5 Social Media Tips Small Business Owners Should Follow






Source: Stoffer Photography for The Everygirl

The last year and a half has been difficult for all of us, but it’s been especially hard for female small-business owners. Some had to close their brick-and-mortar stores for good while others had to follow social media tips and ramp up their digital media strategies to compete with big-name retailers. No matter the circumstance, the changing economy required these hardworking women to think outside the box. 

But what sounds like a tale of woe doesn’t have to be. According to a survey conducted by Adobe and Wakefield Research, 61 percent of female small-business owners say their business’s online presence is more important than their physical location—56 percent of solopreneurs rate their business’s digital and social media marketing as either fair or poor. In addition, 83 percent of solopreneurs noted that creative design will stand out and drive their business to be more successful, but they just lack the time, tools, and training to get it done.

If you’re trying to improve your digital footprint to help your business thrive, we have a few simple-to-follow tips that will drive you to success. And thanks to Adobe Spark, one of our favorite social media and marketing tools, you can navigate today’s complicated market—whether you’re rebuilding your following, trying to get more creative, or fighting to stand out amid a sea of competition. 

 

1. Develop a Cohesive Brand Image

It doesn’t matter what type of company you run. The way your social media content looks can make or break your business. Even if your photos are top-of-the-line or you’re a connoisseur with copy, a brand without any continuity can leave consumers feeling lost and uninterested. That’s why it’s essential to create a streamlined look to help people identify (and get sucked into) your content from the moment they discover it on social media. 

 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Kit | Craft-based design + DIY (@kitiyapalaskas)

 

Australian craft-based designer Kitiya Palaskas built her small business around helping clients develop a brand image. Thanks to a massive collection of graphics, logos, fonts, and colors available on Adobe Spark, Palaskas finds her day-to-day branding tasks easier. On the platform, she can create tailored social graphics, videos, presentations, and more based on her client’s needs.

 

2. Streamline Your Workflow

You know that cohesive look we were talking about? A lot of what goes into that sort of linearity is repetitiveness. I’m not talking about repeating the same post day after day. I’m referring to using the same colors, formatting, and text to showcase a smooth look throughout your feed, blog posts, and website. 

In terms of social media, one of the easiest ways to do this is by creating templates that you can use over and over again. It cuts down on the time you spend meticulously formatting your graphics and creates consistency from one post to the next. 

 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by dani aziz (@bydaniaziz)

 

When creating templates, small-business owners can turn to Adobe Spark’s resource library that houses thousands of curated blueprints from designers and other content creators. The great thing about these templates is that you can customize them by swapping out the original colors with your brand colors, or you can change up the font to match your logo, the text on your website, and more. You can also shift and maneuver things around to make them look exactly how you want them.

After you create a template, you can save it for future posts and edit it when needed. Just make sure you have your go-to brand colors, graphics, and fonts on hand to make changing your template quick and easy. 

 

3. Create Eye-Catching Graphics

A few years back, posting photos of your products was enough to grab some attention on social media. Today, it’s the vibrant graphics and compelling videos that stop people from scrolling past your post. 

 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by dani aziz (@bydaniaziz)

 

Before you start messing around with shapes and images, remember that social media is an extension of your business, so you want your graphics to reflect your brand. Trying to evoke a lighthearted feel? Opt for pastels or bright colors. Catering to a professional audience? Neutrals might be better. Whatever you choose, come up with five or fewer colors to use from one graphic to the next. 

If you’re using imagery in your posts, only use high-quality photos (because even the most creative design will be overshadowed by a blurry image). You also want to make sure that your graphics aren’t too busy or distracting. Contrast is key if you’re adding text, and it’s OK to have some white space on your designs. 

 

4. Improve Clarity and Collaboration

Nothing is worse than nearing the end of a big campaign only to realize everyone is on a different page. It’s frustrating, time-consuming, and it can completely derail your brand goals. So if you’re adding a few helping hands to your small business, it’s imperative to prioritize effective collaboration and communication. 

Start by getting everyone on the same page with a clear goal. You can follow the SMART format—Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. This will allow you to clearly track your progress from start to finish. Communicate the goal to your team and ensure everyone understands it clearly. This is also a good time to address anyone’s questions or concerns. 

 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by ⚡️ Design & Brand Strategy (@nictecreativedesign)

 

When you’re ready to dive into the busy work, make sure everything you need for your project is in one location. With Adobe Spark’s collaboration feature, you can create a project on the platform and easily invite people to join. When the invitation is accepted via email, everyone will be able to edit the project in the same place (and see the changes made when the project is updated).

