How to get started with social media
If you’re not a social media user, setting up and running Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn accounts for your business can seem a scary task and one that constantly languishes at the bottom of your to-do list.
But like it or not, if you’re not using social media, you’re missing a trick. It’s a great way to interact with your customers, drive people to your website and reach a bigger audience.
The good news is, you don’t have to take an ‘all or nothing’ approach.
Choose one channel to begin with and concentrate on setting it up properly. An incomplete profile looks scrappy. So, make sure you fill in the biography settings and insert high quality profile and backdrop pictures relevant to your business.
Begin by choosing people to follow. Depending on the platform (Twitter, Facebook etc), these might be suppliers, journalists who write about topics relevant to your business, industry leaders, clients or customers.
Be a silent observer at first
Pay attention to which posts get the most interaction and note any relevant hashtags.
When you’re ready you can start replying to and liking others’ posts before creating your own.
Then start posting
Commit to posting two to three times a week at first. If you struggle for inspiration, use a media calendar which lists national awareness days and tie your posts in to the ones that are relevant to you. For example, National Afternoon Tea day if you run a tearoom, Mental Health Awareness week if you’re a therapist or World Animal Day for a vet.
You could look back a year at a few of your competitors and see what they were posting about throughout the year.
I always tell clients to include answers to their frequently asked questions – what are the top three things you get asked all the time? Work your content around that – give examples, say it outright, show in lots of ways, the answers!
Other post topics could include:
- News about new products or services you offer
- An interesting item in the news
- A conference/event you’re attending
- A refurb of your premises or shop
- An award you’ve won
- Tips for customers
Remember a picture paints a thousand words
…and will attract more attention to your post. This is particularly true of Instagram where images are essential. It doesn’t have to be a professional photo but make sure it’s bright, not blurry and if possible, includes a person to add some human interest. Try to (discretely!) include your brand in the image too – a branded cup, pen or a sign in the background.
Above all, be sure to post regularly. Big gaps in your timeline could cause followers to lose interest and unfollow you.
Once you get going, you might find you actually enjoy it. Many initially reluctant social media users find themselves becoming addicted to the challenge of earning new followers!
A helping hand
Don’t forget there are lots of great free resources out there to automate your posts too. Hootsuite, Buffer and ContentCal are just three social media planning and publishing tools that can help schedule your posts so you never have an empty timeline.
I’ve not found one I’m totally happy with yet – some do this, others do that but I’d like to blend a few bits from each!
Once you’ve mastered one platform, move onto another. You’ll soon find the one or ones that work best for your business.
Need more tips or help getting started? Get in touch for a friendly chat and advice firstname.lastname@example.org