By Julie Schuler

Chances are, if you already have a business, you already have some form of social media presence, whether it be a website, Facebook or Instagram page.  The question is – are they optimized?

Social media has become a huge part of our lives and it’s here to stay. As a business owner, you need to keep up with the times! Customers are watching and listening so you need to give them something that not only engages, educates and entertains them, but builds trust as well. And when our customers TRUST us, they BUY from us!

Here are my 5 tips for building a social media page (Facebook or Instagram) from scratch:

1 – Branding – Who are you? Take the time to assemble your logo, colours, fonts, mission statement, press and photos of your services, products, interior and exterior. Dropbox is a great place to keep everything sorted. Take the time to optimize your Facebook/Instagram profile. It should be complete with bio, website and contact information.  You should be following like-minded businesses, community associations (such as Oakville Downtown BIA) and your good customers.

2 – Quality Content – What do you want to say? Before starting to post, you need to plan ahead, but also mix in some sporadic content. Stories are a great way to show your fun side and everyone loves seeing behind-the-scenes! Ensure that your feed is aesthetically-pleasing to the eye. Think about your favourite Instagram accounts. Chances are, you follow them because you not only love their product or service, but their grid is easy on the eyes. In terms of what to post, you don’t want every post to be ‘buy this’. Think of a few different topics then build your plan around those. For example:

People – People love seeing people! In fact, posts with pictures of people generally perform better than without. Show yourself and your team – people want to know about owners and their team. Tell a story!  People want to feel connected to your brand & they want to feel like they’re part of your journey.

Education – Tell people about a service, product or ingredient and why it’s beneficial. Let them know the history behind your business, your hours, your location and COVID protocols just to name a few.

Community – People want to see any events that you’re apart of, press and how you give back to the community. Also, when someone tags your business, be sure to re-post it!

Sales – These are types of posts that have a specific call to action. You’re pointing the viewer to come to your business and be a customer.  You can also link your Instagram and Facebook to your website & tag products (when viewers click on them, they’re taken to your website where they can make a purchase.

3 – Presence – Are you putting in the time to manage your account? A successful social media account doesn’t happen in a week. You need to work at it every day. This means engaging with other users, liking their posts, commenting on their posts and replying to comments on your posts. Check your Messages/Direct Messages regularly and respond in a timely manner. By being present and genuine in your feed, you’ll naturally draw more followers, thus customers. After all, it is called SOCIAL media!

4 – Optimize – Are you making the most out of your posts?  Use geotags (location) such as Oakville, Ontario or Downtown Oakville, use relevant hashtags (such as #oakvilledowntown #oakville #italianrestaurant #takeout) and switch them up, depending on the type of post. Don’t only post pictures.  Switch it up with videos, Instagram stories & always re-post any user-generated content.

5 – Analyze – Are you getting new followers and good engagement from your posts? Check your analytics to see when is the best day/time to post and learn which type of posts are getting the most likes and engagement. From there, tweak as needed to find out what works best for your account.

I would be more than happy to take a deep dive into your social channels and discuss how they can be elevated using my content strategies. I would also be delighted to share social media case studies and give you a custom price that will try to hit your allocated social media budget. In the meantime, you can reach me at: or 289-828-1975

About the Author 
Julie Schuler is a social media consultant who works with small businesses to elevate their social media presence. Her clients include Rosewater Spa, Many Faces and COBS Bread in Downtown Oakville.