by Lydia Catling / 22 May 2018
Social media is everywhere. From the humble beginnings of MySpace and Facebook, social media has blown up and continues to change on a regular basis. As well as providing people with numerous channels to communicate, social media has helped businesses, large and small, gain exposure on a global scale. So, I hear you ask, how do you get in on the action? On the face of it, social media for businesses sounds straight forward – what could be so hard? But dig a little deeper and you will see there is a lot more to it. Instead of wasting valuable time trying to muddle your way through starting up your social media, begin with a clear objective in mind. To get started, it is important to consider the following:
If social media is completely foreign to you it can often be difficult to understand how it can help your business grow. But, small businesses have shown time and time again that social media can be a fantastic resource in the early stages of growing your business. When you first start up, you will most likely have an image in your head of who your stereotypical customer is. To use social media effectively you must identify who it is you are targeting and ensure your content is tailored to them. The key to success for any business is the customers and the same can be said for social media.
It seems like an obvious question but the answer often gets forgotten down the line. Are you looking to raise awareness of your brand in your city? Drive traffic to your website? Generate leads? Whatever the purpose, it should be at the forefront of everything you do on social media. Once you know your goal you can tailor all your imagery and written content to suit your purposes and continue to appeal to your target audience.
Now we’re not talking geographically (although that is good to know!). There are so many social media platforms available it is often hard to know where to start. Every platform has its benefits, as well as drawbacks. Although it is possible to set up a business account on every platform at your disposal, it is better to channel your efforts into the platforms that you know will work well for your brand. In addition, it is crucial to ensure that your target audience use the platforms you decide to create accounts for. For example, a fashion brand targeting young adults may not wish to use LinkedIn as frequently as Instagram because it is associated more with business.
With social media, it is often a case of less is more. Although posting every day is fantastic if you have the time, when you’re a small business, juggling lots of responsibilities, this is not always possible. In general, it is better to post less frequently but ensure the posts that you do share are well written, with the audience in mind. You will build a better following by posting high quality content.
If you’re a small business it can be hard to get noticed. The best way to get exposure on Twitter and Instagram is through the use of hashtags and location tagging. These methods increase the reach of your posts and increase your audience. For example, if you tag your location in an Instagram story, you could be featured in the story for that area. People may watch your story who were not aware of your business and voila - exposure.
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