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Social Media: How to use it right

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Social Media: How to use it right

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Social Media can be daunting for newcomers; ‘Are we doing this right?’, ‘Will people get us?’ ‘What do I post and when?’.  Social Media: How to Use it Right!

Over recent years social media has played a big part when it comes to business. Companies all over the world are using social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more recently Instagram and Pinterest to spread the word about their business. Twitter itself has disclosed that they have over 232 million users, active users that is, and then there’s the rest. Instagram only recently announced they have over 200 million users and is fast on the rise after only launching in October 2010. Social media is a big deal – you and your company need it, but where to start?

Putting your own company out there can be daunting; ‘Are we doing this right?’, ‘Will people get us?’ ‘What do I post and when?’. So many questions that are still unanswered but you need to start building a social media presence now.

Fear not, compiled below is a list of things you need to consider to give you and your company a budding head start. Social media has huge potential to help grow your business but you need to use it wisely or it could have the opposite effect.

Remember your goal

Why are you setting up a social media presence? What do you want it to achieve for your company? Think long term. Don’t just jump on the band wagon for the sake of it. Build trusted relationships. Find potential new customers and create a platform where they can actively seek out you.

Be who you want to be

But the question is, who do you want to be? Don’t go getting all philosophical on me but do think about it for a second. What makes your company stand out? Show them you are ‘edgy’. Why would people choose working with you over ‘them’ who are doing a perfectly good job? You don’t just offer ‘X’, you offer ‘X’, ‘Y’ and ‘Z’. Don’t be afraid to be different or to shout about it.

It’s all about the timing

Trial and error. Let’s face it, you have no idea when your customers are more active on social media. You will learn this over time but here are a few pointers. Monday is usually a no-go simply because everyone is back in the office with a never ending to-do list that needs to get started. Personally, I see a huge increase in engagement towards the end of the week. Friday is the day our blog sees a massive amount of viewers compared with the beginning of the week. Because of this, I build up the buzz of the article’s friday release throughout the week ready for when people have time to click, read, comment and share.  

Don’t be afraid to experiment, also feel free to repost from time to time as you aren’t going to reach your entire audience in one shot but don’t spam the same message over and over without other messaging.  

 Search for and check out recent infographics / statistics on the best times to post, on average, for the highest exposure and engagement.  These change from time to time and it may be dependant on your target customer (keep time zones in mind).  A 3:00 a.m. post isn’t going to garner as much attention as a mid-week, mid-day post.  Don’t forget it’s not just who’s following you – others can be searching for hashtags, keywords and your existing followers may also be sharing turning that tiny little snowball you started down the hill into a giant boulder sized force with crushing momentum.

Be consistent

Consistency is key. Make sure each network you use to create a social media presence doesn’t just repeat the other. You need to be varied but you need to be consistent in your tone, message and image. People need to recognise your brand on all platforms but they all need to be discussing different topics and ideas otherwise what is the point in having more than one? You are building a different audience with each individual setup. You may be telling the same story but it needs to be told differently.

Let a picture tell the story

Share your day to day experience. Maybe you had a big meeting with some exciting people and you want to write a blog post about your experience. Snap a picture of the building or maybe a street sign and use this image to gain interest from your followers who will be intrigued and click on your post. Visually seeing the people and the journey behind the brand will make your audience feel more connected and trusting of your company.

The Big 5

You are not limited to these but right now these are the 5 big contenders. I would advise not to jump into all 5 at once, 2 or 3 is ideal, especially when starting out. You need to take a look and see which ones are more suited to your business before committing yourself. If you are unfamiliar with them, take a look at the quick overview I have listed together so you can decide for yourself which one(s) will benefit your company.

Twitter

With a limit of 140 characters per tweet you are forced to be thoughtful and concise. What you write needs to be ‘retweetable’. Use pictures to highlight what you don’t have room to say and don’t forget to create a worthy #hashtag.

Facebook

A great place for joining networking groups and communicating with others. Despite the networks decline in recent years, Facebook remains a strong contender and users are more ‘footloose and fancy free’ ready to connect and engage.

LinkedIn

The one for the professionals. This social network is held in high regard compared to the others so you need to make sure your business profile is up to scratch. It’s a hard network to win over but if you do it will be worth your while.

Instagram

A picture can speak a thousand words. Be human, relatable but also be creative. Don’t just take selfies in the office, snap what you’re having for lunch. We are all curious by nature and love to have a sneak peek in to the lives of others especially their eating habits. And with the right lighting, shading and Instagram filter your business can look good at doing anything.

Pinterest*

If you are selling items or showcasing your designs/photography Pinterest is the ‘One’. You create boards to share with everyone, awaiting their ‘repin’. It’s also a great place to store ideas for future projects and build moodboards full of your upcoming designs as a sneak peek to your customers.

*WARNING: HIghly addictive, it’s too late for us… save yourselves.

Become the master of your company’s social media. What works for one business, may not necessarily work with yours. So don’t be disheartened if you don’t see results straight away it takes time, have patience. Network with people, join networking groups, communicate, build up your ‘street cred’!

After reading the above ask yourself a few simple questions:

What social network do you think your business is more suited to?

Is there another social network that works best for you?

We would love for you to share your thoughts on what has and hasn’t worked for you, in addition to those golden untapped resources many overlook!

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