With more and more parents trying to juggle work and childcare, setting up a business from home has never been more popular.
There’s loads to think about when setting up your own company, and social media is a free and very important marketing tool.
However, there is a big difference between using social media for personal use and using it for your business. Just because you get a lot of ‘likes’ when you update Facebook with cute photos of your baby, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to get the same engagement when you post about your product or services.
Here are some things to watch out for, if you are new to using social media for a business venture…
- Don’t forget to post – When you’re updating a personal account it doesn’t matter if you go for a week or 2 without posting, but businesses need to make sure they post regularly so that they are always at the forefront of customers’ minds. A couple of tweets per week isn’t enough to promote a product and engage with customers, you need to commit to posting to all accounts on a regular basis, or employ someone who can do it for you.
- Branding should be consistent across all accounts – All of your social media accounts should have the same style of branding, using your logo, brand colours, and where applicable a recognisable photo of your business location or product. Make sure all profile photos and cover images are created to the correct sizes and specifications to ensure they look professional and not pixelated. If graphic design isn’t your forte try using Canva to create your images.
- Set some social media goals – Have a think about why your business is on social media. Are you trying to drive traffic to your website? Are you trying to sell a product? Do you need to book people onto a course or event? The type of content you post will depend on your goals.
- Keep content relevant – This one is quite simple. If a piece of content isn’t informative, useful or relevant to your audience don’t post it! Funny memes are ok once in a while, but try not to post anything that could be considered controversial or offensive. You should keep posts about yourself or your product to a minimum otherwise you will bore followers quickly. Set up a blog on your website and write articles that you can link back to across your social media posts.
- Don’t ignore negative feedback – Ignoring an upset customer will only make them more angry, so try to always respond in a polite and timely manner, Where possible take the conversation offline or into private messages. Never delete negative posts or reviews!
- Don’t focus too much on follower numbers – We all want lots of followers on our social media accounts, but it’s more important to make sure that they’re relevant to your business. Never buy followers – there’s no point having thousands of followers across the world if you are a small coffee shop simply trying to promote your cakes to customers in a small seaside town in Dorset.
- Think about which social networks you need to be on – There are a lot of social networks out there are they’re growing every week. You can’t possibly be on all of them and update them all regularly so you need to have a think about where your customers will be. If your audience is mainly students then you probably need to be on Facebook and Twitter. If you are targeting professionals over 30 then you are more likely to find success on LinkedIn. If you are a lifestyle brand with lots of amazing photos then you need to consider Instagram and Pinterest.
- Engage with other users – Businesses need to reach out to both customers and potential customers online. Engage with local users, those who are talking about topics relevant to your business, answer any questions, ask questions, and share, retweet, favourite and like other user’s posts and pages.
- Use hashtags – Think of hashtags as a way for users to search for content they are interested in. Using a couple of relevant hashtags in a post will put your content in front of more users – research shows that tweets with hashtags are 50% more likely to get retweeted compared to those without a hashtag. Limit yourself to a maximum of 3 hashtags per post. This article has a great list of hashtags for business networking.
- Remember to include call-to-actions – It sounds like common sense, but so many people forget to do it! If you’re asking people to call you, include your phone number in the post. If you’re suggesting that customers visit your website, include a link. You need to make sure that your audience don’t have to go hunting for your contact details or website address, because most people just won’t be bothered.
- Always track performance – A lot of social media is trial and error, you may need to rethink the times of day that you post or you may see that a certain type of content is generating more engagement than others. If your goal was to drive more traffic to your website you’ll want to make sure that your content is getting clicked on. You can find out all of this by using the analytics tools within the social networks, or you can use the reporting tools in software such as Hootsuite or Sprout Social to measure the performance of your posts.
If you need more advice or help with posting to your business’s social media accounts feel free to get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org