Underused Social Media Features Every Business Owner Should Know About
Sharing and engaging with customers on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter has become second nature for most small business owners and entrepreneurs. What's surprising, though, is that some of the most effective features of these platforms are underappreciated. Here are four features that boast untapped value.
1. Facebook Groups
Business owners typically start marketing on the platform by creating a Facebook Business Page, but fail to take advantage of Facebook Groups, which reach more than 1 billion people worldwide. That's unfortunate because the organic reach of Facebook Pages has been declining.
Whereas Facebook Business Pages mainly contain content generated by the brand, Facebook Groups often become a tight-knit community. Members can ask and answer questions, post about their experiences, and follow conversations that interest them. Additionally, you can set up polls to collect customer feedback and get insights into their preferences.
Case in point: Clothing brand Golden Tote created a Facebook Group for its customers, where they can have conversations with other GT shoppers, exchange items, and post images. The Group makes the brand's customers feel appreciated while letting them cherish being part of a community.
To create a Facebook group, access the main Group page from the left-hand side of your Facebook profile and click "Create Group". You'll then see a window where you can give your group a custom name, add members, and set its privacy level.
Facebook requires you to add at least one member to the group before you can create it, so add a co-worker or a friend who knows you're setting up a group. Once you've selected the privacy level, click “Create"and add information, visuals, and settings preferences.
2. Instagram Live
Instagram Live is a powerful way to boost your discoverability on the photo-sharing app, as well as achieve business goals such as increased engagement and sales.
Instagram Live is shown alongside the popular Instagram Stories, to boost engagement. Plus, there's an element of urgency: Your broadcast disappears after 24 hours, and can't be saved to a viewer's stream or account.
Clothing retailer Beyond Yoga uses Instagram Live to show followers how the clothing holds up in yoga sessions, so that potential customers can see how the clothing moves and handles sweat.
To host an Instagram Live session, tap on the “your story" circle (with the + icon next to it) at the top of your Instagram profile. Alternatively, you can tap the camera icon at the top left of the screen.
This takes you to a new window, where you can choose “Live" from the multiple options at the bottom of the screen, then tap on “Start Live Video" to launch an interactive, live broadcast.
Once you're done, tap “End" at the right of the screen, then tap to finish. Afterwards, you can share the broadcast to your Instagram story, or save it in your camera roll.
3. Snapchat Geofilters
For businesses trying to increase their popularity amongst millennials, Snapchat geofilters could deliver a significant boost. Snapchat geofilters become available when users are near a geo-tagged location. They're a fun way to show where you are and what you're up to.
For example, you can create a custom geofilter at a community event to promote your brand. Clothing retailer Great Lakes created an On-Demand Geofilter for events they attended. For just $35, they were able to generate over 22,000 impressions.
First, review the requirements and restrictions on the Submission Guidelines page, where you'll be asked to sign in. You will then be taken to a page where you can upload your filter.
Snapchat offers templates to get you started (Illustrator and Photoshop files). If you aren't used to Adobe's products, you can use a tool like Canva to easily create an image.
Once you've finalized your image, upload it to the On-Demand Geofilters page with the “Choose file" option. Snapchat will then show you a preview of how the filter will display.
Snapchat also lets you select the dates you want the geofilter to be active. Geofilters can be active for a maximum of 30 days. Moreover, you get an option to draw a fence, which is an area/radius in which the geofilter will be available. Small business owners may consider drawing a fence around their retail shop or office building. This will allow people to use your filter when they're near your store.
Lastly, Snapchat will present you with the estimated price of the geofilter. You can alter the chosen duration for which you want the filter to be active, as well as the size of your fence to modify your cost. Snapchat geofilters typically cost about $5 per 20,000 square feet.
4. Twitter Lists
Twitter lists only displays the tweets from accounts on the list. That makes it easy to keep a close eye on:
- Potential customers. Engage with them regularly to keep your brand top of mind.
- Brand advocates. Take some time to thank the people who gush about your company.
- Partners. Share ideas and give kudos to suppliers, vendors, or other people in your industry who don't compete with your business directly.
Robert Kneschke, a stock photographer, keeps a Twitter list of stock photographers who blog about their business. The list allows him to connect with influencers, exchange ideas, and promote his brand, all without having to spend hours on research.
To create a Twitter list:
- Open the Lists page by clicking your Twitter profile image and choosing Lists from the drop-down menu.
- Click “Create new", provide a name, and enter a description for your list.
- Designate it as public (visible to everyone, and people get notified when they're added) or private (visible to you, and people don't get notified).
- Save the list.
Which one of these features had you overlooked? Now that you're aware of their benefits, you can start to integrate them into your social media strategy. For more small business social media inspiration check-out these blogs: