We’ve talked about the importance of a website for small businesses. Just as important–or perhaps even more so in today’s connected society—is social media.
I mean, look at these stats. To date, Facebook has over 1.49 billion active monthly users, Twitter has 307 million, 400 million use LinkedIn, over 80 million photos get posted on Instagram each day… if you’re not on social media, you’re missing out big time.
Your customers are already on these platforms. They’re connected to thousands of people who are connected to many more. They could be talking about your business – imagine turning these conversations into a business benefit.
But what does ‘being on social media’ really mean? Of course you can set up a profile in each major platform, but how do you keep up with all of them? And do you really need to?
Well, here are our top 7 tips to help you build an effective social media presence:
1. It’s all about sharing, engagement and relationship building. Social media is not your selling platform, although relationship and trust will ultimately drive sales. Just about everything you share on social media need to serve a purpose that relate to you or your business. I’ve included you here because showing the human aspect of a business is always essential to making a mark online.
2. Understand your platforms. You may start an account with as many social media platforms as you want, but assess effectiveness of each as time progresses. Every platform attracts a certain type of user, your business may not fit the user. Instagram may be perfect for a café owner for showcasing enticing pictures of coffee and cakes, but a plumber may not necessarily benefit from photos of his wrench.
3. Understand how your platform works. For example Twitter has retweets and hashtags, Facebook has likes, comments and shares. Engage in these activities to build up your social media presence both on your page as well as others.
4. Pick your customers. You cannot be everything to everyone. Understand your audience and pick those who can benefit from you (and vice versa) and spend your time and energy on them. If you try to cater for everyone you will end up confused and frustrated! But don’t worry the more you interact with your people, the easier you’ll recognise them.
5. Ask for feedback such as reviews and comments. Reviews are powerful, they will add value and credibility to your business. Of course you may get bad ones too but keep them! They can be an opportunity for you to improve or even correct, if it’s within your power to do so, which will show your followers that you listen to them. Also, doesn’t it look dodgy if you see only the positive reviews on these sites?
6. Interact with your followers. Simply letting your pages sit is worse than having no account in that platform at all. Aim to create regular and interesting content that adds value to them. Give people a reason to follow you!
7. Be efficient. Yes you may not be everything for everyone, but if you can be active everywhere in your selected platforms, be that! There are many social media management tools that can make this possible for you by posting on multiple sites at once and even scheduling them. Look at HootSuites, Buffer, or Sproutsocial.
And the last and most important tip: have fun! If you think social media is a chore, your followers will sense that from you. Remember, you can post anything that relate to your business and you. If you have something that excites you and you know will entertain your followers, post those too. After all, you are your business.
If you need help setting up, maximising and even running social media for your business, get in touch!
Author: Lydia Kurnia