Social media is a fantastic tool to promote your business, to gain new leads and to engage with an active audience, however it can also be quite daunting! You may wonder – how do I set up my social, which social media channels would work for me and what content do I share?
Here’s a quick guide to social media for your brand to get you started!
Set-up: naming your social channels
First of all, an important tip is that you should see your social media channels as an extension of your digital brand strategy. When setting up your social media business pages, choose a name or a social URL that is consistent (or as close to) your website or business name. By doing this will help people find you on social and support your brand recognition.
Some channels will allow for an @ handle and a full business name, so think about how people know you and what words they use to find your brand.
Remember also when setting up your social media channels you don’t want friends you want followers! What does this mean – well on Facebook set up a ‘Business Page’ and on LinkedIn set up a ‘Company Page’. Your business isn’t a person, and lots of social media channels have great tools for businesses, so if you set yourself up as a person, you won’t be able to access specially designed resources for social marketing.
Which social media channel is for me?
Every day it seems like a new social media channel is developed, however for business there’s still some more popular ones especially if you’re only getting started in this digital space. Here’s a quick guide to get you started.
The original platform for engaging live audiences and likely the most well-known social media across all generations, Facebook is a fantastic tool for business. The benefits are that it’s free to set-up a business page (see earlier mention), the tool itself allows you to brand your page, create and share visual content, and engage with a ready-made audience.
The businesses that gain large audiences and engagement on Facebook tend to be more consumer facing. Facebook allows for you to find audiences by interest types and engage them, and most people have provided this information to Facebook. What we haven’t always done is provided our job roles and titles, so it can be harder for business to business engagement if you are using this channel alone. However, Facebook is about community – so there’s always opportunities to engage other businesses. There’s great tools like ‘Private Groups’ that you can also use to engage business audiences in a more enclosed setting.
Long gone are the days that LinkedIn is all about recruitment. Yes, the personal profile is certainly very powerful, however the company page can be the centre of your business to business strategy. It’s a great way to share content that then the leaders in your business can on-share. It is also a very profession driven social media to be able to connect and engage with business people. On LinkedIn, people are much more comfortable with the business conversation.
Simply – if you don’t have access to visually pleasing pictures and / or are restricted on how often you can take these pictures, then Insta might not be for you. Like Facebook – Insta is largely a consumer conversation, so if you’re targeting consumers this will be an important channel. If you’re targeting businesses, it may be harder and more time resource heavy to utilise this channel for gain.
The original home of the hashtag Twitter is both consumer and business, however much more globally focused. It’s certainly harder to pinpoint a local audience. If you want to engage on a celebrity level, Twitter can be helpful (#mafsaustralia for example!), however for business it can be a great tool to engage with media, politics or to stay across breaking news!
What content do I share?
So, once you’ve got your chosen social media channels built and ready to go it’s time to start sharing some content. Variety is my biggest tip here and what I mean by that is use photos, graphics, videos, different content sources, ask questions, do a poll and whatever you do don’t be repetitive!
- Your business, product or people news
- Articles and tips from your blog
- Advice or Knowledge
- Award wins
- Pictures of your team and their stories
- Special offers
- A look behind the scenes
- Media coverage
- Industry news
- Local area news story
- Research and insights
- Influencer / celebrity comments about your industry
Finally, always follow the 80/20 rule – 80% of the time tell a story, share news, don’t focus on the sale or the promotion, and 80% of the time you can sell direct. You will get more engagement and credibility for your brand if you use social media to build relationships with your customers and help them out rather than trying to sell directly to them.
Debbie Bradley, Founder and Director of LEODIS Marketing & PR is a no-fluff straight-talking professional with more than 20 years’ experience. If you want to chat about your social media activities or need help, contact Debbie today: email@example.com