The biggest misconception regarding social media for business is that it’s easy. If you have a personal Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you know how you’d run your business, right? Wrong! The acceptable practices for personal and business use of social media differ wildly, so here’s some top tips for using social media for business.
Platforms and strategy
First of all, you need to decide which platforms will make the most impact on your business. You may wish to consider your target audience–what platforms do they use and how are they using them?
Once you’ve determined your platforms, you then need to think about your strategy. How frequently will you post? What content will you post to which platform and when? How do you propose to manage responses to your content? Remember that each social media platform serves a different purpose and may lead to different levels of engagement, so blanket posts each day won’t be effective.
Your business message
Alongside your strategy, you need to outline your key business message. What do you want consumers of your social media to know? How would you like them to respond to the knowledge/opportunity you’ve given them in regards to your business or products?
Your business message will apply to all of your content, including what you choose to like, share or retweet. How would you like your brand or business values to come across? Be wary of content that may put consumers off. Equally, ensure not all content is a hard-sell, this will put consumers off too.
So you’re up and running; you’ve got your accounts, your strategy and your brand all set up and clear in your mind. How do you create content that will attract consumers?
Providing your consumers with a variety of material is vital. Make use of text, images and videos, including going live, to keep your content fresh and varied. You may want to come up with campaigns to tie into specific events, promotions or news in relation to your business. Relevant content shared consistently is the key to your online presence. Regular links to a blog for example, will give your consumers something to look forward to.
Keeping on top of trends and industry developments is also important–what is currently going on in the news? Can you make a comment on this?
To make sure you regularly meet your strategy outline, consider automation services, which you can set up to publish content at a day and time of your choosing.
Social media isn’t just a great platform to build awareness of your brand, it is a great opportunity for networking and generating leads that will benefit your business. Follow other brands and individuals that are relevant. Seek out appropriate consumer groups and organisations. Research what your competitors are doing.