It's a common question
5 Minute Read
There is no denying that social media platforms are important for the majority of businesses. However, each platform is very different and not all of them may be relevant for your business.
Ask yourself the following:
- Are my customers using this social network?
- How do I interact with my customers?
- How much time can I dedicate to a social presence?
1: Are my customers using this social network?
The old adage of "fish where the fish are" can be applied to social media. Too many times I see businesses signing up to all the major players only to waste their time as their potential clients are not using that platform.
It pays to do your research, before anything, go onto the platform and check what demographics are using it. You may not need to join in!
If you see that there are potential customers interacting on the platform you can then invest the time to reach out to them directly and share information you think they would find useful.
2: How do I interact with my customers?
Read the room; depending on the social network will also depend on the way you interact with customers. For example, Twitter is very much a conversational platform where you can engage in direct conversations with others and comment on things posted. Here you can get away with showing personality and humour.
In contrast to this a platform such as LinkedIn is much more formal, sure it has changed a lot over the past few years and is much more like FaceBook, however, the tone of the content and the type of conversations that go on are much more reserved and professional.
It pays to look at your competitors, especially if they have a large following and good interactions. This will give you a good idea of what content to share and what type of interactions work.
3: How much time can I dedicate to a social presence?
Time is the ultimate currency for any businessperson. Who has the time to spend hours on social media? Well, it can take a lot less time than you think. Once you have done your research and have a good idea of what content goes down well on a particular social network, it's then a matter of using tools to help you automate the heavy lifting.
For example, you don't want to organise your day around when to post a particular article link. But you do know that 3 pm on a Wednesday is prime engagement time for content. This is where tools such as Later.com and Buffer come in. Both of these offer a free account and reasonable rates should you wish to get more involved.
They allow you to set up posts to go out at specific times and days.
How would this work in the real world?
Say you have 30mins set aside on Monday afternoon to create x7 social media posts. These could be links to blog posts that you think your customers would find interesting, useful informational posts e.g. top 5 things to get the most out of our services, notification posts of national [something] day with a link to relevant content.
In the social media tool, you can then set each post to publish at a specific time on a specific day, so in this case, you could have a post going out every day that week.
Using tools like this makes things so much quicker and easier as it reduces the amount of time needed to post regular content. Not to mention these tools also give analytical data that lets you know how well a post did (engagement). Over time this analytics will show you the best days and times to post, vital information as you don't want to be speaking into an empty room.
In addition to your automated posts, it is important to engage with people on social networks. This can be easily done on your tea/coffee break, comment on others' posts, like posts, or even reshare posts you feel could be useful to your customers.
Whilst this may seem a bit daunting at first, the learning curve isn't as steep as it appears!
Once you start getting stuck in you will find things are much simpler than they first appear.
If you would like a hand to get you started then you could book a one-to-one video call with me and I can help you get started. Just drop me a message here and we can get the ball rolling.
Regardless if you want help or not, I recommend getting stuck in asap and having a play. You will learn a lot by observing others and experimenting.
Best of luck and happy posting!