The Best Social Media Platform for Your Service-Based Business

Should you really be on Instagram? Twitter?

Social media is a big part of digital marketing, but it can be hard to see where it fits into your marketing plan for your service-based business. Lots of businesses don’t take full advantage of everything that social media has to offer. They don’t know what’s the best social media platform for their service-based business, or, once they’re on it, they don’t know what to post.

Some businesses create accounts for all of the major social media platforms because they think that they have to be on them. They post occasionally, sometimes in sporadic bursts when a big sale or event is going on. Other businesses don’t have a clue what to post, so they ignore the platforms entirely and don’t create accounts. Neither option is ideal. It’s best to figure out which platforms you should — and should not — be on. There are some social media platforms that can do wonders for your business, and others that are not worth the time and effort.

Social media can be very intimidating, but it can also be extremely helpful for your business. If you create a strong social media marketing plan on the right platforms, you can increase page views and conversions. Your strategy for each social media platform should be different, but there are some tips that are helpful across the board.

Tips for posting on social media as a small business
  • Post content that is entertaining, informative, and valuable
  • Post regularly on every platform
  • Maintain a consistent brand voice across platforms
  • Respond to comments quickly
  • Focus on getting your customers to respect and trust you rather than on selling them

One other important factor to remember is that just because you have a lot of likes and followers on Instagram or Facebook, that does not automatically equal higher sales. You need to build a relationship with your customers and share intentional content that fits your brand. Once they understand your business and how it will benefit them, they will make a purchase.

In this article, we’ll cover the strengths and weaknesses of the top five social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Keep your business in mind as you read so you can decide what’s the best social media platform for your specific service-based business.

Facebook Tips for Service-Based Businesses in 2019

Facebook is your catch-all for online content, including blogs, photos, videos, company announcements, and even funny memes. The main goal for your Facebook strategy should be to engage with your audience. The best way to do this is to create posts that have a high interaction rate. In 2019, getting people to comment on your post is the most important measure of interaction. Facebook’s algorithm cares more about comments than likes or reactions. If one of your videos gets dozens of comments, it is more likely to show up in people’s feeds. The more people see your post, the more awareness your brand will receive.

One of the best ways to boost comments on a post is to ask your audience a question. If you’re a vet, you could post about the foods that dogs aren’t supposed to eat, then ask your audience “What is the craziest things your dog has eaten?” Ask engaging questions that your audience can answer with more than a “yes” or a “no”. Then, always be sure to respond to the comments people write. If you respond to every comment, you will double your comment count.

Videos also do very well on Facebook. In 2019, Facebook tends to give preference to videos over other posts. Plus, videos allow you to show off a little more personality when you talk about who you are or what you do. You will build trust with your audience as they get to know you.

Some ideas for Facebook videos include:

  • Stories about why you do what you do
  • Amazing testimonials
  • Behind-the-scenes moments
  • Tips and DIY tricks your audience can try at home
  • Your work in action
  • Celebrations for holidays or special events at your business

One last tip to remember with Facebook. Make sure everything on your business page is up to date. Include your address, phone number, hours, prices or a price range, and a description of your services in the about section. Great reviews and recommendations from your audience also do really well to boost the credibility of your business. You want people to find all the information they want when they visit your Facebook page. If they can’t find what they’re looking for, they might get frustrated and seek services elsewhere.

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Instagram Tips for Service-Based Businesses in 2020

As we all know, Instagram is all about imagery. This social media platform is made for photos and short videos. As you post on Instagram, you should not be focused on selling your services, but on selling the outcome of your services. The goal is to sell a lifestyle that people are jealous of. When they see the life that they could have, they will start craving it. Then, when you show them that a certain type of life is possible with your services, they will be more likely to convert.

Selling a lifestyle means that you focus on the benefits your service provides. As an orthodontist, you could post before and after pictures of one of your patients. Or, as an addiction recovery center, you could post happy photos of people who have recovered from a substance abuse disorder and then tell their story of recovery in the caption. You can also post quotes from customers sharing how great their lives are since they started using the service.

Comments are also important on Instagram, so share content that encourages comments when possible. Just like with Facebook, you can ask questions in your caption that stir up conversations. Or, you can post content that is beautiful, shocking, or funny. One other great way to boost engagement on Instagram is to host giveaways. You can have people write a comment or tag a friend to enter the giveaway. This is a good way to increase comments and get people talking about your business.

What if your business isn’t photogenic?

For some service-based businesses, it’s easy to know what to post. Hairdressers, makeup artists, travel agents, personal chefs, and interior designers have it easy. The outcome of their work is beautiful and Instagram-worthy. But what about if you are a plumber or a pest control company? No one wants to see bugs and clogged pipes on their Instagram feed, right? Well, that’s half-true.

If you are good at digital storytelling, you can make any business attractive. Even a construction worker (@justaconstructionguy) got more than 500k followers on Instagram in a month. Then, it was revealed that his account was a publicity stunt for another small business — a local coffee shop. A pest control company can post a funny or shocking video of workers taking out a gnarly wasp nest, for example. If you want to make your business photogenic, you can find a way. The question is whether or not you have the resources or time to make it happen. If you don’t, it’s OK for your service-based business not to be on Instagram. Just own the other social media platforms.

