If you run a small business, chances are you’re the only one managing all of your social media channels. Sure, you might really enjoy it at times—but you also might get frustrated when you lose 20 followers overnight. And while you may get tons of positive comments, you might also get a few really mean ones from some unhappy customers (you know what I’m talking about—the ones that give you a really nasty feeling in the pit of your stomach). I’ve been managing social media accounts for the past five years, and through the highs and lows, there are a few things I’ve learned along the way. Here are three tips to managing a great social media presence without losing your mind:

  1. Be consistent in your voice and show off the BTS. Stay true to yourself, your business and your goals. Don’t post all “clean, perfect, #instagramworthy” images if that’s not you, which let’s be honest, who truly lives like that? Instagram is already saturated with those types of accounts, so you’ll likely get lost in the shuffle. Show off the BTS (behind the scenes) of your life, your business, etc. If you work from home and your home always seems to be crazy/messy with kids running around, show it off! That’s just life—and it’s beautiful. Plus, you’re not the only one who lives that life. You’ll find people who can relate and truly enjoy following along on your adventure.
  2. Engage with your followers. I’m all about putting down your phone and enjoying life in the moment, but you should be spending time engaging with your customers, too. If someone sends a question about one of your products, respond promptly! Social media for business is so much more than just posting content and signing off. It’s your one-and-only chance to build relationships with your customers. If you have a business that’s completely e-commerce, then this is the only chance for you to get to talk to actual customers. I try to check all of my managed accounts in the morning, during lunch and before I go to bed. Give it a try, even for a week, and see how easy it is to stay on top of things while making your customers feel loved (trust me, if you follow this schedule, you’ll still have plenty of time to put your phone away!).
  3. Use a content calendar. If you run a business, you should definitely have a content calendar for all of your social media planning. This will give you a good sense of what you have planned so that you don’t overpost about a certain product or topic. One thing that’s worked really well for one of my social media clients (@runflyingpig) is to post a #MedalMonday photo from a past participant to Instagram every Monday. It gives some love to one of our past participants every week, plus it’s a chance to share their experience. Our following is used to seeing this content and gets excited to see what medal photo we’ll post next. For you, it might be that on every Tuesday, you hop onto Instagram Stories and give a tip about XYZ (#TuesdayTips has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?). Or maybe you sell beauty products, so on every Monday, you post a tutorial about how to use a certain product (#MakeupMonday, I’m on a roll!). Whatever consistency means for you, DO IT. Your followers will appreciate the knowledge and getting to know you and your business better.

All in all, I’ve learned that your social media following likely won’t skyrocket overnight. But newsflash: followers aren’t everything. You want people to follow along your business’s journey and become truly invested in what you’re doing. Showcase your business by being consistent in your voice, staying true to yourself, engaging with your followers and keeping it all organized with a content calendar. And hey, if you need help, we’re always here to lend a helping hand.