Social media is a part of everyday life for many of us, but how can we use it as a business marketing tool? Success in social media relies on building relationships, not only with customers but contacts and other business users. It is essential that the information that you share is informative, accurate and appealing to your followers.
With so many social media platforms available it is hard to keep up and even trickier to decide what is best for you. Ideally you need to use as many as possible, to allow for engagement across a wide audience, however as a new business start-up it can be overwhelming and you should start with what suits your needs and your own abilities.
Many people will start with Facebook, it is the prominent social media platform that many people use personally as well as for their business, so already have an understanding of how it works. Facebook provides a fantastic solution to promote and engage with followers, it’s key benefit being it is not as restrictive as some other sites like Instagram or twitter. Whilst these will give you snappy and punchy instant contact with photographic contents short word allowance and key words, Facebook allows you to say and share more.
It is important to constantly publish media and it is key to plan ahead. Know what and when to post your content, understand your follower base to know when they are online. Website and social media analytics will help you understand this further. Reflect seasonal dates with appropriate posts, be aware of events that are coming up to encourage engagement prior, during and after the event has taken place.
Social media is just that: ‘Social’, it allows you to engage in a way that many other forums don’t. Get to know your followers, ask questions, start discussions from anything related to a produce or service you are offering. Even just end a post with ‘Do you agree?’ can generate debate, contact and relationships.
It is just as important that people know who you are. Don’t hide behind the screen, share snippets of information, your likes, dislikes. Build a picture of yourself without being controversial, but allowing enough information to filter through that people know who you are.
Use images and videos effectively, these really drive engagement. Visual posts instantly attract attention. Research has shown that images on social media are likely to give a positive emotion over text alone. Images appear on timelines and appeal, people are then likely to dig deeper into content. Video is an important tool on social media, use it for interviews, brand promotions, advice or tutorials. Do not underestimate the power of video in social media.
I will be looking further into social media and how to use it in future blogs.