This tool is a major time-saver and key to efficiency. One person may be incredible at writing copy while another is more design-savvy. Project sharing allows you to pass the same graphic, presentation, or document back and forth while utilizing everyone’s strengths and keeping everyone on the same page. 

 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Shyne | Creative Mentor (@designedbyshyne)

 

5. Find a Supportive Community

It’s normal to run into roadblocks when running a small business, but when obstacles keep getting in the way of your goals, it’s easy to get down on yourself. The good news is that you’re not alone—even if it feels that way. 

As soon as you conjure up the idea for your small business, find a group of individuals in the same boat. If you browse social media, you’ll discover dozens of support groups dedicated to improving social media efforts, running an online business, or even coming up with creative brand marketing ideas. You can also create your own community via social outreach. 

 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Girl Gang Craft (@girlgangcraft)

 

CEO of Girl Gang Craft Phoebe Sherman consistently creates templates and graphics for other content creators and small-business owners to use for free. This strategy not only helps her build her own following but also helps her build a group of women who can rely on one another for their creative needs. 

According to the study conducted by Adobe Spark and Wakefield Research, over 53 percent of female small-business owners use social media as a way to find creative inspiration. So if you’re needing a little more support from your community, you can turn to your favorite apps and lean on other hardworking women to keep your small business thriving for years to come.

 

 





This post is sponsored by Adobe Spark, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.

 

30 Soup Recipes Just in Time For Cold Weather






Source: Two Peas and Their Pod

Friends, it’s soup season. We’re big-time soup fans at The Everygirl (and have very strong feelings about the pros and cons of cream of mushroom in particular). Once the air gets crisper here in Chicago, you can bet that a few of us will be running across the street at lunchtime for a cup of soup at least once or twice a week. So it’s probably not surprising that I’m pretty much always on the hunt for great soup recipes that I can make at home and eat for lunch all week long. We rounded up 30 stellar options that are anything but boring and will keep you warm for the entirety of soup season.

 

1. Creamy Roasted Mushroom Soup





Source: Chungah Rhee | Damn Delicious

 

2. Creamy Italian Quinoa Soup





Source: Platings and Pairings

 

3. Vegan Pumpkin Soup





Source: Jessica in the Kitchen

 

4. Curry Lentil Soup





Source: What’s Gaby Cooking

 

5. Potato Leek Soup





Source: By Erin Clarke of Well Plated

 

6. Roasted Cauliflower and Red Pepper Soup





Source: Two Peas and Their Pod

 

7. Creamy Bean Soup with Sausage





Source: Foodie Crush

 

8. Avgolemono Soup





Source: Sweet Tea and Thyme

 

9. Crockpot Lentil Soup





Source: Pinch of Yum

 

10. Sopa de Ajo





Source: Abra’s Kitchen

 

11. French Onion Soup





Source: A Sweet Pea Chef

 

12. Chickpea Flour Matzo Ball Soup





Source: My Name is Yeh

 

13. Tomato Basil Soup





Source: Grandbaby Cakes

 

14. Creamy White Bean Soup and Sautéed Broccolini





Source: Orchids + Sweet Tea

 

15. Turmeric Chickpea Vegetable Soup





Source: Two Peas and Their Pod

 

16. Italian Wedding Soup





Source: What’s Gaby Cooking

 

17. Thai Coconut Curry Soup





Source: Chungah Rhee | Damn Delicious

 

18. Creamy Broccoli Soup





Source: Girl Versus Dough

 

19. Hungarian Mushroom Soup with Fresh Dill





Source: Platings and Pairings

 

20. Roasted Sweet Potato Soup





Source: A Classic Twist

 

21. Knoephla Soup





Source: Chantell and Brett Quernemoen | My Name is Yeh

 

22. Crockpot Butternut Squash Soup





Source: By Erin Clarke of Well Plated

 

23. Creamy Chicken and Gnocchi Soup





Source: Sweet Tea and Thyme

 

24. Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup





Source: A Sweet Pea Chef

 

25. Chipotle Black Bean Tortilla Soup





Source: Grandbaby Cakes

 

26. Caribbean Chicken Soup and Parsley Dumplings





Source: Jehan Can Cook

 

27. Instant Pot Wild Rice Soup





Source: Pinch of Yum

 

28. Quick Chicken Noodle Soup





Source: Precious Core

 

29. Icelandic Fiskisupa





Source: Abra’s Kitchen

 

30. Creamy Thai-Inspired Carrot Sweet Potato Soup





Source: Half Baked Harvest

 

 

Celebrating and Learning on Indigenous Peoples’ Day





Indigenous Peoples’ Day honors Native American history and recognizes the communities of people who are native to American lands. The holiday is observed in 14 states and more than 130 U.S. cities. Originally recognized as Columbus Day, many state and local governments are now reframing the holiday to more accurately reflect the history of Native communities in the U.S., starting with the popular misconception that Christopher Columbus discovered America.

