1. The functions of Social Media
Each social media plays a different function and each has its little nuances. Once you've established in your mind the purpose of each one, you can then decide which ones will be most beneficial to you and your business.
- Do your research, read up on each one and its business advantages.
Spend some time getting your profiles right. I cannot tell you the amount of times I've clicked on a Twitter profile or a Facebook page and thought to myself "But what do they do?!"
It is an easy mistake, I've made it myself. You know in your head what the function of your business is, but sometimes, getting it down in words is something completely different.
- Make your bio clear and concise. Say what you do, where you are and how to get in touch.
- Add a great photograph. It could be your business logo or if you're a lone freelancer like me, it could just be a headshot. Retailers and restauranteurs? Showcase your best product or dish or maybe a picture of you in action.
- Location, location location. If you have a physical base, where the public will want to visit, then put the address on! (no, really, this happens). In this day and age, customers want instant information. If they've stumbled across the twitter page of a shop they really like, they don't want to have to ask where it is or google it, they want the information there and then.
Great! You've got your profile set up, but now what do you do? It can feel a little like you're throwing random information into the ether (and sometimes you are!).
Each social media is a different beast, but effectively, your output should be a good mix of self-promotion, conversational aspects and sharing.
Use interesting imagery, there are some great sites like www.canva.com where you can create free pictures and poster art. There are also some great apps where you can upload your own picture and add writing, this great if you have a new product in stock.
- What you absolutely shouldn't do though, is make it all sell, sell, sell. It's called 'social' media for a reason.
I'm not going to lie. Social media can be time consuming and it really is something where you have to put in, to get out. But the rewards far outweigh the efforts. You have to update regularly. Social media is a hugely effective communicative tool between you and your customer, and you can't maintain a relationship if you don't communicate. Even if it's a quick tweet to say it's a busy day in the office, but as always you're contactable on email, that lets the customer know you're there.
Tools like Hootsuite for example are massively effective for general upkeep. You can use them to schedule content, this means you can set up tweets and Facebook statuses in advance and then hootsuite will automatically send them out for you. Which is great for promotional material, like special offers and website promotion for example, but scheduling should not be relied on completely. You still need to share other peoples content and have conversations with people.
There are no set rules as too how much is too much, but my biggest piece of advice is keep it natural. If you're quite a chatty person then enjoy the interaction. Make your content personable but professional.
- Find the voice of your business. Every business is different.
If you're still unsure about the state of your social media or don't know where to start, I can help. For just £50 I can do a 'social media health check', I'll have a look at where you're at, and put together an action plan with helpful information on how to improve and grow. Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org and we can have a chat!