So you think you’re using the right social media platforms...?
By Rebecca Allam
Social media is something even the most tech-savvy business owners sometimes struggle with, the main reason for this? Time. Your time as a business owner is precious and you can usually find a better use for it either completing work for a current client or going out there to win some new ones.
But business owners today know that they might be missing a trick if they aren’t posting, tweeting or sharing information about their business. But they don’t want to share what they had for breakfast, they want to be productive, not annoy others with irrelevant information. Which is exactly right! – So... what content should they be using? How often and at what time? What platforms should they be on? All very valid questions!
The first thing you need to keep in your mind when it comes to social media is that it is exactly that... Social. Interaction and engagement are the key ingredients to gaining success on your social media. So being present and being human are important, but no that doesn’t mean sharing the innermost thoughts and feelings with your network. It just means talking to them, asking questions and being responsive in conversations.
The second thing you need to keep in mind is your audience. If you don’t know them by now you need to find this out first. We don’t all have just 1 audience but we need to know who the beneficiaries of our services are. Once we do, we can target content towards these people who will respond because like a dog whistle, we are speaking their language.
What should you be posting?
• Referring to the point above, target your audience. The content you put out needs to make these people feel motivated and connected
• Ensure the language you are using fits with the social media platform you are on
• Use your reviews
• Give them top tips
• Tell a story
• A most importantly of all... You don’t have to pay to do well
When and how often should you be posting?
The when to this question will be reflected depending on your target audience. If they are a busy mum, you might catch them just before the school pick up while they are waiting at the gates or in the car. If it’s a business owner, you might be looking at 7 pm when they have finally got home from their last meeting of the day or between 12-1 pm when they are sitting down to their lunch. Think about what your target client might get up to in their day and post accordingly.
The question of “how often” differs between each platform so I am going to put a few below:
• Facebook: 1 post a day should be just fine, or a few a week is more than enough
• Twitter: 3-5 times a day as this is a much faster platform than Facebook and things may get missed
• LinkedIn: as a more professional business platform you shouldn’t need to post quite as often, just make sure the post really gets your message across and engages your intended audience
Whatever it is you are doing... make sure you’re doing it consistently. The platforms will work best for you if they think you are a reliable source. So when deciding, ensure it is something you can stick to on-going.
Last but not least, the most important question... What platforms should you be on?
Facebook: Required deep human interaction. If you are a hobby business or a product based on home business, Facebook will work especially well for you as you can get friends and family to become advocates and share you’re work with their networks.
Twitter: Very fast-paced environment, but great for small niche audiences so as long as you really know your tribe you should be able to target well through this platform.
LinkedIn: A great place for you to establish industry expertise and showcase your knowledge for your particular subject area. Be the go-to guy or gal on this platform and create a personality behind your brand.
Instagram: Very visual platform, all about showing what it means to #LiveYourBestLife. If you cannot offer visuals that give the illusion of perfection, this platform may not be for you, unless of course, it’s a picture of a dog... Dog’s trump everything (we kid, although there may be some truth to this).
Pinterest: It can be a bit of a misunderstood platform, whilst usually viewed as a product-based platform and being visual like Instagram it actually can lend itself to service businesses. As long as you can be informative and educational this platform may be worth investing your time in. Great ideas to use on Pinterest are quotes and infographics leading to links to relevant information on your own website.
YouTube: Great for businesses that want to showcase expertise through tutorials and demonstrations. These can be linked through to your website as well as shared with other platforms. If the idea of being in your own video scares you there are a number of other ways to create video content without it having to be you directly on the screen.
TikTok: This fast-paced platform will work for you if your target audience is the under ’30s, it can be great when paired with YouTube, but this isn’t a place for sales pitches or tutorials. The videos on TikTok only last up to 60 seconds so be authentic but make it snappy.
Whatever you choose to do and whichever platform you pick, remember you don’t have to be on them all. Pick a couple and do them well. And always be thinking about your target audience and how they want to contact you and be communicated to.