Navigating the Social Media Maze: A Local Business Owner’s Guide to Thriving Online in Wichita

Navigating the Social Media Maze: A Local Business Owner’s Guide to Thriving Online in Wichita

Social media management can feel like a beast sometimes, right? Between keeping up with the latest TikTok and Instagram trends and trying to figure out Facebook's ever-changing algorithms, it’s enough to make your head spin! Let me take you through some of the real challenges we face and share a few tips and stories from my own experiences.

It's a Full-Time Gig (That You're Squeezing into Part-Time Hours)

Managing social media isn’t just about throwing up a couple of posts now and then. It’s  strategy planning, creating high quality content and constant learning. Even running a media company myself, I find very little time to create stuff for our own company and when I do it seems like a daunting task. 

Quick, Regular Check-ins Are Key

Set aside specific times each day to check in on your channels. Early morning, lunch break, after closing – whatever works best. Consistency is your best friend here. Especially if you have high engagement, be sure you are taking the time to respond comments and DMs.

Long-Term Planning Saves the Day

Don't just post a random image last minute, take the time out and find or go capture a high quality image or video and write a caption that is relevant to that image or video. Its best to plan out at least a week at a time and know what and when you are going to post.

Crafting Content That Speaks to Wichita

There's something special about content that feels homegrown. Try to tie in other businesses or local landmarks, or even things your business does within the community. Maybe even take your employees on a day off and take them to local businesses or a baseball game and make sure to take pictures while you are out!

Keep It Real and Relevant

While recycling old content isn’t bad, be sure that is not all that you are doing! Taking behind the scenes photos of your employees or what ever it is you do is always a great way to help your customers relate back to your brand.

Overcoming the Dreaded Creative Block

We all hit that creative wall. Sometimes, it feels like you are just posting the same thing over and over and there is nothing wrong with that, if what you are doing is driving the engagements and growth you are looking for then it is working. But if you are looking to try something new, look at other businesses in your field on social platforms and see what they are posting, don't copy them directly but there may be a trend you find that you could tie into your business!

Every Platform Is a Different Beast

Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok—they all have their quirks. What works on one might flop on another. There is nothing wrong with Multiplatform posting and its a great tactic to reach customers on different platforms. But if you find one platform is performing better than the other then be sure to optimize your content for that platform first!

Adapt and Learn

Keep an eye on what content performs best where. It’ll save you a lot of headaches. If you get more traction from instagram reels rather than tik tok, then start pouring more into those reels! Just always take a moment each month to review how your content did and what you need to focus more on next month.

Building a Community Feels Like Hosting a Party

Engagement isn’t just about counting likes. It’s about conversations and building relationships. I make it a point to reply to comments and messages as personally as I can. And don't just respond, attempt to keep the conversation going and connect with those people, they may become a customer!

Analyzing Data Without Going Nuts

Social media platforms provide tons of data, which can be overwhelming. I focus on a few key metrics: engagement rate, reach, and video views. These give me a clear picture of what’s working, and what's not. 

Use Insights to Drive Strategy

Seeing what times your posts get the most views or which type of content gets shared the most can help refine your approach without getting lost in the numbers.If your average client is usually working a normal 9-5 job then maybe think about posting later at night. 

Budgeting for Ads? Start Small

I’ve learned the hard way that not all ads are created equal. Start small, test what works, and then decide where to invest more. You don't need a crazy ad budget anymore to reach your customers. You can set parameters such as geographic location to reach only the people in the wichita area to help you stretch your budget even a little bit further.

ROI Isn’t Just About Immediate Sales

Sometimes the true value of social media is building brand awareness and loyalty, which pays off in the long run. Most people don't purchase your product or service based on one single post, you have to stay consistent and keep putting your name in front of them. 

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Help

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether it’s hiring a company like ours to help you create, post, and caption your content, hiring a  part-time social media manager or using automated tools, find what eases your load.

Keeping It Professional While Being You

Balancing personal and professional content can be tricky. I always ask myself, “Does this post provide value to my followers?” before hitting publish. And the value that it may provide is simply entertainment cause remember we are posting on a platform created around entertainment.

Final Thoughts

Look, managing social media as a local business owner in Wichita isn’t always a walk in the park. But it’s also an incredible tool to connect with the community and grow your business. Keep it real, keep learning, and don’t forget to have some fun with it!