If you are devoted to making a splash on Instagram, here are some ideas for content you can post. You can also follow other service-based businesses in your industry or outside of it for ideas.

  • In-action videos or photos of you and your team working
  • Educational posts, like stats
  • How-to or DIY videos and photos
  • Inspirational quotes
  • Testimonials
  • Featured team members
  • Pictures of the office
  • Holiday-themed posts
  • Stock images

Be authentic, be consistent, and remember your company’s values as you post on Instagram.

how to post on Instagram as a small business marketing

A word about Instagram influencers

We’ll get into tips for Instagram influencers in a different post, but here is a quick tip when working with influencers. Influencers can be a powerful strategy to get more customers if done correctly.

If you do use influencers, make sure they are a good fit for your business. You’ll want to especially pay attention to where their followers are from. Service-based businesses are usually limited by geography, so you’ll want to make sure that a good percentage of the influencer’s followers could actually use your services. Ask the influencer to break down the demographics of their followers, then be prepared to say “no” if it’s not a good fit.

Pinterest Tips for Service-Based Businesses in 2020

Pinterest is a social media platform that is often forgotten by businesses, but it can be a powerful marketing tool. Like Instagram, Pinterest is heavy on the images, but that’s just the hook to get people to read your blog article. For service-based businesses, Pinterest is a great SEO tool. One of the reasons is that pins on Pinterest are more evergreen than posts on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. On those platforms, posts are easily buried under the constant creation of other content.

If your service-based business has a blog, you can post a great photo with it and pin it. This will make your blog post more visible to your audience. The more views your blog gets, the better your SEO will be. If users pin your article and share it with others, this will help your SEO even more. The articles that perform the best on Pinterest are how-to articles and numbered tips. If you’re a test preparation company, for example, you could write a shareable blog about tips for test day when taking the SAT. If you’re a lawn care business, you could write a how-to blog about trimming your hedges.

To create the perfect pin, choose a photo (either your own or from a stock photo site) and include the title of the blog on the photo. The text on the photo should be aesthetically pleasing and easy to read. Then, as you write the description for the pin, remember these tips:

  • Keep it between 100 and 200 characters
  • Explain in depth what your pin is about
  • Make it enticing so they want to click
  • Include a call to action
  • Include keywords and phrases your audience would use to search

You will also need to include a “pin it” option on your blogs. That will make it easier for your audience to share articles in the future.

Twitter Tips for Service-Based Businesses in 2020

Like all social media platforms, Twitter has evolved over the years. Today, businesses use Twitter to share content, post updates on hours, and, surprisingly, handle customer service. Your goal on Twitter should be to create a positive image of your business. Many people use Twitter to communicate directly with businesses. If customers have a problem with a product or service, or if they have a really good experience, they might post it on Twitter. For that reason, businesses need to be very active when responding to Tweets.

Service-based businesses should use Twitter to answer complaints, respond to questions, and share exceptional reviews. Bad reviews that go unanswered could spread fast and damage your reputation. Make sure that you regularly check Twitter to avoid any problems. These comments and complaints from your audience can also be useful, because they can provide you with market research information.

But, your Twitter strategy shouldn’t just be to react to Tweets from other people. You should use Twitter to share blog articles, testimonials, and the occasional meme or photo. Keep your Tweets short and concise, and make sure to include hashtags. If there are any common trending hashtags, like #MondayMotivation or #WellnessWednesday, use them.

Twitter is also a go-to place for people to find out about business updates. If you had an emergency and needed to close your office, post about the closure on Twitter. If you are moving offices or updating your services, Tweet about it and pin it to the top of your business account. Your customers will appreciate your effort to keep them informed.

LinkedIn Tips for Service-Based Businesses in 2020

LinkedIn is no longer for connecting with coworkers and searching for jobs. Many people scroll through the feed just as they do on Facebook. You have the chance to catch their attention and sell them on your services if you do it right. LinkedIn is not a good strategy for all businesses, though. It is best for B2B service-based businesses. If you are promoting your business on LinkedIn, focus on presenting yourself and your business professionally.

Something unique about LinkedIn is that it is a business-centered platform, so you should have a strategy for your business and for yourself. On your business account, share blog articles and videos showing what you’re up to. On your personal account, you can share blog articles and videos, but you should also be more personal. Post updates and announcements about your business from your own perspective. Be authentic and relatable so you can connect with other companies.

B2B service-based businesses should take the time to share and comment on other people’s and business’ LinkedIn posts. Interact with others rather than just encouraging them to engage with you. Keep your business’ values in mind as you post on both accounts.

What should you post on LinkedIn?

Just like on all social media platforms, you should create shareable and engaging content on LinkedIn. Comments will do wonders for increasing a post’s visibility, as will reactions and shares. Use photos and text that are interesting to your audience and keeps them wanting to read more.

Below are some examples of content you can post on LinkedIn for your business:

  • Blog articles from your site that are engaging for your audience
  • Blog articles from other sites, and your thoughts about it
  • Powerful quotes related to your industry
  • Modified blog articles that you post directly on LinkedIn (*Be careful to not simply duplicate the content, or it could hurt your SEO)
  • Featured team members
  • Exceptional testimonials

As a service-based business, you should not feel pressured to be on every single social media platform out there. You should be strategic about where you spend your time and money. If you focus on the right social media platform for your service-based business, you could see big returns.