Still not convinced when it comes to social media for business? You may not use it, but if your customers do and you don’t have a presence, you may be missing out.
There’s always someone banging on about how to use social media to grow your business, isn’t there? It changes every day and can be hard to keep up with, not to mention coming with its own language: likes, tweets, snaps, insta... if you don’t know a geotag from a hashtag or a filter from a follower, and haven’t got a millennial on hand to help, it’s easy to feel lost. Furthermore, what works for a retailer won’t necessarily help out a service-based business.
Here are a few super simple tips, courtesy of the government’s business.gov.au service, to get started on your social journey.
Know your audience
You know who your customers are, right? But how much do you really know about them and their buying behaviour? If you want to appeal to them on social media and start to build your own army of advocates, you’ll need to have more than a cursory understanding. Some things to consider:
- What is their average age and gender?
- What is their budget?
- Where are they located?
- What aspects of the purchasing experience (online or in-store) do they value?
- Do they buy from competing businesses? If so, why?
Where are your customers hanging out online?
Despite what you’ve been told, not every social media option will necessarily be relevant to your business and your customers. Start digging to find out which platforms your customers use and develop a presence there. This allows you to target specific audiences directly in places where they already spend time. There are a few ways to get this information:
- Ask existing customers to complete a survey — offering an incentive here will help increase participation.
- Look to your competitors — what social accounts do they have? What sort of information are they posting and how often?
- Ask your customers in person.
Use tools that make the job easier
No one wants to spend hours a day (or week, for that matter) managing multiple social media accounts. There are a tonne of tools available that can streamline the process and save you time. Search for ‘social media management tools and applications’ and you’ll find a multitude of options that will:
- post on multiple platforms at once;
- schedule posts in advance when your users will be most active;
- collaborate with your team on social media posts;
- monitor your social media feeds from a single dashboard;
- analyse and generate reports on your social media engagement.
Make it easy for your customers to find you...
Decide on a single name that can be used across all platforms. It should ideally align with your website, suit your brand, be memorable and be easy to spell.
Social media is as an important extension of your brand. It is your business’s online identity, not an afterthought, so try to avoid usernames like @gregnumberone1978 if you want your customers to be able to easily find you.
... and follow you
You’ve already put effort into developing your website and it’s probably the first port of call for many of your customers. Take it to the next level by installing follow buttons for all your social accounts, allowing users to quickly and easily follow you on the social accounts they care about.
Fit for purpose
Understand the platform and its strengths — as a general rule, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are for connecting with people, whereas Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube are the place for sharing media. Make sure the content you are generating is appropriate for the platform you want to post it to.
Never underestimate the potential of a good cross-promotional relationship. If you can identify other businesses with a similar demographic and seek out opportunities for collaboration (like reposting their content), it can position your business as an industry expert and organically bolster your audience.
Providing exclusive content, products or discounts to social media followers gives them a reason to stay engaged.
Keep it simple. You’ll have to determine the amount of jargon that’s appropriate considering your audience, but social is the place to show the human side of your business. Inject some warmth, personality and the occasional bit of humour into your posts so followers know you aren’t a robot. It’s called social media for a reason.
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