There are a ton of social media platforms today with a good 6/7 worth considering. Don’t worry you don’t have to sign up to every one but you should get on at least one or two. In this post I’ll go through the key socials and help you decide which ones may work best for you.
How do you want to interact with your customers?
This is an important question and the one which sets you up on the rest. To help answer this think about how you will be posting. Will your content be more visual or will it be more text based? Will you post videos? how often do you think you will be able to post? What kind of tone will you set informal or formal? Have a good think about these questions as we go through the major platforms below.
How Much Time Do You Have to Commit to Posting?
With time as precious as it is you may not have a huge amount of time to commit to posting to lots of different platforms. Have a think about which ones would be best for you and focus on those. Its much better to do one or two really well with regular posts than have profiles everywhere but leave them inactive.
Which Platforms Do Your Customers Use?
Have a look at other companies in a similar industry to yourself and take a look at their socials and see how they’re interacting with their customers. You could also ask family and friends that would fit into your demographic and see how they use social media. The idea is to get a good feel for how your customers use social media and try to work your posts to suit.
What are the Top Social Media Platforms for Small Businesses?
Facebook is the top dog at the moment. Especially amongst marketers, it has over one billion monthly active users. With that it mind and its ability to focus specific demographics with the paid Facebook ads its worth considering. A lot of people casually search Facebook for reviews and often like to share their favourite businesses amongst friends. You can create a business page (so it doesn’t have to be mixed up with your personal page) which gives you the functionality to post rich media content like images, text posts and videos with your followers.
I’m sure you’ve heard of Youtube by now its the worlds largest video platform and funnily enough the second largest search engine. It has approximately over 1.5 billion users and is still growing rapidly. The best way to get the most out of Youtube is by posting your videos and interacting users in the comments. You can also use these videos to share on your other social media so its a bit of a 2-in-1. Videos won’t suit all companies but if you like making videos this is the first place to go.
Twitter is whats considered a micro-blogging site with about 300 million monthly visitors. The messages are brief here with short snippets favoured over long posts. People tend to post a short message followed by a link of the content you’re trying to share. You can add hashtags (#) to tag your content so those who search for specific things can find your posts. For example #webdesign would show a bunch of web design related posts. Bare in mind the character limit is set to 280 characters per post. Twitter also has paid ads but do your research for these as they tend to only be effective in certain industries.
Instagram is a huge photo and video sharing platform with a good chunk (about half) of its users being aged 30 and under. It’s users share short videos and photos to their followers and with hashtags the wider audience as well.
Like twitter hashtags are super important for getting people to find your content. If you have a gander at the majority of posts you will see on each one a whole bunch of hastags added everytime. You can use the hashtag generator we linked above to get some ideas! Popping these tags on your post will drastically increase your reach and interaction on your posts. The more tags the more likely people are going to find your posts, the more people the better chances someone will like or share your post.
Instagram also has an ads platform which will you engage with more people and promote your products. A cool thing about instagram is that it can be linked with Facebook and now twitter so your posts can be shared amongst all 3 platforms at once!
This one is an interesting one and can be useful for some businesses. Pintrest is a place where you can upload images, interests and things like web pages etc and pin them to a board. Its super useful for saving things whilst you browse the web. A good example is say you come across an awesome recipe you fancy having a go at but don’t have the time right now you can pin it for later.
A lot of people use it for gathering inspiration as well, say your prepping for a wedding it would be a good place to go and flick through the public boards and hashtags of everything others have found around the web to see all those collated ideas.
LinkedIn is pretty much a professional Facebook. Its used as a professional network for people and businesses to connect. Instead of memes and funny videos people share industry information, helpful guides and recommend each other things like jobs or places of work etc. You can also use your profile as a type of online CV. You can add all your skills and qualifications to show potential prospects what you can do. Business can set up pages to post a bit like Facebook pages and utilise that part of the platform too.
Google+ was Google’s attempt as a social network. It was pretty cool in its own way as you used to be able to post and share information like the others and join communities where you could discuss your likes and interests with other like minded users.
Google+ also linked up with Youtube and Google my Business (well everything Google really).
The reason I’m talking in past tense on this one is that Google+ unfortunately shut down 2 April 2019 as it never quite became what they wanted it to be.
Getting Your Profiles Set Up
Now you’re all clued up o the different types of social media, next up is the get your business profiles set up on your chosen platforms. Here’s a few things you can do.
- Add your logos and banner images (check brand guides for the right sizes or just google for a template)
- Add a strong business description.
- Add all your contact details
- Add your web address
- Add links to your other profiles on other social media
- Start adding content (with your hashtags) and building your audience. Make your you interact as much as possible with comments etc.
The aim is to make sure your profiles look full and complete with all the images and descriptions etc. If your profile looks messy then it doesnt exactly leave a good impression with any potential customers!
This is the most important section. The key to getting natural growth and success on social media is to interact with your customers and carry out the following:
- Post great content – Make sure its relevant and that your customers will want to read it and most importantly share it.
- Speak to your customers – Check your posts for interactions and offer helpful tips and advice.
- Plan ahead – Schedule your posts to get ahead of the game. You need to be consistent and post regularly. There are tools out there but a spreadsheet will do at the start.
- Monitor your posts – Keep an eye on which posts are more sucessful than others and bare this in mind for the future.
- Keep your profile active – Its better to post once a week for 10 weeks, than add 10 posts in a week.
- Use the socials to share promotions, discounts and special offers.
- Use paid ads to boost popular posts if budgets allow.
- Use hashtags # – Remember these its super important. These will help expand the reach of your posts to ensure they reach new people instead of just your followers.
- Respond to negative comments – Be fast, polite and where possible offer a quick solution. If you want to discuss privately let them know on the post and then follow it up with a private message. So others in the community can see they aren’t being ignored.
- Ask satisfied customers for a positive review – Its a bit cringe at times but as the saying goes “If you don’t ask, you don’t get”.
Remember to keep all your credentials safe with good recovery options and if possible set up a new separate account to use for social media accounts in case the person looking after it decides to leave and you need to recover logins.
I believe thats everything i can muster this morning. Good luck on your new social media journey!
As as always if you need help with setting up your social media get in touch!
All the best