Social media is still a relatively new form of marketing – and as a result of the shift from traditional to digital, many seasoned business owners feel left behind or confused. Social media is now an integral part of any company’s marketing campaign – and with new platforms and capabilities emerging all the time it can be difficult to keep up. Thankfully, with the right advice and a little basic knowledge, you can confidently take the first steps to a successful social media presence.
Research, explore and choose your networks
There are many networks to choose from – with several key players including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Choosing which social media platform to promote your business on is largely a matter of relevance. Where you divide your time into the early stages of your social media campaign largely depends on the nature of your business, and where your audience is likely to see you. It’s worth taking time to see where competitors are doing well – and asking current customers which networks they use the most.
Set up a structure and routine
The structure is key with social media. It’s important to have a plan in place, creating a solid calendar of posts each month to work from. Successful social sharers post frequently and regularly at optimum times – and schedulers like Buffer and Hootsuite can help with this. It’s easier to plan ahead and take a couple of hours out of your week each month to write and schedule social posts than to decide to tackle it on an ad-hoc basis – as invariably you’ll end up too busy running your business or forget to post.
It’s useful to collect and collate content well in advance. Whilst spontaneous posts are great and unexpected happenings and new events may crop up, getting a baseline of regular posts is key to social media success. Spend some time locating high-resolution images and graphics (or enlist the help of a photographer and designer). This way you’ll be set for months in advance.
Engage and interact
It’s important to keep talking to your followers on social media. Consumers now expect brands to reach out to them – to make an active effort to interact. They also expect swift answers to queries and complaints. You’ll need to be prepared to be active on social media all day, every day – or hire someone else to take the strain for you.
Check out more internet marketing tips from our Beginners’ Guide to the Web series here.