If you aren’t running active social media accounts for your small business you are losing out on a great marketing opportunity. Not only that, but a lack of presence on social media can actually be detrimental, putting off prospective customers, because they won’t see you as approachable and accessible.
Here are some tips to get you going ….
Which Social Media Platform to use
If you’re venturing into social media for your business for the first time, don’t be too ambitious and open accounts on a range of platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube and so on. Servicing them all properly is time-consuming, so its best to prioritise.
Do some research and thinking and decide which platforms will reach your target audience. For example, Snapchat is used by youngsters; Instagram’s audience is statistically mainly female millennials and teenagers; LinkedIn is great for B2B.
So, what about the “big” names – Facebook and Twitter? Well both are equally far-ranging and far-reaching, and ever-growing. They are the favourite platforms for small business, but Facebook definitely has the edge, offering features like professional pages, groups and paid post promotions. It’s got a wide demographic, including over-55s.
Twitter has a potentially huge sharing capability, great for spreading the word, but you need to be able to work within the word limit.
Setting your Social Media Goals
Once you’ve decided which platform/s to use, its time to consider what you’re going to post and how you’re going to come across on your profile. In other words, you need a strategy – defined goals to aim for, so that you’re not just randomly and blindly posting a mish-mash of content.
Undoubtedly your main goals will be to generate leads and sales, build brand awareness and engage with customers, but there are other aims to consider too, such as improving customer service, and promoting new products or case studies. Identifying your purpose will make it easier to decide what to post.
What and When to Post
Take a look at your competitors in the market, and see what they’re posting on social – not to copy them, but to take inspiration and improve on what they’re doing. Consider content that is a good mix of being informative, educational, persuasive and entertaining. Steer away from direct advertising because that’s a sure way to turn followers off of your page.
Including visual content is absolutely vital for grabbing the attention – make good use of not only images but also infographics, videos and GIFS.
Don’t forget, the idea of social media is to engage with your audience and build up a relationship with your users, so design your posts to elicit a response and invite participation.
Make sure you post something about once a day, depending on platform. Overdoing it will annoy your followers, but staying quiet for too long will make them forget you! When someone new finds your page they won’t be impressed if you last posted something six months ago and your page appears dormant.
It’s a good idea to draw up a social media content calendar in advance so you can be prepared and not have to scramble around for content on a day when you’re swamped with other pressing things to do. A publishing calendar like Hootsuite can be helpful with this.
Using Social Media Analytics & Tools
Social media platforms give you tools to use to keep track of who is following you, what they like the most, where they come from and when they’re visiting you. All this analytical information is key to helping you work out what content is successful and what isn’t, and what time of day is best to post for maximum engagement.
You can also make use of built in tools on the social media networks like post scheduling, or employ third-party social media management software to make your life easier.
Even if you use automatic posting on a scheduler, make sure you check your social media often so you are there to respond to your users – people like to know they are dealing with a real person and not a bot.
Social Media is an exciting way of growing your business – you may even become addicted when it starts working for you! This is one area where you’ll soon see a return on your investment, and all it will cost you is time, patience and making an effort to learn as much about the medium as you can so you can use it to optimal effect.
If you need help setting up your social media accounts, support with running them, or total management of your profiles, then contact Dentons Digital and see how we can help!