Social media has provided small businesses with the opportunity to market their brands on a big scale at a fraction of the cost. This said, in order for social media to work to your advantage, you need to understand the various platforms and know how to use them effectively to see the benefits for your business.
“Make sure the time you spend using social media is time well spent by familiarising yourself with the different social media platforms and devising a solid strategy that will contribute to your business growth, customer engagement or sales support,” says Carolyn Holgate, general manager of MWEB’s Connect Division.
Top tips for social interaction
Engaging Content. While social media can benefit your business, posting anything and everything on your social media platforms may well turn customers away. When you engage on social platforms, you’re entering an open community which is bombarded with information. Keep your content relevant to your area of business, current and around topics that are likely to be of interest to your target audience.
Less is more. Think quality not quantity. Your fans and followers would rather read two good Tweets a day than 200 bad ones. Don’t post for the sake of posting. If you continually bombard your fans and followers with information, they may unfollow you.
Choose the right platform. The “big five” of social media are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest, but not all of them may be suitable platforms for your business. Before embarking on a social media strategy or campaign, ask yourself which platforms your target market are likely to be using and which platforms your target markets would most expect to engage with your business on.
Consistency is key. When using social media, remember that your target audience may well be engaging with your brand across more than one of the social media platforms. Ensure your brand voice and key messaging is consistent. Consistent key messaging and brand tone will help your target audience to quickly identify your brand, and better understand its personality and positioning.
Get analytical. You may think measuring the success of social media requires little expertise, but this is not the case. If you want the best results from your social media campaign or strategy, you need to analyse the results of your efforts properly.
Google Analytics and Facebook Insights are two free tools with which you can track your progress. These tools will allow you to determine how many people you are interacting with, what content is best received and the growth of your fan base.
Using analytics tools will help you improve your strategy by showing you your social media strengths and weaknesses.
Interact with others. In order to get more followers on social media, you need to engage more with others. Look for relevant or like-minded brands and businesses in your industry and start interacting with them online.
Posting comments on their social media pages will alert them to your online presence and encourage them to check out your page. You will also be tapping into their fan base, which has the potential to help you grow your own.