benefit from social

Jordana Makin
Social Media

Whether you are a Facebook ‘junkie’ or an Instagram addict on your personal accounts you may not realise that your business has a personality of its own that should be a part of the community too.

In the evenings you might go home and update your status and send messages to your friends but then no doubt you’ll see a funny image or news story and you will ‘Like’ it or even share it. This makes sense on your private account but how does it work if you are a business?

An important point to understand is that social media platforms all work differently from each other. I know what you’re thinking - another additional complication.

The Social Platforms

Twitter and Facebook are socially orientated. By this I mean that your focus should not be upon yourself but instead engaging with people – it is social media after all.

For Twitter it’s important that you tweet often and about everything you want your company to be in support of. It can range from a really soft side like announcing your need for the morning coffee to a harder stance on sharing your views on the latest economics news. The former might get a better response but the latter may appeal to people you want to be engaging with.

Always find time to see what is trending at the moment and if you feel like you can put a company twist on it, go for it and always remember the hashtag.

Set aside some time to follow more people from companies, organizations but individuals are the people who will follow you back.

Twitter is great for customer relations and general questions and answers.

Facebook requires more engaging content but please don’t start writing essays on your page. Things tend to get buried on Twitter so quickly so Facebook is where you can engage with your customers better.

Images always make the best posts and are more likely to get shared and liked which further extends its reach online. If you’re not shy about advertising Facebook promotions are easy to set up where you can promote your page or a post. It is so simple and incredibly effective, especially if you are promoting a competition the simple ‘Like and Share our page to be in a chance of winning...’ really benefits from a promotion service.

In terms of traffic to your site, Facebook is one of the best but it is one of the hardest to get going. People will rarely find you on Facebook to like your page and it is up to you to send invites for people to like the page. My advice is to invite everyone in your personal contacts you’ll be surprised how many people will do this.

Google+ in Search Results

The Business Platforms

I consider Google + and LinkedIn as more business orientated platforms. I doubt that there is a company update on LinkedIn conveying how much it really needs its morning coffee but it could be a possibility.

Google+ ties in with your Google search results. You might recognise that this box appears for some of your searches but not for others.

Ours looks like this as it has gathered information from our page. It displays the latest posts and encourages people to leave a review.

The community groups are a perfect way of finding out what is happening in your company’s interests and sharing your own information and posts.

LinkedIn is fantastic for building business contacts. Upon creating your profile remember to make a company page as well. Company pages are an easy to way to find the contact you want to reach. Think of it as a business networking website. If your email address book is brimming with clients and potential customers then LinkedIn is an easy way to invite them into a group and send announcements that can get lost in an inbox.

If you are thinking about hiring new members for your team it’s a good idea to inform all your social media profiles but most importantly your LinkedIn accounts. A lot of people also use LinkedIn for this purpose and it can be a great way to find out more about a potential candidate than a standard CV.

The Media Platforms

Finally we come to the ‘newer’ forms of social media such as Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Snapchat. This type of social media relies heavily on images and for most small businesses or medium size companies they may not be on their radar.

Any company can make an Instagram account work for them but it does require creativity and time spent thinking outside the box. I must admit we would find it difficult to upload exciting images often enough.

If you have thought about creating a promotional video, webinar, how to’s, question and answer videos then it must go on YouTube. It’s more than just an upload site but it can also generate traffic especially if your video is helpful.

Pinterest is best thought of as an inspiration board. Much like you might type into Google Images to find an image or inspiration people turn to Pinterest to see what’s out there. Upload your products to Pinterest along with ideas on how to use them. You can make a board and share it with your customers. For example if your company falls under the ‘Home Decor’ category make a board for Spring or Summer with some of your products and other design ideas others might like.

Social Media is an uphill battle!

You might feel defeated at first when you find that gaining a following is no way near as easy as you first thought and that’s ok. Try something new, not everything will work and something that worked once may not work a second time round. Be creative and see how the big brands do it but don’t expect the same quality and results if you try something similar.