Getting Started with Social Media… A Beginners Guide

Has your business yet to join the social revolution? Want to get started with social media but not quite sure where to start? Get the foundations right and you will be setting yourself up for success. This article shares seven of our top tips to get your business started on social media…

  1. Choose the right platforms

Socially savvy brands and businesses don’t simply jump on a network and leave it at that. They take a little time to investigate where their target audience actually hangs out. Have a look at what your competitors are already doing on social media and pay attention to the giants in your industry. The chances are they have already established which platforms are right for the industry you are in, so don’t hold back in the shadows – get on board with them!

When investigating which social platforms to join don’t simply opt for Facebook and Twitter because that’s where you think you should be. Investigate LinkedIn, especially if you are a B2B business, think about Instagram and Pinterest if your business lends itself well to photo sharing. And how about a blog on a site like Tumblr?

  1. Create an accurate and detailed Profile

It is of real importance that you fill out your social profiles completely, with up to date contact information, a thorough bio that’s interesting to read, accurate website links and images that are sized correctly for the platform you are on. It’s amazing how many businesses fail to do this, but if they can’t be bothered to keep their profile details up to date why should we be bothered to follow them? You need to give people a reason to “like” your Facebook page, or follow you on Twitter. If they struggle to understand who you are, or what you are about then the chances are they won’t follow you.

  1. Be social

The key to social media is obvious! It’s in the name, “social”. Do not use social media as a means to just push a message. Be conversational, ask questions, and comment on other social pages from brands and businesses that compliment your own. Show personality – it reminds your followers that there is a human being on the other end of your posts. People buy from people, and social media offers you a unique opportunity to market to people with a real human touch.

You also need to respond to people whenever they converse with you. Don’t leave them waiting for an answer and don’t give your competition the opportunity to answer for you! Whether positive or negative, of someone has taken the time to converse with you so you need to converse back. It’s good manners after all!

NHS quit smoking page Yorkshire Smokefree does a great job when it comes to two-way conversations…

  1. Encourage your customers to promote you!

Social media sites offer customers the chance to rate and review your business so why not ask them to do just that. If you have just launched your Facebook page make sure your reviews tab is activated. Then, ask a couple of regular customers to give you a rating and review. It’s a great way of letting new followers (who may not have had any contact with your business before now) know how great you are at what you do.

  1. Link to your social sites

Many people think that simply by launching a social account followers will naturally come. Not true! You need to promote your social sites so that potential followers can find them with ease. Place clear links on your website (make sure they link up correctly, no one likes to click broken links), ideally on the hope page in a prominent position. If you have a blog make sure you have social sharing buttons to accompany each post and consider placing links in the footer of your emails. If you do any offline promotion, such as flyers, newspaper ads or radio commercials make sure to give your social sites a mention.

  1. Consider using paid advertising

Social media is a crowded space and unless people are actively searching for your business or brand how likely is it that they are going to find and like/follow your social accounts? Paid advertising is a great way to gain followers on your social profiles. Facebook advertising offers an easy to use advertising interface which allows you to create ads that will encourage new likes. Generate a like and you can remarket to them time and time again. Social media shouldn’t be considered a free ride and by allocating some budget to advertising your accounts you are likely to reap success.

  1. Content is king!

Plan your social content carefully and be committed to it. If you open up a new social account, post on it a couple of times, then abandon it because you have run out of things to say what does that tell your audience? Post a mixture of message types that are likely to be of interest to your audience and remember not to be too hard-sell. Pay attention to your insights and ensure you are online at the same time as your audience and always remember to have perfect spelling and good grammar. If you are just too busy to keep your social profiles up to date delegate the task to a member of staff who can.

It doesn’t matter if your business is large or small, new or well established, social media should have a place in your marketing campaign. It offers a great way to communicate with existing and potential customers in real-time, build a loyal community and generate a buzz about your products and services.

Are you new to social media? Have you dipped your toe in the water but not sure what to do next? Our social media team are on hand to help, so feel free to ask us a question (or two) by leaving a comment below.

And finally, it would be wrong of us not to ask… why not follow us on Facebook and Twitter. And Instagram too!