How is social media right for my business? Is a question I get asked a lot. Many Australian businesses and entrepreneurs I meet can't always see the value of social media. They know others have realized the value but they don't see how the effort pays off or how it fits in with their business. Is this you?
Well please read on because I would love to share my top tips for social media and here is the great part…..it doesn't need to take a lot of time!
Ok so you have a business and it solves people's problems. Well, marketing is a way to demonstrate to your target market that you can solve their problem. Social media takes your marketing effort and/or business activities and magnifies it. With over 62% of Australians on social media who spend an average of two hours a day on it - why not let them know what your business is doing. Think of it like a marketing booster, If your business is the tomato sauce then the meat pie helps to expand its value. Who doesn't eat a meat pie without tomato sauce? Sure both are great in their own right but the two go hand in hand.
There are so many things that you do every day that communicate to your audience and people WANT to know what you are doing. This is what Social Media Marketing can do for you :
Build trust with your audience
Increase visibility to new people
Gain traffic and sales; and
Share your experience, skills and expertise so people know who you are.
Now you know why it's useful and how it can help you, I would like to take you through an understanding of the different social media channels so that you can pick the right one for your business.
I believe that picking one or two channels is best to start with, if you nail that, then feel free to add more channels to your social media profile, but I really want to make it easy for you. It's really just like adding tomato sauce to your meat pie you don't want to flood your meat pie and waste your sauce. It's best to add a litle at a time. So first up, pick the channels that are going to work best for your business. So thinking about who your customers are and what you are selling, take a look at the following social media channels to match your company to two channels.
Welcome to my Social Media Selector
If you have read through these and still don't know where you fit, email me (click here)and tell me a little about your business and I would be delighted to help select the right channels for your business to help you get underway and showcase your business exponentially.
For those of you that have picked your channels, read more about the channels you have selected.
Twitter is a great and easy channel to set up and integrates with other social media channels so picking this one will save you time and is easy to automate. It's been around for a while and has had a lot of bad press from users updating what they had for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner. But let me assure you by following leaders and experts in your industry or related fields, you can gain a steady stream of followers and useful information to repurpose. Make sure you mix up your official-related tweets about specials, discounts and news updates with some fun and quirky tweets or interesting articles you enjoyed reading. Be sure to re-tweet when a customer has something nice to say about you and don’t forget to answer people’s questions when possible. Using Twitter as a social media marketing tool revolves around dialog and communication, so be sure to interact as much as possible.
Facebook I love Facebook - it is a really powerful tool that will continue to grow from a business perspective. I have noticed among my friends that people are leaning more towards Instagram for personal use. Facebook continues to be a place for people to communicate the bigger things in their life, like births, marriages, engagements and holidays. It's a casual, friendly environment and if you are out to use it for business, it begins with creating a Facebook Business Fan Page. You will want to pay careful attention to layout, as the visual component is a key aspect of the Facebook experience. The social media marketing for business page revolves around furthering your conversation with audiences by posting industry related articles, images, videos and so on.
Facebook (no link here) is a place people go to relax and chat with friends, so keep your tone light, friendly and visually appealing.
LinkedIn is more professional as a social media marketing site. I like to liken it as an online resume where you can network with past, present and future colleagues. It also has a powerful business side to it that professional services can tap into. LinkedIn Groups, for instance, is a great venue for entering into a professional dialog with people in similar industries and provides a place to share content with like-minded individuals. Encourage customers or clients to give your business a recommendation on your LinkedIn profile. Recommendations makes your business appear more credible and reliable for new customers. Also browse the Questions section of LinkedIn; providing answers helps you get established and earns trust.
YouTube is the number one place for creating video content, which can be an incredibly powerful social media marketing tool. I have noticed that this is only going to get more and more traction and video is on the upside of trends. Many businesses try to create video content with the aim of having their video “go viral,” but in reality those chances are pretty slim. Instead, focus on creating useful, instructive “how-to” videos. These how-to videos also have the added benefit of ranking on the video search results of Google, so don't under-estimate the power of video content!
Pinterest is the latest in social media marketing trends. Pinterest’s image-centered platform is ideal for retail, but many businesses and individuals can benefit from using Pinterest for social media purposes. Think of it as a giant old-school corkboard, where you get to group things you love on the internet.
Pinterest allows small businesses to showcase their own product offerings while also developing their own brand’s personality with some unique pin boards. Personally, I love Pinterest for visually appealing and or informative articles. I have pin boards with the following content: recipes, activity ideas for my little boy, quotes, business infographics, fitness and health.
Instagram is all about photos, it is great for lifestyle and appealing to the emotional side of selling. By using great photography you can really target and sell an emotional connection using this platform. People love looking at nice things so if you have beautiful things to sell or share, then this is the platform for you. I personally use it to share my latest cooking adventures, my little boy and fun things with friends.
Now that you have picked your channel create your social media pages ensuring you keep a consistent look and feel. Just like a meat pie you want to make sure the tomato sauce is consistently over the meat pie. This means using the same logos, images and colours as your website so people know it's your particular business they are looking at. I like to use an application called Canva to create my social media banners. The great thing about canva is that they have all the dimensions for the sizing of the spaces where you put your logo and images. And the other great thing is that it's free. (Unless you use one of their $1 images which is sooo cheap!)
Make sure you link your website and social media accounts together by putting your website in the settings and advertising your social media using icons on your website so that when they are clicked they go directly to your social media account.
Here are some YouTube videos on how to setup your social media accounts. If you don't want or have time to do this yourself then by all means contact The Officient and we would be delighted to set you up on any social media platform and get you started.
Once you have created your platforms start by sharing what's happening in your business, articles you have enjoyed reading, sharing what clients are saying about you, industry information and updates. It really doesn't have to take long. Just a quick share. Check out my Twitter and Facebook feed to get an idea and by all means follow me and I will follow you back! I will be going into more detail on content creation and generation and also how to automate social media next time, so stay tuned! Let me help you make the most of your tomato sauce by giving you a meat pie no one can refuse!