and using it to your business’ advantage is crucial. How do you raise brand awareness? How do you engage people, gain new customers and convert them to buyers? This entails knowing your business to a certain depth and personalizing your content to target specific goals.
First things first: Choose the right social media marketing channel
It is easy to get overwhelmed and try all social media platforms at once. Don’t give in to this temptation. Know the strengths and limitations of each platform and choose what is suits your company–considering your target consumers, your product and services.
Facebook provides advertising opportunities for B2C’s to hypertarget users based on specific demographics and interests. Instagram is highly visual and can attract consumers worldwide. It also offers opportunities for business collaborations. Twitter is an ideal platform for customer engagement with its real time tweets, hashtags, and retweets. There’s also Pinterest, Snapchat, YouTube, LinkedIn, and more.
Again, choose wisely before moving on to the next step: creating your content.
31-Day Social Media Content Ideas for Small Businesses
Here are social media content ideas to consider for lead generation and for engagement:
Day 1: Helpful links, advice, or opinion
Social media is the quickest way to respond to queries, and it is also the best medium to reach out actively to your audience. While you are answering inquiries and comments, make it a habit to post articles that provide solutions, tips, and advice.
As an example, post advice for first-time cactus plant growers if you’re marketing succulents online; or give tips for busy moms on how to care for their succulent (like they’re nursing their own child!). Make your own opinion matter by sharing it in your platforms. This can also spark conversations between you and your target customers. Sharing helpful tips is caring.
Day 2: Posts with landing pages
If you’re posting blog posts through Facebook, you can link it up with the different pages in your blog. Analyze your landing pages for intent. Why did a particular customer visit your page? What specific service or information can you provide? This could help you personalize and refine landing pages and will help you identify potential leads.
Day 3: Referral Rewards and Loyalty Programs
Marketing your business is a collaborative effort.
Through social media, you can encourage your current customers to introduce your business to someone and in return, they receive an incentive.
Nothing spreads good news faster than word-of-mouth. If your audience trusts your brand, they can easily encourage others to join you on board. The rewards will strengthen the current partnerships you have.
Day 4: Practical Solutions through Videos
Ask yourself, “What problems do people encounter in their daily lives?”
The main goal is to provide help, so the tone of your video can be more instructional and practical than entertaining or pushy.
Offer simple tips, and lists of what to do or what to avoid.
On some days, people just want to see interesting content on social media. How do you keep them coming back to check out your business? Read on.
Day 5: Quizzes
Get to know your audience by engaging them to a quiz.
Ask questions, do surveys, add humor, if you want!
Keep the tone friendly and light, making your post relatable so you can attract more users to answer.
Think of a topic that is related to your business. You wouldn’t want to waste a question about a “car model you like most” if your business sells handmade crafts and jewelry.
Remember: the results you will get from the quiz can turn into reliable leads or an insight to who is speaking to you online.
Day 6: Polls
A fun way to interact with your customers (and have them interact with each other) is through voting! It also gives you feedback that is useful for improvement of a product or a service.
Dunkin Donuts created a buzz on Twitter by promoting their new Beyond Sausage Breakfast Sandwich recently.
Can you see how many people voted here? That’s top of the mind. And we know that if it’s top of the mind, it’s tip of the tongue.
Day 7: Special Offers
Regularly post unique offers to your social media account.
Once you identify your fan base, you can tailor fit your offers to their interests and needs. Generate offer codes for them or use special ad forms which you can post on Facebook or Instagram.
Day 8: Contests
Contests are a more active approach to rewarding your customers.
You can set your own mechanics guided by the rules and regulations set by the social media platform you’re using. You may ask participants to tag a friend or share a post for added promotion.
Take advantage of this strategy to educate the audience about your brand. Most of them will only join for the freebies – unless you make the right move.
Day 9: Updates
Customers crave for something new now and then.
If you have new products, services, changes, upgrades, announce them promptly and creatively! You can post teasers in advance before the launch date or create a countdown to build up excitement among your audience.
