I have a client who works with a group of small businesses as their client. While working with them on their own social media, I uncovered that most of their clients will not realize the benefit of social media in their business.This is primarily due to how the sites are set up and how they are actually using them today.This is not an uncommon phenomena, as many businesses know they need to use social media, but have never been taught what needs to be done, or have just not had the time to figure it out. I hope this article can help provide some guidance of where to start to get the most out of our social media for your business.
1. Choosing the Right Platforms For Your Business
It is important to understand where your target market is going to look for you. For the most part, you should look at your industry and competition and find out what platforms they are utilizing. If you have clients that are B2B, then LinkedIn is a must. If your clients are B2C, then Facebook is one of the main platforms you should consider. Other social media platform choices are dependent on the type of business and what platforms your prospects and clients use. If your business has visual elements, then you should look at Instagram and Pinterest. If you have a business that utilizes video, then you need to set up a YouTube account for your business. Twitter can be used for almost any type of business, but is dependent if your prospects are there. If your target market is only 50 year old males, then there is a good chance that Tweeting is not a part of their day. My business partner and husband is still trying to figure out the hashtag and who came up with 140 characters. You will not find him Tweeting or going to Twitter to figure out what is going on, and the only way to get him to read Facebook is to tag him, so he gets an email. He gets and understands LinkedIn, so that is where anyone will get his attention.
2. Utilize the Platforms You Choose Correctly
Listed below are some of the common mistakes that many small businesses overlook when they are using social media.
Your social media pages need to have a professional and consistent look and utilize your company branding. If you do not know how to create the banners or crop images to fit, get someone to help you. There is nothing worse than going to a social media page whose logo is off centre and it does not fit in the space provided. The same is true of seeing a banner that looks like a third grade created it or the image is too low of a resolution and is fuzzy. When someone visits your social media pages, they going to get an impression of your business just as they would if they visited your website. Let it be the right one.
4. If You Set Up the Social Media Page, then Utilize it or Delete it
If you are not going to use the social media page, then utilize it or delete it. There is nothing worse than going to a Twitter account that is set up for a business and the first and the last Tweet were the same day. The same is true of every site you set up. If you do not have time to utilize it, it is better to take it down until you do.There are tools that can help you save time, but it is essential to understand how to use each social media platform, as there are different audiences.
5. Do Not Just Share Content That Is About Your Business - It Won't Help You
If you are creating a social media site or using digital marketing in general just as a self-promotion of your business, you will be disappointed. You will not get followers or likes if all you are doing is sharing content about what is going on in your business minute by minute or are trying to constantly "sell". That is not the purpose of social media. Social media is about sharing relevant content and showing your prospects and your customers that you are a thought leader and know about your industry and what is going on related to the products and services you sell. It is also about having a conversation. You can also dispense information about your business, but if that is all you are doing, you need to reconsider that choice.This is the same premise as going to a kid's Twitter feed and it all being about them and what they are doing such as "I am at the mall " and the next Tweet being "I am eating a hot fudge sundae." Both fall into the category of who cares. Make sure your content counts.
Hopefully these tips will help and provide some insight into how to use social media appropriately to get the greatest benefit from your business. As time goes on, we will provide you with more tips and tools to help you in creating the best social media platforms for your business and aiding you in receiving a higher return on your time which is still an investment.
RK Fischer & Associates