Social media philosophies for small businesses and non-profits

I’m sorry this is a bit long, so bare with me. Most businesses are interested in results. But first are your actions. And, before that are your philosophies. Philosophies are your guiding principles that steer your business as the ever-changing market continues to expand and shrink. Here are some of my philosophies on how small businesses and non-profits can make the most of their social media. You can see them on full display through our company Neuse News. Don’t do what I say, watch what we do.

Leverage Other Brands

Whenever you interact with another business, post about it and tag the business! The more that you can tag another brand inside your social feed, the higher the likelihood for engagement for several reasons.

For one, tagging the other brand notifies them of the tag and makes it easier for them to share on their feed. Also, since the brand has been tagged, more people may actually click on that brand, which means that more people are actually engaging with your brand.

Be Intentional

We’re finding that a lot of small business owners and non-profit organizations simply do not have time to do marketing. But if they don’t market, then they don’t bring people in their doors, so they don’t get donors or don’t make sales. To combat that, you have to be intentional about using social media.

You can’t just do social halfway. If you want to use social media, you have to go all in. If you barely use it, you’re better off not having a social presence and putting your money in something else.

On the whole, you’re better off taking some money and investing it in your social media brand because it’s a good return on investment. The bottom line here is you have to be intentional about your social media platforms.

Think you don’t have time to plan your social media? Try setting aside 30 minutes every morning when you first get to work to schedule two or three posts that day, or if you know you’ll have a hectic day tomorrow, schedule tomorrow’s post as well. If you don’t make time for social media then you’ll just be winging it, and winging social media doesn’t work.

Ebb and Flow

If you go to somebody’s timeline and all you see is picture, picture, picture, picture or text, text, text, text or video, video, video, video, it gets really boring. The same type of content all the time will generate less engagement on that social media timeline. The idea of “ebb and flow” is simply this: mix it up.

For example, you’ve got a picture, maybe you’ve got a quote on it, then you’ve got a meme because it’s something funny. Or you’ve got a GIF with another funny saying. Then you have a long blog post that you put in your social media feed with it, whether it’s Instagram or Facebook. You can do a video next, maybe a 30 second video, then a 30 minute video; mix that up too.

Every little bit that you do that’s different could possibly reach someone else, which means it could lead to higher engagement with your brand’s social media.

Reproduce Your Content

Your website is basically home base, and you want to build your social media off of what you’re doing on your website. You might not have a lot of traffic on your website, but if you create good content for the website and use social media to share that, you can direct and redirect people back to your website.

A blog post can easily become a few Instagram posts with a quick blurb and good stock photo, or a notable paragraph can be recorded for a 30-second video.

Less is Not More

There is little chance that if you make one post a day that all your followers will actually see or like it. If you posted at 10 a.m. versus at 4 p.m., it’s very likely that an entirely different set of people are going to see the content.

It’s better to err on the side of caution – posting multiple pieces of content throughout the day – than posting nothing at all, or posting so infrequently that no one is aware you have posted.

Granted, some businesses or organizations may not have enough resources to post that many times, but when you can, post more. Also, make sure you’re not posting the exact same things all the time and utilize the ebb and flow approach to post more and varied content.

Share Behind the Scenes

At Magic Mile Media, we’ve started telling our own story. Certainly people love the final product, but they also love to see what happens behind the scenes so they can feel like they’re part of that journey.

As many times as you can send out a message with a quick photo or video to say “Hey! We’re setting up for tonight’s production” or “We’re going to be putting on our show in 30 minutes, so don’t miss it!” the better. People love being included, so show more of that side of your business than not.

Utilize Your Team

Most small businesses or non-profit organizations may not have a dedicated social media marketing team, but there’s no rule that says that not everybody can do marketing. Almost everyone these days has a smartphone, and it’s easy to snap a pic from a new point of view on the job. People know they’re not going to get that type of angle most of the time, and they love the uniqueness.

Everybody on your team can play a small role in your marketing just by pulling out their phone, taking a picture, a video or a selfie with some customers. One or two people can be responsible for posting the content to your brand’s social media platforms, but everyone else can be part of the roving marketing arm. Tools like Google Drive and Dropbox make it easy to share and collect interesting content from across the team.

BBQ Stain on a White T-Shirt

Be true to who you are and be willing to share that. The more real you are and the more willing you are to show a stain on your shirt, the more engagement your timeline is going to get. Everybody knows you’re not perfect, your organization’s not perfect, you’re going to make mistakes and you’re going to do things wrong, but being willing to share some of that makes people more attracted to you and your brand.