Visual posts are easy to play with, and you can always take them to the next level if you have the right tools.
Check out what you can do with a little creativity:
Day 10: Infographics
Some people are too busy to finish an article, so they’d rather scroll down until they see something eye-catching and relevant. Infographics combine these two features, making your message 25% more comprehensible.
The tip here is not to overcrowd your graphics with information.
The simpler, the better.
Don’t forget to link to a full article or a landing page for interested readers who like to know more.
Day 11: GIFs
GIF or Graphics Interchange Format is a fun way of presenting important information, an explanation to ideas, or your business features.
It doesn’t take much time to prepare as an infographic demands especially with the rise of GIF-making tools like Giphy’s GIF Maker, LICEcap, and Gifmaker.me.
You can do a weekly GIF post, if you like. Give your series a title and vary your stories for each week.
Also, some social media management tools now provide this feature for their users.
Day 12: Cinemagraphs
Cinemagraph adds more drama to your graphic posts. Usually, only one part of the frame is in action while the subject you want to highlight is in static (not moving). It uses the same format as GIFs and can be a “scroll-stopper” to impress your audience quickly and effectively.
Now how on earth can you create one? Go to the app store and look for cinemagraph, then install it. No Photoshop skills needed.
Day 13: Snapchat Stories
B2C companies like Anthropologie (@anthropologie) is known for using Snapchat stories for their BTS (Behind-The-Scene) posts. You can adapt this strategy, or you can also use Snapchat to feature your products.
Now, Snapchat has a shopping feature that allows customers to buy directly from the app. This is an opportunity to raise brand awareness and market your product. Snapchat suggests creating title cards for longer Snapchat stories, adding music over your snaps, and using shortened URLs for links.
Day 14: User-Generated Content (UGC)
Nothing can convince consumers to buy your products more than their fellow consumers. This is why UGCs are the best social media content advertisement for any business.
Encourage your customers to take photos of your product and post it on their social media account for a chance to be featured on your page.
Regrams (for Instagram) and reposts (for Facebook) are useful in building up awareness on products and adds credibility to their value. Happy customers equals more happy customers.
Day 15: Gifographics
Gifographics are animated infographics that are rarely used but a smart option if you want something fresh and unique on your feed. They are highly visual and appealing especially to the young audience!
Check out stunning gifographics and how to create one from here.
Day 16: Charts and Graphs
If your business is rich with data and other information, you can present through graphs or charts, you can do so easily with visualization apps like Visme and Google Sheets chart. You just enter your data into a spreadsheet, design your chart, and screenshot the result. If you don’t have any data to show, you can start your own survey to collect insights from your audience or do your own research! It might take time to finish the whole process, but readers who look for relevance and transparency in social media would appreciate such posts.
Day 17: Multi-channel live campaigns
Connecting with your audience doesn’t get more authentic and personal with the birth of the LIVE in-app feature. Whether it’s Facebook or Instagram Live, you can broadcast just about anything that relates to your business. And because there are various social media platforms available today, you can broadcast your shows simultaneously to target different demographics.
Day 18: Visualization + Quotes
Everyone seems to post shareable quotes, but why not take it to the next level by presenting quotes with charts? For instance, if you’re in the publishing industry, famous lines from authors can be put together in a pie chart to show how they think (similarly or differently) about a subject. Visual.ly can provide you tons of examples for inspiration, such as this.
Day 19: Hashtags + Visual Quotes
Simple also means striking. Sometimes, even without visuals, your quotes on social media can stand out when posted with specific hashtags. Consistency is also the key. Stick to a format and style that speaks of your brand and one that can inspire a wide range of audience.
Day 20: Geo-Filters
Do you have a local business presence?
Location-based overlays such as Geo-filters must be your best buddy! Add them to your Snapchat stories or Instagram so that users could find you.
Day 21: “Backstage” photos
Put a face to your business by featuring your team. Post stories about how they started working with you, share interesting facts about them, and mention their role in your team. It will be easier for customers to relate to your brand (and give their trust) if they know the people they deal with.
