When small businesses are looking to promote themselves, social media seems like the next logical step, and it absolutely is. Firstly it’s free, and secondly, it’s an immediate way to communicate with your audience no matter how large or small (there are an estimated 2.6 billion social media users in the world.) To help you on your social media journey we’ve pulled together our top 5 tips below:
Pick the right channels
It’s tempting to sign up to everything all in one go and try to run before you can walk. Whilst it’s a good idea to register for the handles you want on all platforms if they’re available you need to consider a few things before you start posting. Firstly, where are your audience? If you’re customer base is teenagers then you should concentrate on Instagram and Snapchat but if you’re looking to engage with those over 40 then Facebook is your go to. Secondly, what content do you have? If your business is highly visual then platforms like Instagram and Pinterest would be ideal for you but if you’re looking to engage in conversations then Twitter is the way to go.
With social media think about having one or two quality platforms, which suit the type of content you have and your audience. It is always better to use one platform really well than spread yourself across lots of channels halfheartedly.
Have a voice
Make sure you have something to say and when given the opportunity engage with your audience. Social media offers a more informal way for you to talk to your customers so make the most of it, don’t just push out messages about how wonderful you are (though we know you are), don’t be afraid to digress away from your core business and discuss wider topics. Also, if you’re going to have more than one person posting work out what tone of voice you’re going to use or how you’ll signal to your audience that there are different people posting to avoid confusion.
This is where planning your content is key. You need to ensure that you are interesting, useful and relevant to your audience. Whilst there will always be information that comes in at the last minute that you need to push out, you can plan in some of your content. This helps to make sure that you’re publishing information your customers want to read about. It’s also where analysing your audience and their engagement comes in, as you can see which of your posts were most popular and make sure you’re posting more of the same in the future.
Mix it up
When planning your content make sure you consider how you can incorporate images, videos, links, graphics and interactive elements into your posts. If you’re just hitting send on wordy posts then your audience will disengage with you. We understand that not every post will be all singing and dancing but try to mix up your content whenever you can. It is also crucial you find a mix between educational posts, and promotional posts about your business. Finding that balance will ensure your users engage and don’t switch off because all they see are posts about you and your business.
Social media has an immediacy about it, if you’re sent a question from a customer they expect a response……quickly. When thinking about how social media will work for you think about who is going to respond and the timescales you’re aiming for. That doesn’t just go for direct messages, if you see a customer commenting on a post, take the time to thank them for getting in touch or to continue the conversation.
Once you get the basics right social media can pay dividends for your business but it’s really worth taking the time to think through how it will work for you, the best approach and then plan out your content.