“Do we really need to be on social media?”
A question many businesses ask before setting themselves up on social media – do we really need to be here? Will it take up all of our time? Do we have the resources for this?
In 2023, businesses can’t afford not to be online and social media is a key extension of your website and brand. Many people will check your social media before they will ever engage with your product or services directly.
Before you start, you need to decide which platforms will work for you. You don’t need to be on all of them, if resources are limited choose the top two or three where your target audience spend the most time and focus on setting up a presence on these platforms. This article on Medium.com can help you choose what’s right for your business. Another thing to bear in mind is the purpose of your social media channel(s)? Is it going to be a customer service channel, a sales channel, a marketing tool? It may be for some or all of these and more but be clear with yourself and your social media team before you get started what it is that you want from social media engagement.
- Register your company name on all social media channels even if you won’t be using them all. This avoids someone else registering your brand name and allows you to shift platforms in future knowing that you have your business name secured;
- Include your official company logo and contact information on all channels;
- If you have a bricks and mortar location where clients and customers come to you, add the location and opening hours;
- Ensure that all business images being used are of good quality. Most smart phones have excellent cameras and editing functions;
- Ensure that you have the rights to all images used (i.e. that you or someone you have paid has taken the photo for the business);
- If you use a third party image, credit the person who owns the image;
- If you post something that customers may have questions about, be available to answer those questions;
- Follow other accounts, other businesses and professionals in your industry or who are industry-adjacent and engage with them;
- Don’t be afraid to engage with comments and replies to your followers
- Be transparent and answer genuine customer/client queries
When to post:
It’s usually a good idea to plan some content for the week or month ahead if you can. There are multiple tools out there that will allow you to schedule a batch of posts at once to be posted at specific times in the future. Most platforms will give you some analytics on when most of your followers are likely to be online and you can schedule posts to publish in those busy time windows.
What to post about:
Every brand or business will be different depending on what they want to get out of the social media experience – sales, marketing, customer service, other. Suggestions of topics and strategies to keep in mind are:
- Content Marketing:
- Share high-quality and relevant content that educates, entertains, or adds value to your follower’s lives. New products or services, company updates, special offers, new initiatives, conferences or trades shows where you will be showcasing the business.
- Educate your followers of customers and potential customers about your products and services and the benefits of using or buying them.
- Use a variety of content types, including text, images, videos, reels, infographics, and polls to keep your feed diverse and engaging.
- Customer Engagement:
- Respond promptly to comments, messages, and mentions to build a strong community and foster relationships.
- Encourage user-generated content (UGC) by running contests or asking customers to share their experiences with your products or services.
- Showcase and share customer testimonials and success stories.
- Trending Topics and Hashtags:
- Stay updated with current events, trends, and hashtags related to your industry.
- Use trending topics and hashtags strategically to increase the visibility of your posts and join relevant conversations.
- Ensure that your use of trending topics aligns with your brand and values.
- Behind-the-Scenes and Employee Spotlights:
- Humanise your brand by sharing behind-the-scenes glimpses of your company culture, workspace, and daily operations where appropriate.
- Highlight your employees and their contributions to create a more personal connection with your audience.
- Employee takeovers can be an engaging way to showcase different aspects of your business – allow a member of staff to post for the day about what their work day looks like.
- Analytics and Data-Driven Insights:
- Regularly monitor the performance of your social media posts and campaigns using analytics tools.
- Adjust your social media strategy based on the data, focusing on what works best for your audience.
- Set specific goals (e.g., increased website traffic, higher engagement rates, more conversions) and track your progress.
If this is of interest to you, you can find more in-depth information at the following links:
- The Complete Guide to Social Media for Business (sprout.com)
- Creative Social Media Content Ideas for Small Businesses (thinkbusiness.ie)
- Why Small Businesses Need a Social Media Presence (business.com)