How to get started on Social Media
Most businesses these days have a website, and accounts on Social Media. If you don’t or are just starting your business, this is a great place to start!
Which Platform is right for you?
Don’t immediately create accounts on every platform out there. If you are a Care Home for the elderly, chances are you don’t need a SnapChat account. Equally, if you are a Freelance Accountant specialising in Assessment Taxes, you wouldn’t need an Instagram account – sharing images isn’t a selling point for confidentiality!
So how do you know which platforms are right for you?
The answer is simple – where are your customers? If your customers are not using a platform, then why should you devote time and energy to it?
The only exception to this rule is LinkedIn. If your customers don’t use LinkedIn you should still at the very least complete a company profile even if you don’t post from it. This is because your potential/future employees are on LinkedIn and it can help you to audit your digital presence and see what your current employees are saying about your company.
How do you get started?
Once you know which Platforms to create accounts on, it’s very simple to create them. On Facebook, log in as yourself and click on the drop down menu in the top right hand corner, next to the help icon. Select “Create Page” and follow the on screen instructions.
It’s similarly easy to create accounts for Twitter (just need an email address), Instagram (email address or phone number) and Google Plus. For LinkedIn you need to be working for the Company you want to create a page for, and preferably have a business email address.
Make sure that after you have created your accounts you link them to your website, and your Google Business accounts.
Remember when choosing your Profile Image it needs to be legible even when you comment – so choose something recognisable. Be sure to choose a good header image as well – this is the perfect spot to advertise your latest deals or campaigns!
What should you post about?
Similarly to Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing is most effective when you are adding value to your customers, rather than interrupting them with adverts.
Share news about your business, and upload the odd post about your products or services, but the majority of your content should be aimed around starting a conversation. This is especially important on Facebook, as the latest update prioritises showing people posts that other users have engaged with.
For example, if you run a bakery, share pictures of your tools and explain what they are for. Post about orders that are ready for collection with a picture. Ask your audience what their favourite flavour is, or what flavour icing they would prefer with a chocolate cake.
The point of Social Media is to be social, not to sell your products. Join the conversation or you will find yourself posting endlessly with little to no return for your efforts.
How often should you post?
The key to Social Media, as with Content Marketing, is to be consistent. Don’t commit to posting daily if you know you won’t have the content available or you won’t have the time.
Optimal posting depends on how engaged your audience is, and what platform you are on. For example on Facebook most companies post 2-3 times a week, which is fine. Publishers usually post 3 times a day, which is fine if you have enough engagement, but if you are getting a few comments or like here and there, then this is not the right method for you.
Remember that on Social Media you can repeat the same message. Chances are not everyone saw it the first time, so a week or two later, post the message again. This will reduce the amount of content you need to produce.
How do you know if you are doing well?
If your audience is responding positively to your posts, and your following is growing, then you are doing well! You may not see much return initially while you are building your accounts, but by being consistent, and adding value, you can be sure that your accounts will thrive given time.
Want to know more about Social Media posts? Why not check out this article about how to post images correctly on Social Media.