Social media can be a great way to let people know about your brand and to connect and engage with your customers and clients as well as learning what is important to them and how they make their choices!
Social media comes in many different forms and they are known as “platforms” You should learn about each platform, how it works and whether it will be advantageous to your own business.
Social media can be very time consuming so it is important to spend your time on platforms that will be able to help you achieve your business aims in the short or long term. It is important to be consistent with your social media efforts and a social media strategy will be invaluable and should be reviewed regularly to ensure that your time continues to be spent productively.
It is very easy to at least establish a presence on the important social media platforms, however it is also important for you to understand at least the basics of the platform before you do this. If you set up a presence but for example, do not know how to view messages then anyone attempting to contact you this way will not receive a response and this will leave them with a negative impression of your business.
We will briefly explore the different platforms that are available, how you use social media and what you can achieve will be very individual depending on what your own business does as well as your own skill set. Organisations such as FSB and local groups regularly offer sessions to enable you to improve your social media knowledge and skills as well as individual coaches or professionals who can manage your social media platforms. Click on the headers to go directly to the platform’s own business guide.
As with social media for personal use, it is important to not get too hung up on what others are doing, certainly follow your competitors or others in your industry but learn from what is working and not rather than trying to copy them. Also remember that all is not always as it appears on social media so try not to compare yourself to others, rather focus on doing the best that you can!
Creating a Google My Business profile allows you to add to the content that comes up in Google search results. This can be your basic contact details, link to website or opening hours but also enables you to add much more information, including customer reviews and special information.
Facebook is a social media network, widely used for many purposes, from connecting with friends and family, engaging with businesses and promoting businesses. As an individual you have a personal profile, you are able to create a business page to showcase your business and engage with your customers or clients, both existing and potential!
You can also engage on Facebook groups to help develop awareness of your brand and look out for recommendation requests that may be appropriate for your business. When using Facebook in this way, t is important to engage with other group members and not simply advertise your own wares!
Twitter is another popular social media platform, used for both personal and business. Twitter enables you to follow other brands, celebrities or individuals in order to see their content. Tweets can include links to your website, blogs or images and allows up to 240 characters per tweet
Instagram is a popular social media platform allowing you to engage with your followers almost entirely by pictures.
YouTube is a platform that enables you to connect with your audience through videos if this is appropriate for your customers or clients. In today’s fast paced world, it can be an easy way to be able to visually explain.
LinkedIn allows you to network and connect with other professionals as well as showcasing your business through business pages. It is important to engage with others for the full benefit from professional networking as others will switch off if you only plug your own business or interests.