Social media has become a crucial component of every business. It’s a way for businesses to communicate with their customers, share announcements and show off their personality and products. For better or worse, social media is here to stay. 

It can be overwhelming as a small business owner to not only manage the day to day of your business but also try to manage your social media accounts. We’ve laid out five tips for managing social media as a small business owner. 

    1. Pick Your Platforms: Chances are your customers spend the majority of their time on one or two major social media platforms. You don’t need to have a strategy and plan for all the social channels if your customers only care about Instagram and Pinterest. For social it’s about depth not breadth. Having really great and engaging content on Instagram and Pinterest is a much better strategy than having mediocre content across 4+ channels. Learn where your customers are spending their time and then build content for those channels. 
    2. Plan Your Social Calendar: Spending a couple of hours each month to plan the next month’s social calendar will make your life a lot easier. You won’t be scrambling last minute to figure out what to post on a Tuesday because the posts will already be planned and ready to go. Even better, you can use a tool like HootSuite to schedule your posts in advance so you don’t even have to remember to post everyday. 
    3. Encourage User Generated Content: It’s not always easy to come up with new imagery or content to post about, this is where user generated content is your best friend. A great way to do this is by encouraging users to share their content by sending email reminders, posting about sharing content on social media and even including a note with directions on sharing to social with their purchase. I’ve seen companies add a little postcard with sharing tips in the bag or box that an item is shipped in.  It’s a great reminder to customers and helps you build your collection of social media content. 
    4. Use a Contest To Grow Following: A key part of social media management is growing your follower list. This helps you to raise awareness about your brand and products. However, it can often be hard to find ways to grow your following. One way that I’ve found works well is to utilize a contest to grow your follower base. Your contest should have something to do with your products, like a giveaway of your top selling products. As a way to enter the contests, participants should have to not only engage with your posts (like, comment, etc) but also encourage tag their friends to follow and engage with your social media. You can use a tool like Vyper to help with this.
    5. Get Help: There are tons of great freelancers who specialize in social media. If you don’t enjoy managing social media, it overwhelms you or you just don’t have the time then you should look at outsourcing this task to someone who is better suited. Part of being a great business owner is knowing your own limitations and when to call in help. You might not even need to hire a freelancer, there could be someone at your company already who wants some extra experience and can take over this responsibility for you.