After over 10 years in this business, I’ve seen a lot when it comes to social media.

I’ve been around for Blogspotting and LiveJournaling. I’ve seen the rise and fall of the Twitter empire. I remember when organic reach on Facebook was a given and I watched as Instagram morphed from iPhone snaps to carefully posed and perfected images.

Much has changed about the way small businesses approach social media, too. Some marketers are still trying to be everywhere at once while plenty of others are focused on one, favorite platform. Some are sharing highly curated content and others are sharing whatever floats their boats.

Perhaps the answer to the question “What works in social media marketing?” has never been more ambiguous.

This episode is the finale of our 5-part series on trends shaping small business in 2019. If you haven’t caught the first 4, check out our feed on your favorite podcast player or at whatworkspodcast.com.

My prediction for 2019 is that this is the year when many small business owners find their strides with social media.

Okay…

2019 newsflash—there is NO right way to do social media to support your business.

The only way to do it is the way that works for you.

That might mean giving it up entirely and focusing on coffee dates, networking events, and online communities—see our trend episode on “real relationships” with Jordan Harbinger for more on that.

But it might also mean embracing a less tidy feed, a more consistent schedule, a more uniform aesthetic, long form captions, short form videos, being silly, being an activist, or just being yourself.

The power of social media today is in how you make it your own—not in how you try to conform to the norms of your industry or digital space.

I’ve talked to a number of small business owners over the years who have found their own unique ways of utilizing social media. I talked to Lauren & Jason Pak who built a huge global following for their Boston-based gym by sharing educational fitness content informed by their values for inclusivity and positivity. I talked to Elizabeth Dialto who has openly pursued authenticity and transparently shared when she’s making changes in the way she engages with the channels she uses.

But the small business owner who’s approach to social media stood out to me the most over the last 3 years has been Patrice Perkins.

Patrice is the founding partner of Creative Genius Law. Now, I’ve known Patrice for many years but her social media posts started to peak my interest when I noticed her sharing hyper-informative content based on legal news in pop culture. When a company was getting sued for ripping off a designer or when a video game got served because it might have stolen a performer’s signature move, Patrice would write about it—at length—on Facebook and Instagram.

I personally loved learning from these posts… but I was curious about how this kind of sharing was delivering business results. So I asked her!

But first, I’d also love to know: what’s working for you when it comes to social media. Are you swearing off of it in 2019? Are you embracing a new style? Are you sticking with what you have been doing? Hit me up on Instagram—you can find me @tara_mcmullin. Shoot me a message and let me know what’s working for you!

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