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Harnessing the power of social media for your business is a no brainer these days. But it’s understandable, especially if you’re not a user yourself that this can feel like very unfamiliar territory.
There are some persuasive stats from Pew Research Centre; 65% of online adults use social networks and 79% of online adults use Facebook (still the most popular platform). This is a huge potential audience opportunity to reach, for little investment. Ok… well that’s if you do it well.
The comforting thing about your business social media is that it’s totally changeable. Unlike committing to print, you can test, trial, adapt, analyse and learn as you go. As the old adage goes, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’!
We’ve looked at some simple steps you can take to set you on your social media journey, getting the basics right.
Seven steps to starting social media:
1. Think about your audience
You don’t need to launch yourself head first into a multi social media network strategy. Start with a network that’s best for your audience and most beneficial to your business. Which networks are your consumers active on? There’s lots of online information that can help you to define your audience and choose the network that’s right for you. Take a look at this social media audience guide from Spredfast.
2. Setting up your network profile=
This is your social media shop window and could be the first time some of your audience has seen your business. First impressions count so make sure they’re going to like what they see, and it encourages them to want to find out more.
And be on brand. Make sure your brand identity is consistent with your other communication channels and website. Your written brand identity is the language of your brand’s personality – how you speak to your consumers, the tone you use, your brand story and messaging so make sure your profile reflects this.
And visually your profile/cover image is key here. Make sure it’s a good quality image, relevant so visitors can get what you’re all about quickly.
Include as much information about your business in your profile as you can, especially website address, location, contact info.
3. Considering content
This is where the lion share of your focus will be. The content that you post can make or break how your brand comes across to your audience, so you need to think about what is right for them. What are their likes and dislikes? What are their needs? What can you do to get their attention?
Make sure any links you share don’t go to dead ends, and that they come from a reliable source. A great way to keep up to date on content that your audience might like is to set up Google Alerts.
Ensure your posts stand out with use of imagery so you make sure you get seen. And consider the use of video which is on the rise, with 73% of customers more likely to purchase a product or service if they can watch a video explaining it beforehand. (Animoto)
4. Think about timing
Choosing the right time to post can really help to improve your reach, as there are certain windows in the day that are more effective than others.
This is quite a science, and you can find out more about the best times for each network from Hootsuite here.
You can schedule your posts ahead by using social media management tools like Buffer or Hootsuite, as mentioned above, to ensure the timing is right and you can line up multiple content in one sitting.
Don’t be tempted to get click happy and over post. Social media is about variety and you will lose followers if you’re dominating their social media space. It’s quality, not quantity.
If you get any comments or inquiries on your social network, then make sure you respond promptly. For some sites you’ll get a rating for your responsiveness and this gives visitors a view on how efficient your customer service is.
The beauty of a social media network is that you can closely keep an eye on results. Each social media network comes with analytics, so you can monitor your engagement. And there are also analytics tools such as Sprout Social or Buzzsumo.
It takes time to build your audience, so it’s key to look at what type of posts are attracting the most responses and which of your strategies are working the best.
Try it, analyse it, refine it and then try again…
7. Paid for
Social media is all about the user engaging with their choice of content, so they may not be able to find you unless they are actively looking. One way to cut through this is by using paid for promotions. This will give you an opportunity to target and reach a wider audience and can be selected based on location, gender and age.
Your social media network is your living, breathing brand persona that is constantly being updated, so when you commit stick with it and enjoy watching your engagement build!
If you’d like to talk to us about any of your digital needs…