As a business it is likely you do not have a marketing department “on tap” let alone a social media manager. So why go to the expense of using social media to promote your business and where do you start?
Let’s start with the why
- Easy way to learn about your audience
- Target Audience can easily be defined
- Expand your audience and find new customers
- Instant feedback from your customers
- Improve market intelligence and get ahead of your competitors
- Increase website traffic and, therefore, SEO ranking
- Share content faster
- Generate low-cost leads
- Create relationships
- Increase brand awareness and become a “thought leader”
Just reading the list above would make any MD scream “why are we not active on social media – I haven’t posted anything since that funny cat video in 2013!”
However, a note of caution, if you believe that suddenly by becoming a social media expert that big corporations will be knocking on your door you had better re-think. At best you will raise your brand awareness, which is no bad thing, but it is unlikely that through social media posting alone you will land the “big contract”.
So you want to go social? The first thing to do is research – what social media channels will my target audience be active in? Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram? Whilst you can post to all these channels, and more, it is better to start off with a more targeted approach so you can focus on that.
Next is to think of your company or personal brand. What do you want to portray? What story do you have to tell? What tone do I want to establish? You can find more on this subject here from the team at Hubspot. Now ensure that you have set up the social channel correctly in regards to BIOS and banners. A useful tool for creating banners is gravit – this can give your channel that touch of professionalism.
So you are now all set. Ready to post? Now hold on what about content? What time is best to post? Is it OK to retweet? In truth there are no hard and fast rules, however, one of the best sources of knowledge is this recent blog and don’t forget the importance of imagery! Several free stock photo sites are unsplash, picjumbo and my favourite placeit.
It is perfectly acceptable to use others content, however, that will only take you so far and it is important to contribute your own words. Writing a content calendar can help you visualize all your planned posts for the next weeks or months ahead. And on top of that, it will help you craft your posts in advance so that you always have something ready to share.
As for posting, two of the most popular tools are Buffer and Hootsuite. Personally, I prefer Buffer for its cleaner interface but both offer good platforms for free and for a relatively small charge can offer further benefits such as teams, deeper analytics and even content to share. Tweetdeck is also popular but interacts with Twitter only.