Social media is everywhere.
From the humble beginnings of MySpace and Facebook, social media has blown up and continues to change on a regular basis. As well as providing people with numerous channels to communicate, social media has helped businesses, large and small, gain exposure on a global scale. So, I hear you ask, how do you get in on the action?
On the face of it, social media for business sounds straightforward—what could be so hard? But dig a little deeper and you will see there is a lot more to it. Instead of wasting valuable time trying to guess your way through starting up your social media, begin with a clear objective in mind.
To get started, it is crucial to consider the following:
Determine your target audience
If social media is completely new and foreign to you, it can often be difficult to understand how it can help your business grow. But small businesses have shown time and time again that when you get it right, social media can be a fantastic resource in the early stages of growing your business.
When you first start up, you will most likely have an image in your head of who your typical customer is. To use social media effectively you must identify and understand explicitly who it is you are targeting and ensure your content is tailored perfectly to them. The key to success for any business is their customers and the same can certainly be said for social media.
What is your goal?
It seems like an obvious question but often one that gets overlooked. Are you looking to raise awareness of your brand locally, nationally or globally? Drive traffic to your website? Generate leads? Promote a specific services or products? Whatever your goal, it should be at the forefront of everything you do on social media. Once you know your goal, you can tailor your imagery and content to suit your purposes and continue to appeal to your target audience.
Where is your target audience?
Now we’re not necessarily talking geographically, although that is obviously good to know too!. There are many social media platforms and it is often hard to know where to start. Every platform has its benefits, as well as drawbacks. Although it is possible to set up a business account on every platform, it is better to channel your efforts into the platforms that you know will work best for your brand.
In addition, it is crucial to understand the social media platforms your target audience uses regularly and ensure you are prominent on them. For example, a fashion brand targeting young adults may not wish to use LinkedIn as it is associated more with business, but they’d anticipate great success on Instagram which is much more visually driven.
Relevant quality over random quantity
With social media, it can often be a case of less is more. Although posting every day is fantastic if you have the time, when you’re a small business this is not always practical. If you struggle for time and are unable to outsource your social media management, it is better to post less frequently and ensure your posts are really well written with your target audience in mind.
You will build a better following by posting high quality content. Higher numbers are great for your ego, but it’s better to have 200 engaged potential customers than 20,000 random followers that are unlikely to ever buy from you.
Hashtags & location tagging = your best friend
In ever growing circuits, it can be tough to get noticed. Certainly a killer tactic to get exposure on Twitter and Instagram is through the use of hashtags and location tagging. These methods increase the reach of your posts and increase your audience to those who are searching for something specific.
For example, if you tag your location in an Instagram story, you could be featured in a story for that area, great if your target audience is in that specific location. People who were not necessarily aware of your business will see your story or post and voila, exposure.
Similarly with hashtags, understand them, research them and add relevant ones to each of your posts. Try to use specific hashtags rather than generic ones with large follows, if you use tags that have millions of instances, you will no doubt get lost win the quagmire, so be specific.