Social media clearly works but how do you know which will work best for your businesses requirements?
Let’s firstly consider the pros and cons of the 4 main networks.
Facebook has the highest number of regular worldwide users (over 1.5 billion active users!), it’s easy to use and covers all demographics however your posts won’t always get seen by your desired demographic without a paid ad that specifically targets them. Ideal for B2C.
Twitter is excellent for fast communication between a business/brand and it’s followers. Easy and quick to use and you can grow followers easily by relating to relevant trends. It’s fast moving timeline can sometimes mean that your posts are missed and with fewer average interactions it can sometimes like you’re tweeting yourself!
LinkedIn is the ultimate network for professional individuals and the businesses they work for. You and your peers can easily find eachother allowing, for useful introductions. A very useful tool for B2B marketing and establishing even long distance professional connections. It can be consuming particuarly in the setup and a poor profile can do as much damage as poor service! It has many useful features that unlike the others networks, you have to subscribe monthly to unlock.
Instagram is the newest tool that businesses are taking advantage of. It is mainly about impactful imagery and we all know a picture paints a thousand words. Again easy to use with most smart phones and tablets which it was originally designed for. It has high levels of interaction, but will only suit a certain type of business (generally B2C) and the demographic is younger on average than the other networks.
So basically, everyone is on facebook – so if you’re selling to any consumer then it’s a must. If you’re aiming at a younger generation why not post your pictures and brief descriptions with links onto Instagram too.
Twitter is a must for any business so that you can keep your customers updated. Don’t forget there will be those who are doing their research on your company too. Show them you’re active every week (at least) by posting the types of things that you’re working on and get involved with local hastags such as #staffordshirehour for example!
We’ve all heard of networking and LinkedIn makes it easier than ever to do. OK it’s not as good as meeting in person, but if you get proactive finding your contacts and getting introductions, you’ve got an easy way to network and get to the kind of customers that you want to serve.
We’re writing a seperate blog about this soon, but it is very important that your social media is done right.
What to do and what NOT to do!
If you’re going to do anything, do it properly. Don’t leave profiles half complete and fill any profiles with as much information as you possibly can. Allowing people to do their research and giving the customer what they are looking for will make for more enquiries.
Even if it’s once a week – and even if you delegate this task – update your profiles. These days people wonder if you’re still IN BUSINESS if you don’t update your social media profiles!
Tell people what you’ve been upto, post links to relevant media (especially if it involves you!) and post pictures to give people a real insight into your business. It can be of your team in the office, a finished job or even a van leaving to deliver a product to a customer. Maybe it’s good weather outside (yeah right!) and it looks lovely out of your office window.
The biggest part of it, is what people will see first so get a suitable profile picture and a killer description. This may take time, but make it clear, concise and to the point. Tell people what you’re good at and how you’ll help them. Keep it relevant!
Remember what your potential customers are actually looking for and give them exactly that. If you were buying your product or service, and you’d found you, what would what you want to know?
As a basic example on your personal linkedin profile, people don’t want to know that you enjoy “socialising” but sports or other interests help to prove that you are a person and the type of person that a potential customer would want to work with. This can also open up conversational opportunities with people who share similar interests. People buy from people.
From a business point of view social media gives you the ideal platform to portray a strong image to potential customers. Social Media can help to add credibility and relavance to your business, validating your businesses ethos by demonstrating long term relationships with existing customers, feedback from existing customers aswell as links and ties with others businesses, relevant organisations or charities.
Ensure imagery is of quality, text is written professionally and you regularly show your users that you are active and successful, all demonstrating that you are the right company for them.