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article imageOp-Ed: Staying current with your small business social media

By Anne Marie Marais     Mar 25, 2014 in Business
Staying current is important in all facets of business. As a small business owner you want your customers to know that you are keeping up to date through all you do, including social media.
Your followers need to know that you are focused and engaged with your social media and therefore them. Being current doesn't have to mean spending hours and hours keeping up with every single trend, new concept or up and coming idea. You really need to do your best to keep things fresh and interesting for your customers/followers.
We are all followers of brands and we want to know that they are engaging with us, they know what's going on, hopefully before us, and that they have a unique view or idea to share with us when it comes to current trends or concepts.
As a small business your followers want to know that you are a real person like them, and that means that life is happening for you just as it is them. If there is a special event or holiday that your follower is excited about, then you as a small business probably are as well. So, use that to your advantage. Engage with them through fun images, articles, posts that they can relate to. And when you keep in mind the 80/20 rule, use that 20% in the mix to provide your followers with a special event or holiday deal or information about your company.
When you think about it, the big brands definitely take advantage of how easy it is to engage with their followers around events and holidays. One may not have much to do with the other, but showing your in the moment thinking will be memorable and help your small business come across as current in the eyes of your followers.
Staying with the idea of holidays and events, why not take advantage of all that you have at your disposal with social media especially on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Each of these provides you with opportunities to re-skin your pages based on what's currently going on with your business or the season. You can update your Facebook and Twitter cover photos to reflect a change in season or a new initiative your company is involved in. It always drives me crazy when a page remains fairly static from the time they launch.
Some will say, and I've said it as well, that followers do not spend much time on your actual page as your posts come to them in a feed. But new followers often end up on your page, and this a chance for you to show that you are fresh and current through your images and previously posted content. You don't have to spend lots of money or man hours updating your pages, but you don't want to miss any easy opportunities that you have at your finger tips. Maybe if you just plan to do it seasonally, it makes it easy to remember and simple to create.
Like I've mentioned before in previous social media for small business articles, you must only be on social media platforms that you know you have the time to manage. And that means you need to have enough time to post on a regular basis. A post once a week or less does not portray a business that is staying current and engaged with their followers. It doesn't have to be a lot of work. The same way that you take in content for yourself and your business each day, you just have to think of your followers. What kind of information, opinions or thoughts can you share with them based on the expertise that you have as the business owner. Remember, though, that posts are not always about text. Creating images, videos via Vine or Instagram, are much more likely to be shared and enjoyed.
Along with posting on a regular basis, comes engaging in a timely manner with your followers. If they are taking the time to comment or retweet, then you should make sure that you make the time to engage back. As a follower, I will know that you make your social media a priority and this will help me see you as a business that stays current and interested in its followers.
Keeping your small business current can be done simply through your social media channels by using your common sense, timing and commitment to your followers. Remember, they did initially follow you for a reason, so make sure you give them what they want and you will in turn get what you want, a loyal customer or follower.
Anne-Marie, owner of Long Leg Productions, is a seasoned social media marketer. Clients such as the Toronto Star and Summerhill, work with Anne-Marie to increase their social presence in order to develop and retain community. You can follow Anne-Marie on Twitter @atmarais.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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