There are 574 federally recognized and 63 state-recognized Native American tribes in the U.S. that span across more than 56 million acres and 326 land reservations. Federally recognized Native American communities are, by law, viewed as their own nations and maintain their own systems of self-government. Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a time to reflect on the storied, robust experience of Native people on their own land, from the brutal truths of European infringement to the current fight for civil rights and fair land use.

 

The Evolution of Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Before there was Indigenous Peoples’ Day, there was Columbus Day. Our early school curriculum taught most of us that Christopher Columbus sailed the Atlantic Ocean in the late 1400s and “discovered” what we now know as America. The first Columbus Day celebration was in 1792, 300 years after Columbus arrived. In 1934, Franklin D. Roosevelt declared Columbus Day a national holiday.

Beginning in 1977, the United Nations began a push to recognize the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day instead of Columbus Day. Those early discussions about changing the name of the holiday hinged on the historical fact that Native peoples were the first inhabitants of the Americas and that already inhabited land cannot be “discovered.” It took a few decades to pick up steam, but more U.S. states and cities have recently recognized Indigenous Peoples’ Day. South Dakota was the first state to recognize it in 1990, and 13 additional states have followed suit since then, with Virginia being the most recent.

 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Soni López-Chávez (@soni_artist)

 

Indigenous Peoples’ Day Centers the Existence of Native Communities

The reclamation of Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a controversial topic. While the push for changing the name of the holiday takes place, U.S. cities have also started removing Christopher Columbus statues and monuments. For some, these unwelcome changes are an erasure of history. While it can’t be denied that Columbus has his place in U.S. history, the true erasure is that of the violence and destruction that Native tribes experienced by Columbus and his companions—facts that are often left out of academic and cultural conversations.

For others, Indigenous Peoples’ Day is an opportunity to reflect on history more fully and accurately while honoring all Indigenous peoples. The legacies and contributions of Indigenous peoples are often forgotten—if they are known at all—and Indigenous Peoples’ Day gives visibility back to the communities of people who were here, literally, at the beginning. The day is also important because it directs society’s attention to the experiences of Indigenous communities today. A 2015 study found that 87 percent of references to Native Americans in U.S. school curricula were in contexts that pre-date 1900, essentially ignoring the existence of current Native communities. With more than half of Native American families reporting financial hardship, many experiencing deficiencies in health care and education, battles with governments over tribal land, and egregiously underreported instances of violence and missing persons, it’s a simple yet critical step to place the attention of this holiday back on the communities that are still here and are in the most need.

 

How to Celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day

As more states and local communities recognize the day, the number of celebrations increases each year! Some states dually recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day and Columbus Day, both of which are national holidays that require government offices and buildings to close.

In our pandemic world, many celebrations are hosted virtually, including expert discussions hosted by universities and museums. Some cities host marches and parades that include Native dress, music, and traditional ceremonies. Here are a few other ways to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day:

  • Read a book by a Native American author to educate yourself on Native American history and customs.
  • Watch a documentary on the current Native American experience and issues those living on tribal lands face.
  • Research, support, and purchase art by Native American artists.
  • Go outside and rebuild nature in your community, even if it’s just picking up litter or sitting under the shade of a tree.
  • Send financial contributions to organizations like Partnership With Native Americans or Native American Rights Fund.

 

Celebration, reflection, and appreciation for Native communities shouldn’t end when Indigenous Peoples’ Day is over. The most lasting way to honor the legacies of Native peoples and hold space for needed changes in present-day Native communities is to continue the conversation. Enlightenment is a continuous journey—one that humanizes experiences that are different from our own and creates opportunities to build from foundations of understanding and togetherness. Indigenous Peoples’ Day is only one day of official recognition, so expanding our knowledge about Native communities on a regular basis will allow us to write a new, more inclusive history that will be truly deserving of celebration for years to come.