Today is a world of WIFI, speedy broadband connections, mobile devices and the all important Social Media – Twitter, Facebook, SnapChat, Youtube and more are leading the way many of us lead our lives. They take up our spare time, answer our questions, tempt us in to buying, persuade us to join / comment / debate, influence the way we vote and even help us find love!
So, if social media is that important in today’s world then certainly we must embrace it within our businesses and use one or some of the platforms out there, where are all free to use, in order to grow our costumer databases and revenue.
What though should we be doing in order to use social media correctly? Here we share 10 great easy to follow tips for small businesses across the UK:
- Have a plan: Know what you are looking to achieve, understand the users of the social media platform, build your updates on your research. Are you looking for new clients, maybe it is to showcase your work, maybe you are after networking with local people in your community – All this can be done on social media though it is sometimes not easy to try and do everything – Stick to one plan and carry it out well. Once you have a plan and you know your target audience you can then deliver the correct content, in the best form (ie images, text, video) and at the best times.
- 1/2/3 platforms and no more: Try not to run too many social media accounts as this will probably draw too much of your time if say you are at 4 platforms and above – You will end up spreading yourself too thin. As an example, I have always concentrated on Twitter and LinkedIn whereas the other platforms I simply share as and when I have relevant content.
- Be consistent: Try not to hit social media as and when you have time – So many companies have accounts that they post to randomly and many times I will see the last post being week, months and sometimes years ago and this includes from PR and marketing agencies! If you are consistent then people will rely on you for a source of news / information – Random posts means you do not care about your audiences.
- Images: Try your very best to add images to most of your updates, images usually attract better click throughs and engagement. If you can, use your own images (I have always a big folder on all my PC’s with my own images and each one of them watermarked), by using third party images you risk the chance of receiving fines / legal disputes against you for copyright infringement.
- Join Communities: Social media is full of groups, pages, hashtags and more enabling you to join in on relevant discussions. Look in to groups across social media, especially LinkedIn and Facebook, that are relevant to your industry and join them with the vision to comments and share thoughts this network yourself around. If you can, look to build your own groups / pages so you have control on the communications within that group and the membership etc.
- Share social media links: Do not be shy to include your social media links on your website, in your newsletters, in your emails etc. A simply icon of each social media platform will be enough is they point to your accounts.
- What are your competitors doing? Sometime the best way to save time and come up with great ideas is to investigate what is already being done! Research your local competitors and study their social media accounts, you should not be surprised that many will not have accounts or least-ways be using them seldom, though you will also find that some companies are really nailing it on social media so try and learn from these kind of companies and adopt similar activity. Research also other business sectors as sometimes what works in one sector can be transferred across.
- Use the likes of competitions to draw further attention / followers: The likes of a giveaway or question / answer competition works great on social media and will engage many users – Especially on Twitter with hashtags and the likes of enter and retweet will help to build you engagement, new followers and also email / name databases etc. It does not always have to be an expensive giveaway, it can be a simple quality bottle of Champagne or a free dinner for two at your / a local restaurant.