Social media is a great tool for businesses. But with new platforms emerging all the time, the social media landscape can be a bit overwhelming. It can feel like everybody is way ahead of the game, and you’re getting left behind. Is Snapchat the place to be these days? Or is it Instagram? What about Facebook? Argh! Where should your business have a presence, and what should you be saying?
For us, and for many of our clients, we find it’s the way you approach it rather than the platform that counts. Used right it will help you engage and connect with your community, and strengthen the relationships that will build your business – whatever platform your choose.
Share valuable content, not sales messages, and you’ll reap the rewards.
Here are 10 things to do to help you make social media work for you.
10 things to do if you want to get the best out of social media for business
- Be clear WHY you’re doing it. What do you want social media to do for you? It can help you in many areas of your business – from research and development through brand awareness to sales and customer service but the underlying purpose is always relationship building.
- The real goal is not followers, it’s to develop a community of loyal advocates. It’s about building relationships that take people from being simply followers to becoming customers and advocates who help grow your business.
- Don’t start with platforms – start with working out what you want to say. How do you find this? By uncovering your content sweet spot.
- Create content that puts your customers’ needs first. Answer their questions, respond to their challenges and aspirations. Be helpful, entertaining and inspiring and you’ll build people’s trust.
- It’s not just what you say it’s HOW you say it – behaviour matters as much online as it does in the real world, so it works to play nice!
- Pick a mix of platforms that’s right for you, right for your customers. It goes without saying that it’s good to pick the platforms where your customers are, but the people who get the most from social media pick the platforms they enjoy using the most too.
- Do it intentionally to make the most of your time. Time is precious for any business, now more than ever, and you can waste a LOT of time on Twitter / Facebook / LinkedIn / Snapchat. Putting time into planning your social media activity– for content creation, sharing content and having conversations on social media platforms – will pay dividends.
- Get the right people on the job. Your most enthusiastic social media types will do it best. This is relationship building, and genuine interest and enthusiasm shine through on social media platforms, just as they do in ‘real life’. Likewise outsource your tweets with care.
- Measure what matters. You could analyse your social media statistics forever and a day, but it’s only worth measuring the things that show how you are progressing towards your goal.
- Be brave. We’ve found over the years that many people are intimidated by social media. They fear putting themselves out there – scared not only of getting it wrong, but of being ignored. On social media you really do reap what you sow – so approach it with the aim of helping your customers, and you’ll find people respond with generosity and warmth.
Your social mantra in glorious technicolour
Want to learn more?
- Come to our special Pub School Session on 17 November. Feeling left behind? Think your business is too boring for Twitter? Is your world too grey for Instagram? Come to our special Pub School session as part of Bristol’s Social Media Week. We have special guest Paul Hajek with us – principal at Clutton Cox Solicitors. His high street law firm is powered by great content and social media connection, and he’s going to give away his secrets to you on the day. If a bloody lawyer can do it… (Paul’s words, not ours!) >> Join us for Social Media Session at Pub School
- Take our free online course. Want to learn how to make social media work for a business? Then the free online course we have developed for Tech City’s Digital Business Academy including real life case studies is for you. >>Take the free online Social Media for Business course
You might also enjoy:
- Who’s who at the great social media party
- How start up Wriggle got its social media mix right
- And finally, one on the basics of using Twitter: RT @ # DM? 20 Top Twitter Tips
[Finally, thanks to Carolyn George and the Entrepreneurs and Opportunity Seekers group for your hospitality this week. We really enjoyed our Social Media session with you. Best of luck with your businesses.]