Social media is often described as a “whirl” but for some business owners it can feel like a top-speed roller coaster ride in a hurricane with no seatbelt.
The near-constant flurry of changes to algorithms, additional features and functionalities and the sheer amount of work needed to get even the smallest amount of engagement can be enough to put some people off.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Social media is an extremely useful business tool, and we can help you get to grips with everything from quality posts and analysing metrics. In the meantime, here are our top five tips for taming the social media beast.
Share content with value
We can sometimes be blinded by the cost of things, rather than their value, and the same is true of what we post on social media.
Rather than forking out for content that does nothing, ensure it has value by asking yourself a few fundamental questions: is it original, inspirational, educational or informative? Will it save your customers money, or inspire them? If the answers are yes, you’re onto a winner.
Find the right platforms
The social media landscape has changed out of all recognition in the past few years. Facebook may still be the dominant player, but it’s got more than its fair share of rivals. While competition is great in business, it can be confusing for entrepreneurs as to which platform is ideal for them.
The trick is to find the ones that your customers use the most and focus on no more than three of them. That way you’ll avoid burnout and ensure your content reaches the people you need to see it.
Play to a full house
Of course, identifying which platforms are the best for your business means you know where your audience – and customers – are, and that will depend on what you’re selling.
If you’re in arts and crafts, then image-led Pinterest is the ideal place to advertise, but if you’re offering a professional service, then LinkedIn is the place to be. It’s worth taking the time to research whether your core customers aren’t all congregating on Facebook.
There are two ways to determine if a social media campaign has been a hit: engagement and return on investment (ROI). If your posts receive more comments, shares, likes or retweets, then the content has done its job and you know you’re reaching a receptive audience.
Likewise, if your social media campaign generates more revenue than it cost to create it – who can forget time is money? – then you can chalk that up as a win too.
Be a listener to be a leader
The most successful social media users have a two-way relationship with their fans and followers. While we’d all love it if George Clooney dropped us a line on Twitter, but in all seriousness, being available is an important part of getting the best out of the platforms.
Everyone loves a little praise but never be afraid to respond politely and professionally to criticism, either. Use all comments and communications to improve your business and enhance your social media campaigns. If customers know you’re listening to them, that will build loyalty money can’t buy.