‘Social media will account for 22.5% of digital marketing budgets in the next five years.’ With social media quickly becoming a key tactic of most marketing and public relations campaigns, it is clear to see why so many businesses are realising the potential benefits of harnessing the power of it; the main ones being Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Social media allows a business to engage with audiences in a way that wasn’t possible before. It also allows for your audience to learn more about you; if you’re a business it often results in customer loyalty.
Below we’ve outlined five key factors to consider when embarking on your first foray into social media.
1. Decisions, decisions, decisions
Before you can start posting and building up your follower base, you need to decide on which platforms you are going to use. You may have previous experience with some and therefore know whether or not they will work best for you, but it’s important to have a mixture of using ones that you know will work and trying something new; if a certain platform doesn’t perform as well as you’d hoped, you don’t need to continue with it. Being realistic is also vital, small businesses can’t expect to have thousands of followers in the first week or even six months. Setting achievable business targets is just the start.
2. Writing your bio
It varies with each platform as to how much information you can include in your bio. Companies on Facebook are required to fill in ‘Location, Products, Contact Information’ etc. as well as the ‘About Me’ section. This is where you can write as much or as little as you’d like and this is where you should include all key information about yourself and the purpose of the page, what your business does and a link to your website.
On Twitter you are only allowed 160 characters of info to fit into your bio, so ensure that you choose the most relevant information. There is however a separate section for you to include your website as a link presuming you have one.
LinkedIn is a platform used to build contacts and interact with other professionals or businesses. As a business, the information you need to include is very straightforward – company name, size, and location to name a few.
3. Tailoring the posts
Facebook and Twitter can (and probably should) be more casual than LinkedIn if you choose them to be; Twitter needs to be much more concise due to the character limit. With LinkedIn being a professional orientated site, you should make sure that your posts are more formal. This will make sure you’re reaching out to each individual target audience in the best way and by putting your business across in a positive way, other businesses and your customers will take you seriously.
Across all platforms, you should try to include images or videos in the majority of your posts – this will lead to more engagement from your audience. When visual content is used on Facebook alone, there is a 37% increase in engagement.
4. Interacting with other accounts
Engaging with your customers or other businesses via platforms they are comfortable with will offer a ‘more personal brand experience’. You could start by following them and tweeting or posting to them directly; this will add a nice personal touch. By doing this, you will seem more interested in your customers and other businesses and it will hopefully mean that they will have more interest in your business and want to follow you to keep up to date.
Not only will your audience want to follow you but if you engage with them successfully, they will want to engage with you. This could lead to user generated content, as well as two way communication which will only enhance your customer loyalty further.
5. Consistency is key
You want to ensure that you’re staying fresh in people’s minds, and to do that you need to be posting regularly. However, it is important that you don’t just post for the sake of posting; you don’t want to annoy your audience and result in them unfollowing you. It’s all about finding the right balance. As well as writing posts about your products/services/business events etc. you need to think about covering other topics to keep the audience interested. This could include posts of topical or seasonal relevance, currents news, and any specific industry news relevant to your business.
Setting up social media accounts for your business isn’t an easy task, and can be very time consuming/resource heavy. But once you have created your accounts and started to build up your follower base, it will be much easier to find your voice and it should soon become second nature to you.
Image courtesy of: Pixabay