We all use social media on a personal level but how does it differ when you're posting on behalf of a business?
We share a few tips to help you get started with social activity for your companies and organisations.
1. It is marketing
Posting on a business' social account is very different to sharing updates on personal channels, but don't let that put you off if you're considering starting some social activity.
Social media for business is marketing and you need to have clear messages and objectives in mind, for everything you do.
Whatever your business type, you should put time into planning your posts and avoid sharing impulsive, uncensored updates.
As with any other marketing activity, you need to carefully curate your content for your intended audience.
Need a helping hand? A great 3-step check to use is:
- Who is it for?
- Why do you want them to see it?
- What are you offering in return for their engagement?
If you're a retailer and your target audience is 16-24 year old females, then you'll want to post content that's relevant to them. Think bouncy tones, social sharing competitions, freebies and fun!
Alternatively, if you're a business service targeting older professionals, you'll want to adopt a different approach. Tips, advice, demo videos of products and services will all help to boost your brand reputation and credibility.
Of course, you'll need to think about your objectives too. Why do you want your audience to see your posts? If you want to drive traffic to your website, include a link. Running an event at your store? Include a call to action!
Lastly, your audience won't engage for nothing; they want something in return for their time. Whether this is useful content, breaking news, discounts or free stuff, you'll need to reward your followers for engaging with your content.
2. It takes time
This is the the most common realisation businesses face when starting social media activity.
It only takes 2 minutes to share your thoughts on the latest GOT episode right?
Strategic social media takes a little longer, for all the reasons we've highlighted above and more.
Quantity is just as important as quality, so you should be looking to post regularly if you want to see your audience grow and engagement increase.
Typically, successful small business social accounts need between 10-15 hours attention per week.
Mid to large businesses can be looking at anywhere between 80-100 hours a week, with dedicated social media marketers focusing solely on fostering online audiences.
Of course, well curated social content involves more than just writing a sentence or two in a status update.
Things to consider:
- Planning social marketing campaigns can take a while. Put the time in at the beginning though, and you'll reap the benefits later on
- Scheduling your content can help relieve the pressure of keeping on top of your activity, especially for smaller teams
- It's not a one way street! Your audience will have things to say about your content, and you'll need to respond and engage in return
- Launching a new product or service? News to share about your business? Bear in mind that these things don't always run to deadline, so have some back-up posts prepared rather than leave things to chance
Researching, interviewing staff and clients for content, designing accompanying visuals, creating video, getting approval...the list goes on! All of this behind-the-scenes action contributes towards successful, valuable social content and to do it well, you need to allow enough time.
3. Engagement vs Follows
It's the age old debate - what's more important?
On the surface, it may seem like huge follower numbers are far more valuable than engagement.
But what's the use in 10,000 followers if they don't pay any attention to your content?
Any social media marketer will tell you that 100 followers who engage 80% of the time are far more powerful than 1,000 followers who never interact.
If you owned a store, would you rather 100 people came in to browse every day or to have 10 loyal customers who buy your products regularly?
Social media marketing is a relatively new field and success is still notoriously hard to measure, especially for businesses who are driven by numbers.
All the major social platforms provide a basic level of reporting and trust us when we say, you should be paying attention to your engagement statistics.
If your audience are interacting with your content, then you're on to a positive thing. As they start to share and comment on your posts, their friends and followers will also start to interact and you'll naturally see your followers increase over time.
If engagement levels are low, think about ways to switch up your content. Try a different medium, introduce more variety and don't be afraid to experiment.