5 Tips for Social Media Success For Your Small Business

Whether you are starting a new brand, or updating a current brand by bolstering your online presence through social media, there are several actions you can take to set yourself up for success. Besides the obvious building blocks, cohesive branding & accurate listing information, the below tips are just as important to include in your timeline and planning.

  1. Investing in photography should be a priority. The world of social media is visually driven. Regardless of what market your brand falls into, high-quality images should be a top priority when building your online presence. Potential consumers want to glean as much information as they can, quickly. A great way to convey the basics of your brand, and what sets you apart, is through aesthetically pleasing photography. If you don’t have a big budget, invest in yourself or a team member to take on this task. Familiarize yourself with the camera on your phone or a basic camera. Scour the internet for brands and images that you would like to emulate. Practice taking photos, basing your angles and styling off of images you’ve garnered for inspiration. I’ve linked to a helpful article here.
  2. Planning out your content is a MUST. This goes hand-in-hand with the first tip. With a bank of photos, you’re able to plan out your content. Given the in-real-time and organic nature of social media, you’ll need to have some flexibility and always view your content calendar as a fluid outline. However, to rely completely on spur-of-the moment posting would be a huge mistake. Having a plan ensures that you showcase all of your content themes to your current and potential customers. For example, you should be informing your audience about your brand message or product, promoting events or sales, sharing user-generated content and incorporating content that actively engages your audience (asking questions, giveaways, etc.). Keep in mind, if you’re promoting a product, special, event, sale, etc. users should be exposed to key information more than once to further ensure their support and conversions. If you don’t have a plan, it’s easy to lose track of dates and how often you should be touching on your various content themes on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis. I’ve linked a helpful article here.
  3. Determine what trending topics apply to you and don’t miss out on aligning your brand with them. Whether it’s a food holiday, national holiday, seasonal offering, etc., make sure you’re aware of any key dates when planning out your content. This gives you a chance to ideate a complementary promotion, graphic/imagery, etc. and have time to promote and execute. Don’t underestimate the value of chiming in on a trending or applicable topic on social media. On the other side of the coin, be mindful to avoid more controversial topics, no matter how good-intentioned, will not be interpreted well by all. If it doesn’t apply to your brand, it’s not a necessary content theme.
  4. The more engaged you are, the more engaged your audience will be. Be mindful of the content you’re sharing. Does it promote engagement? Your answer should be ‘yes,’ and if that’s the case, you need to be prepared to manage the community that you’re cultivating. If your audience is responding to your content, you need to keep the line of communication open. You do this in a variety of ways, ‘liking’ their comment, responding to their questions, replying to comments or tags, etc. The rule of thumb should be to reply with a ‘customer service’ tone at the bare minimum. If your brand calls for your tone to be more casual, fun, etc. try to keep this in mind when engaging with current and potential customers. Speaking of engaging with users, remember to follow and engage with relevant or aggregate accounts that apply to your brand. If you’re a restaurant, follow local and national food publications, influencers and aggregate accounts. This is another way to expose your brand to relevant accounts and fans of those accounts.
  5. Set aside a budget, even if it’s small, to run digital ads. This effort will supplement your organic community management and follower acquisition efforts. While digital ads are a hefty topic, you can watch a few tutorials to understand the basics. If revenue from social media is a priority, you need to invest in an employee or freelance digital advertising expert. It’s too much work to do alone. However, if your needs are light or you’re just starting out, it’s a necessary component that you are more than capable of handling after some necessary reading. Avoid the number one mistake that small businesses make: boosting individual posts instead of setting up targeted bi-weekly or monthly ad campaigns. Your money is better spent on Brand Awareness, Follower Acquisition and Website Conversion ads through Facebook’s Ads Manager platform. I’ve included a helpful article here.

Quarantine 2020

This has been a transformative year, in more ways than one. In January, if you would’ve told me that I would be unemployed, depressed and overwhelmed just two and a half months later, I wouldn’t have believed you. I was being flown for new business meetings, in which I was securing premier clients, getting ready to move into my new home and finally feeling a sense of confidence that I’ve never felt before. It all came to a screeching halt with COVID-19 in March 2020.

I was laid off and quarantined in a dark apartment where I spent most of my time alone. The only thing keeping my head above water was a client that reached out to me upon hearing the news of my layoff. They brought me onboard for freelance work, and reminded me of my professional purpose. For background, I’ve always derived an unhealthy amount of validation from professional accomplishments, so being laid off was an unusually large hit to my self-esteem. I didn’t know it yet, but this was a huge turning point for me. Working with their iconic brand reminded me of my worth, but most importantly, everything I have to offer.

I’ve been working in social media since 2013, and have had the pleasure of working with numerous dynamic brands and many talented people. It wasn’t until I was forced to strike out on my own that I realized I was more than capable of doing so. Furthermore, it was beyond refreshing to be able to do things on my own terms. For many, social media is a necessary evil, especially these days. Personally, it’s always been a fun medium to connect with people. Professionally, it’s been an honor to play a part in telling people’s stories. I’ve worked with chefs, restaurateurs, food trucks, hotel management groups and even, plastic surgeons and medical spas. I strive to become a part of the team and a brand’s biggest fan.

Of recent, I’ve noticed that my personable nature and kind spirit have propelled me to succeed more than ever before. I’m transparent, capable, trustworthy, and most importantly, I care. I care about the brands I work with, I support the brands I work with, and I want to see them succeed. It’s with this attitude that I have found success investing in myself. I’ve secured several clients and haven’t felt this happy or fulfilled in quite some time. While 2020 wasn’t what I thought it was going to be, it has forced me to reflect on my priorities and to take leaps as a human being and a newfound business owner.

Spending National Cookie Day with Chunk-N-Chip

With all of the inclusive and outrageous food holidays, I love it when a food holiday comes along that reminds you why they are relevant and fun. National Cookie Day is one of those holidays.

I’m spending the holiday with Chunk-N-Chip in Santa Ana. They are a family owned small business that creates seasonal Craft Ice Cream Sammiches® with innovative ice cream flavors and oven-warmed cookies. In their words, their products are made with NO artificial whatchamacallits, and your sweet tooth can taste the difference!

Flavors like Chocolate Chip, Red Velvet, Matcha Green Tea, Brioche, and Snickerdoodle are par baked, so when you order your cookie or ice cream sandwich, they are warmed to order. While classics stay on the menu, they get creative each season. Currently, some of my favorites include their Pumpkin Cheesecake ice cream with gingersnap pieces, Berry Cobbler and Donut Bacon Brittle. Out of the cookies, their Apple Cider cookie is currently stealing the show! I’m sure all of the combos are killer, but their Berry Cobbler ice cream sandwiched between two Apple Cider Cookies was the bomb dot com. This sounds silly, but I always feel less guilty about eating sweets when they are fruit-flavored. I’m aware this makes no sense…

Their storefront is located inside the 4th Street Market in Santa Ana which makes this the perfect date destination. You can nosh on a few different cuisines, play board games on their patio while listening to live music, then finish off with dessert from Chunk-N-Chip!

For good measure, if your date doesn’t involve cookies, you still win. See below for Pumpkin Cheesecake ice cream goodness.