Social media is moving towards being the largest marketing tool in the world. A study by Fast Company has shown that 93% of marketers use social media in some form or another. If you’re looking to expand your small business and to become a SME with global reach, you need to make sure that you’re engaging with the right people in the right way. Social media is a great way for you to shrink the gap between your business and your audience, thanks to the way in which people engage with social.
I want to share with you my top three tips for business success on social media in the hopes that it helps you to grow your business. You should know though, before starting any social media promotion that you need to have all of your ducks in a row. Why? Because once you turn the tap on with social, things can move pretty fast.
Before you get started…
When I started to promote my business online, I had ensured that everything else was in place. As soon as I was ready to grow and expand, I secured a great office space in a serviced office in the heart of Auckland. I used my office for client meetings and for my core team of staff to work from. I was very happy with my office, not only because it wouldn’t look professional to have clients coming to my home office, but because of the tasteful and elegant space for my business to run from! I had heard from a friend about the Servcorp Difference and was pleased to find that they were professionals who
understood my needs.
So, why social?
As a business owner I was always sceptical about how effective social media could be for my brand, given that I own a financial consulting agency. But, what I was able to discover was that after some further investigation about social media and the way in which we use it, I could leverage certain social media channels to great advantage. I ended up using LinkedIn to build my business, and Facebook to connect my community of clients and customers. Now I want to share with you the way in which I learned to use social media so that you too can apply it for your business.
Know your audience
When you’re looking at using social media you must know that it’s all about the content that you’re posting and engaging with. The number one way to engage your audience is to post relevant and interesting content at a time that your users are online. You also need to do it regularly so that your audience knows when they can expect content from you.
Here are some tips on the content to use:
- Be different but on-topic
- Know your brand and stick to the brand message
- Post during the times that your users are engaged
- Post frequently enough to be appearing when your users are online
- If you don’t know how frequently to post – Instagram should be once or twice a day, Facebook two posts per day (max) and Twitter is three tweets or more a day.
A great way that a lot of companies are getting and providing more value for their customers is in the way that they provide customer service through social media. You need to know where and when your customers are talking about you – and then talk back.
Use what works for you
Instagram is great if you’re a visual business, like a café, restaurant or fashion label. Facebook is great if you post content and you want eyes on it (or potentially on your blog) as you can really target your posts to a certain demographic. While Facebook has made things harder for small businesses to get their content seen (aka – you have to pay now) it’s still possible to really get great engagement online through Facebook and Instagram. It all comes down to knowing WHERE and WHEN people are using social media and WHAT to post to interact with them.
Plant the seed, watch it grow
While it’s great to have awesome content and to be posting it regularly you need to be working on increasing your followers as you go. This is particularly vital for small businesses and start-ups. If you increase your followers you’ll get more eyes on your content, and more shares when people start to see your worth. Here are some tactics to get more followers on your social media sites:
Make people want to share: Whether you have a give-away to get people to share your content, or whether you incentivise retweets, reposts or shares a giveaway or a promotion is a great way to get people engaging with your brand and product.
Use relevant hashtags: This makes you more visible, basically. Make sure you know what keywords to use – and don’t adopt a scattergun approach as this just gets you random likes from other people who just want more followers. Instead, take a look at what other businesses in your field are using, and make sure you’re local and/or targeted enough so that the people engaging with your content are potential customers.
The bottom line is, make sure that you’re ready for success, and then start working on your social media to grow your followers and engagement.