Social Media PhotosEvery small business owner knows that word of mouth can make or break your business. And these days, word of mouth is happening on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Using social media is a good way to stay on the minds of shoppers or clients without doing a hard sell or pitch about a product.

Posts that encourage interaction on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest will help you grow your business by establishing a core following and helping with word of mouth – leading to sales. To help achieve that, here are three easy tips when posting content.

Photos rule

When using Facebook or Pinterest, photos are the best way to convey information and engage your customers. On Facebook, photos are more likely to appear in your followers’ feeds than any other type of post. The photos you use can be of your store, any items on sale, or of your employees having fun at work. You can use the same photos on both social media outlets.

Obviously, Pinterest is all about photos, so that is a no-brainer. Don’t forget to share and pin interesting photos from related small businesses to build goodwill.

This rule still applies: Photos of animals perform well socially – so get creative! If you’re a florist or even a mechanic and you bring your cat or dog to work, be sure to include a picture of your pet hanging out with you!

Ask questions

Questions can start a conversation with your customers. Something as basic as “Who’s ready for summer?” can be effective – especially if you had a terrible winter.

Ask questions that can help you decide which way to go with a product. Debating whether to bring back lemon icebox tartlets to your bakery? Ask your followers for their preference. They are more likely to make a purchase if they feel they participated in the selection process.

Engage your clients with trivia about your business. One example is strange facts about your trade – a plumber could ask, “When was the flushing toilet invented?” Ask questions about your specific business — a chocolatier could ask, “How many pieces of caramel did I make today?”

One way to mingle the social platforms and to get folks interested in following you is to post a photo and ask, “What do you think of this [fill in the blank]?” It could be a flower arrangement, a car, a hairstyle – the more unusual, the better. Post the question on Facebook and link to the photo on Twitter when you ask the question. Be sure to post the photo on Pinterest too!

Piggyback on holidays

Definitely focus on any holidays that are historically good for your business. If you run a retail store, consider posting a gift idea each day during November and December.

Don’t forget those holidays that are not even a focus for your business. Stay alert to quirky holidays. If you serve doughnuts, post leading up to National Doughnut Day – and maybe offer free doughnut holes on June 7th.

Remember: Whatever you post, just be yourself. Social platforms should show your human side, not your marketing savvy. If done right, friendly conversation will convert into sales.