By Danielle Carr

 

A Classic Victoria Sponge or an Indulgent Triple Chocolate Fudge Cake? Don’t get me wrong, I love a good Victoria sponge as much as the next person but it’s not something that stands out in a bakery or on a dessert menu alongside many other extravagant options. My point is that in a world of choice, you need to stand out.  The more often you engage with your audience the more your brand gets recognised and the idea of social media is to increase your social presence. It may just seem like a profile but your company is the face of it and what you post, people will associate with your brand.

 

So why should you use it:

  • It allows you to connect directly with your target audience without the need for them to search for you.
  • You can connect with a larger audience. Putting your brand out there means people will notice you even if they don’t necessarily need what you have to offer yet.
  • It can raise your profile on and offline. The bigger your presence the more word of mouth it will produce.
  • Potential clients can get a taste of what you are like before they commit.
  • Not only can it benefit you in terms of customers but it will also give you the chance to learn more about your industry. Whether it’s through following competitors and industry leaders or analysing your followers and interactions. It may give you a clearer idea about the demand for what you have to offer.
  • If you’re new to it, it may seem slightly daunting but think about how educating, engaging and exposing it can be!

 

Be cautious:

  • Avoid using them as a platform to push sales as it could push customers away. Tempt them and make them interested and the rest should follow.
  • You’re publishing online. This not only means you have to be careful what you say and how you respond but it also means it can be screenshot/retweeted or shared faster than you can press the delete button. By the time you’ve realised you’ve made a mistake or said something you shouldn’t it could have reached an audience far bigger than intended and possibly for the wrong reasons.
  • Not all followers are real followers. This will make it harder for you to analyse your audience. Be suspicious of links that could hack your page!
  • The goal isn’t to accumulate 100 followers or likes per day otherwise you’ll end up with a whole load of people who genuinely don’t give a hoot about your company. The ‘like for a like’ or ‘#followforfollow’ isn’t the best way to approach gaining interest from people unless they are genuinely interested in your business. Use it as if you were at a network event and follow the people that fit in with what you’re trying to achieve.

 

Our Advice

What we’re not going to do is tell you what to do because we don’t know your goals but to give you general advice that you should think about when in engaging in social media for your company.

You should post engaging blogs on a regular basis so it becomes a core activity of your business.    If you float in and out of using it then you’ll lose your presence and someone else could get ahead of you. In the same sense, promote your business and just don’t push it.

Business Only!! Keep social media to business hours and you can avoid any bad choices. I’ve once seen someone accidently upload a video story drunk onto a company page instead of their personal one! Although it wasn’t too bad and it was slightly amusing, some may see it as unprofessional and could damage the company image. Make sure you’re still human. Step away from the corporate image and show that you’re real. Some of the biggest industry leaders use social media to do just that. They reply to their customers engaging in playful chat. Share content (not just from yours but other businesses), talk about how much you wish the rain would stop and talk about what’s trending. Include Gifs, make people laugh and join in on the latest hashtag trends. Encourage feedback and testimonials and thank them for it. The more positivity the better the reaction so congratulate people for their successes and thank people when necessary.

Remember, just because it works for one doesn’t mean it’ll work for you. Think about it, try it and learn from it. Not all social media platforms achieve the same results and don’t think you have to use every one of them. Use the platform/s that work for you.

 

It’s free advertising so embrace it and have fun. Get out there. There’s a whole digital universe to discover.