If you’re thinking about getting started with Social Media for your business, it’s a good idea to start out with a strategy. Write down the following questions and try to answer them as best you can:
What are your goals for Social Media?
Who is your ideal audience?
Where are they?
What do they need?
Social Media is not a quick fix for your business. You should be strategic about your social media use. It requires a set of skills and processes that when applied every day can, in time give you great results. When using social media you should always be:
GETTING STARTED WITH SOCIAL MEDIA FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Decide which networks you should be on (note: you don’t need to be on all of them) remember social media requires updating, interaction and sharing content, the more networks you are on, the more work is required to keep them updated. If your business requires you to be out on the road, it doesn’t make sense to be on 9 social media networks, especially if you don’t have a Social Media Manager looking after your social media accounts.
Once you have decided which networks to go with, make a plan! What content will you create/share? How often will you post? What is your budget? Your number one goal should be to add value to your audience/followers. Listen to what they want, test different types of content to see which ones are more popular. Make a note of questions they ask you, can you create a blog to go into detail and send your followers there? Start writing content that solves their problems or answers common questions that you get asked. Identify several topics and plan out your content months in advance, it will make your life so much easier.
“Customers that use social media are more connected and loyal to the brands they follow because of how they feel about you”.
Use repetition to help people to remember your content e.g. Monday Motivation or Productivity Tips. Your followers will come to expect it from you when they get used to seeing certain content from your business. They will attribute the format you use to your brand. Choose a theme that resonates with your plan/strategy/goals.
If you decide to use a few social media platforms, don’t post the same content across them all. If followers like your content on Twitter for example, they are more likely to follow your Facebook page or Instagram, this is why it’s important to have a variety of content instead of re-using the same content across all platforms, it can be perceived as lazy.
To write for Twitter, be short and to the point. Use an image where possible to accompany the message (ensure the image is relevant to the content you are posting). Get the most out of every blog you write by sharing and re-purposing snippets with a link to the article that goes into more detail. Use 2 or 3 hashtags that relate to the topic. Have a call to action (CTA) e.g Like if you agree, or “retweet” “contact me”
Facebook Business Page
Be real and personable by using stories about yourself or your business. You can also use case studies and testimonials as examples of satisfied customers. Use Video if you’re comfortable with it (not everybody is – lowers head in shame)! Link to your website where they can get more information and always reply to comments/questions from your followers, this shows you value your customers (potential customer’s opinions) and are available to provide support.
Organise your boards using categories and descriptions so that followers know exactly what they are about. Use images (this is a must, Pinterest is all about the imagery). Pin articles that you think your followers would find interesting and useful. You can also include your own articles/pins here too.
Keep it professional! This is a great platform to educate your connections/followers. Join groups that are relevant to your business and get involved with the discussions, be helpful and provide value. Reply to comments, ask questions and share industry news.
Use captivating visuals, write descriptions or a summary. Motivational quotes or images of work that you have completed or products that you sell work very well on Instagram but don’t overdo it, variety is key here. Your content should be visually appealing to your audience. It’s also acceptable to use more hashtags here without appearing spammy but don’t go overboard either. Using too many gets your more followers but they may not be your ideal audience, go back to your strategy where you should have targeted hashtags listed.
There are a number of articles (Pinterest anyone?) that show the best times for posting on each platform. Consider the time zones of your audience.
Manners still very much apply to Social Media. The golden rule to follow is “if you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, or wear it on a T-Shirt in public, then don’t post it on Social Media”.
Here a just a few Do’s & Don’ts that may help you when starting out using Social Media
Add Value, Be Helpful,
Know your audience, Post Regularly, Be Consistent, Interact and Be Sociable!
Do Not use #’s that are trending just to promote your brand, especially it’s not relevant – it’s considered tacky, obvious and desperate and can, in fact, do more damage to your brand than anything else.
Do Not buy followers – again it’s tacky, obvious and desperate. Most seasoned social media users are well aware of the people that have 75K followers and only following 106 people back (unless you’re a celebrity it’s obvious these followers have probably been paid for) it’s even more obvious when these accounts post and nobody ever comments/likes or shares the content. You would hope with that with all those followers, at least 5 of them would like what they have to say, or else why the heck are they all following them?
Do Not publically humiliate or bad mouth your competitors or anyone else for that matter …again, very tacky!
CHECK YOUR STATS!
Most social media platforms have very good analytics, which you should be monitoring regularly to see how your posts are performing. If people are not engaging, change your content.
Share other people’s content with your followers (where relevant). If you set up google analytics correctly, you should also be able to see how many people are coming from your Social Media pages to your website and if there are any conversions!
Last but by no means least, have fun with it. Social Media is where it’s at, you can have good fun with your followers, you can learn a lot from them and get new leads/customers. Don’t underestimate the power that Social Media can have for your business.
If you would like to learn more or need assistance with your social media Contact Me.
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