Don’t forget to put your loyal customers on the spotlight, and gain more followers on social media. Here’s what you can post:
Day 22: Call for Customer Feedback
Customer feedback doesn’t just happen after they make a purchase or attend an event. You can anticipate how they will respond to a certain product, event, or promotion by getting their feedback to questions like, “Would you be interested to trying other flavors aside from our classic vanilla and chocolate?”
Day 23: Product Reviews
Product reviews from customers will help generate sales and increase your market reach.
As a consumer myself, I find that the more specific the review is, the more convincing it is.
For instance, if your customers bought a purse from you, you can ask them to describe the material used for the entire bag and the straps instead of just sharing how “beautiful” the item is.
Day 24: Open Q&A Sessions
Scheduling a Q&A session with your audience could give way to relevant discussions. You can do it via Facebook or Twitter live; or just simply delegating such hours as an open time for anyone to ask you any question about your product. Phyllis Khareof our Social Media Manager School does a fantastic job doing this inside our school’s group.
You can plan this ahead if you like. It can be as generic or specific as it gets, but it has to be clear to your followers before the session begins.
You may also opt to invite credible guests to answer your questions depending on the topic. Give your session a practice run to make sure everything goes smoothly on the technical side. A one-hour Q&A session is ideal for starters.
Alternatively, you can try doing Twitter chat which is more planned than just the open Q&A sessions.
Twitter chats are fun but it is a lot of work especially if you are the host. Been an attendee of Twitter chats and, also, hosted some so I know how much work is involved. If you want to host a Twitter chat yourself, I published a complete guide here for Twitter chat hosts.
Day 25: Customer Case Study
Back up your claims by real results by posting your customer’s success stories.
Case studies may be presented through a creative video, a downloadable PDF, a section on your Website, or a slide presentation.
Include a title or headline, a one-to-two paragraph case summary, your subject, the problem, how your service or product solved it, and the results (in percentage or figures, if possible).
Case studies will always be unique to your brand and harder to duplicate compared with blogs. Not sure how to start? Templates and step-by-step tutorials are available online.
Day 26: Partner Promotion
Appreciating the people you work with goes a long way.
It also speaks a lot about what you value as a business owner, one of them being your business relationships.
If you care for your partners, it only shows that you care for your customers, too.
Our top industry spotlight is one of our ways to say thank-you to influencers we meet online.
Day 27: Customer Reviews and Testimonials
It’s always nice to appreciate loyal customers. Once in a while, you can share their inspiring reviews (usually one to two-liners) through a graphic post. Always include the name or handle of the customer to give them credit.
Day 28: Post an Answer to a Commonly Asked Question
Do you constantly receive the same questions from your audience?
Save time without neglecting them by sharing your answer as a post. Make it as simple as it is or post it with visuals. You can also pin it on top of your page so that everyone can easily view it.
Day 29: Podcasts
People who want to take a break from reading turn to podcasts or short and entertaining audio lectures/talks. In deciding what to talk about in your podcast, ask yourself these questions:
- What is my business really good at?
- What does my audience really care about?
Tip: Turn your blog into a podcast, if you have been blogging already.
Day 30: Promote Email Sign-ups
If you are conducting webinars, demos, or releasing newsletters regularly, you need promotional sign-ups posted.
Day 31: Start a Conversation with a Leader in your Industry
Connecting with big influencers in your industry can add credibility to your brand. If you are brave enough to make the first move in connecting with the big names, you can bring your conversation to your social media account for your audience to see. Cross-promoting yourself is never a bad idea.
Finally, be unpredictable! Get out of your day-to-day mold once in a while. Surprise your audience with random posts and see the difference it makes.
Give it a Go!
The best thing about social media is that you have total control of the posts that you could share, as far as achieving your business goals. All you need is to learn the basics, upgrade to new resources, and reinvent your social media content strategy as often as necessary. Be intentional in your strategies and always, always show concern for your audience regardless of whatever social media content you share.