As a small business owner, it can be difficult to balance social media content that targets local customers while engaging a wider audience with industry trends. While there are numerous aspects to consider when running a robust social media program, there are five crucial areas that shouldn’t be ignored. These include determining if a trend makes sense for your brand, quality content, consistency, hashtags, and early adopter algorithm tactics. Here are my top five social media tips for small businesses.

1. Does this trend make sense for my brand?

I’m sure you remember the influx of posts in the last year referencing the Barbie movie, Taylor Swift, or Dune, to name a few. Do you remember seeing some brands or companies jumping in on the hype and thinking, this just seems off? Sometimes a trend just doesn’t make sense for your brand, and that’s okay. If you’re going to jump on a trend, ensure it is related to your product, messaging, service, industry, etc. Don’t feel pressured to participate if you’re lacking a meaningful tie-in, witty take, or new insight. While it is important to pay attention to trending content, audio, and meme opportunities, it’s even more crucial to make sure you have something funny, interesting, significant, and/or timely to add. If not, it can make your content look messy and give the impression that you’re off-message or unfocused.

Additionally, be timely! If you’re going to participate in a trend, get on it! It can be awkward to see a trending video, photo, meme, or current event posted after its initial popularity. Plus, the purpose is then defeated; it’s not trending if it’s posted a few weeks or months after peak popularity.

2. Quality over Quantity

Despite the belief that you should put out three to five posts daily to grow on social media, quality over quantity still reigns true. More content only provides long-lasting benefits if you also pay attention to the quality. Followers want to engage with content that answers their questions, provides them value, aligns with brand messaging, and is enjoyable to consume.

Every in-feed post should have a specific call to action (CTA) that aligns with one of your business goals. In-feed posts are pieces of content that appear in a user’s main feed on a platform. Do you want to drive more traction to an asset on your website, get more comments, sell more of a specific product, promote an event, target a particular audience, or highlight an individual? Determine how your post can successfully achieve that goal while still being enjoyable to look at, informative, or funny, and making people want to engage with the content by liking, commenting, sharing and/or following. Beyond a missing CTA, another common error can be having multiple CTA’s in one-post. As a best practice, focus on one topic per post, and take the time to invest in planning out in-feed posts ahead of time (Stories can be more day-to-day, on-the-go and casual).

3. Create Consistency Strategically

When building a successful social media following, especially for a small business, the most important thing is to maintain a consistent flow of content. Create a content calendar or living spreadsheet that’s updated on a regular basis with planned social posts. Depending on what works for you, this content could be planned the week before or the month before, etc. Here is a template I’ve created and used as an example.  One valuable tactic is to ensure you’re using consistent branding, aesthetic, language, fonts, and spokespeople. This helps create and build brand familiarity and association.

Increasing visibility for your business requires sharing the same types of new content regularly. As an example, if you have a newsletter and only post about it once, how will people know about it? Post every single time there’s a new edition. The post should share highlights and include a link to read, subscribe, or download. The more often your followers see you consistently posting about something, the more likely they are to investigate it.

4. There is such a thing as too many hashtags

Hashtags help increase the visibility of your profile and connect with people who might be interested in what you have to say about a specific topic or industry. They’re also a way for algorithms to label, categorize, and push content to users who are most likely to engage with your content. However, too many hashtags can hinder your reach.

For example, Instagram and TikTok both recommend using 3-5 hashtags per post, while Facebook says 2-3, and LinkedIn says you should use no more than 3. Pick the top 10-15 hashtags that align with your business and industry and use 3-5 consistently across all your in-feed content, differentiating the grouping on each new post.

5. Being rewarded as an early adopter

If a social media platform you regularly post on is introducing new features, use them! Instagram’s algorithm favors accounts that implement their new features, meaning your profile is likely to be more visible in user feeds. Being early means getting the opportunity to help inform how companies will use it, and connecting directly with key influencers before the space becomes too crowded with competitors and excess noise. Using a new feature can be as simple as adding a new font on a Reel, a new sticker on a Story, or as big as the introduction of Threads on Instagram. This was also the case with TikTok, creators who joined early were rewarded with increased promotion of their content, an invitation to an exclusive creator network, and almost instantaneous growth.

Don’t miss out on all the benefits of these social media tips for small businesses. Optimizing your social media strategy with relevant trends, quality content, consistency, hashtags, and early use of new features will help your small business continue to reach new customers and build brand loyalty and recognition.

Don’t have time to manage your own social program? We’d love to chat about how our team can help!