Social Media Basics for Small Business

I realize some camps have an issue with technology.  Scratch that.  Many camps.  And other small businesses. It seems to go against the mission and purpose of the place. But hear me out.  Understanding social media basics is an absolute must for almost everyone; yes, even camps!  Why?

Businesses need to be where their customers are.  Your customers are on social media!

People use Twitter to check the headlines.  They use Instagram to keep up with family members.  They use Pinterest to find recipes and vacation ideas.  They use Facebook to interact and get to know people.  They go on Buzzfeed and StumbleUpon and Reddit and Tumblr in their spare time.  And this is people of all ages.  Youth, parents, aunts, uncles, even grandparents.  If you aren’t advertising, or being present, in those places, your customers will not be aware of you.

But figuring out how to be represent your organization well on social media can be a challenge.  Below are a few key tips for several types of social media and how to use them, with links to longer articles explaining each area more fully.  Before reading through, think about how much time and energy you can commit to social media and consider implementing a few tips from just one area for the moment.  Build your way up.

Social Media Basics on Facebook:

Facebook is a place where older people interact.  Youth don’t use this platform much any more, but people over the age of about 35 use it.  And they use it often.  This platform is a great place to post larger updates and gain a following of parents, grandparents, and loyal customers from an older generation.

Social Media Basics on Twitter:

Twitter is a space for short, quick snippets of fun and information.  The feed is buried quickly, so plan to share the same updates (if they’re about discounts, upcoming events, etc.) more than once.  Twitter is a great space to raise awareness of your brand, if used well.  Use hashtags and tweet specific people often…this will raise your numbers as you are retweeted and more people become aware of you.

Social Media Basics on Instagram:

Instagram is all about beautiful photos.  This is the social media platform a camp should be on in the summer (if you have permission to share camper photos publicly).  Let parents know about your Instagram feed…and update it multiple times a day.  Instagram makes it ridiculously simple to post photos straight from your Iphone, so you won’t need to have someone going through the mess of downloading photos to facebook.

Social Media Basics on Pinterest:

Pinterest is for moms.  It’s actually a smaller social media platform,  but the people who use it are very loyal.  This is a place to put together your ideas throughout the year.  Are you thinking of adding a new line to your business?  Are you undergoing a store re-design?  Are you planning a new menu for your outdoor camp?  Put together a board of ideas and let people know its there.  They’ll pay attention and become more loyal to your brand.

Social Media Basics on Tumblr:

Tumblr is where youth are.  If you are a brand directed towards the younger generation, a Tumblr presence is certainly helpful.  Tumblr operates like a mixture of Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.  Updates don’t need to be very frequent, but they need to be photo based and have great hashtags.

Social Media Basics on Google+:

Google+ is the place to connect with other businesses.  Your customer base won’t be using Google+ as much, but it will be a great place to connect with similar people doing similar work.  This is a space for encouragement and interaction.  Join communities similar to yours, and interact when you get the chance.

Lesser known social media:

StumbleUpon, Reddit, Buzzfeed, Digg It, GOOD, and several other social media sites are being used by your customers.  Depending on the type of business you have, one or more of these social media sites might be useful for your work.  Master a couple of the basics before moving into these areas, however, so you aren’t overwhelmed.

More detailed articles for each type of social media coming soon!

To sign up for one of our social media conferences or a one-on-one session, go here.

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