Published on 6th Oct 16
In 2012, a survey reported that 54% of small business owners felt they needed serious help with their social media accounts. In 2014 that number dropped 45%. Despite this slight improvement, there is still so much that needs to be done in regard to educating business owners on the importance of creating an online presence, via social media.
Where do I begin?
This is the question I think most people get stuck on. In the vast world of various social media outlets and so many different ways to share ideas, it can often seem daunting. As with most things, the best advice to give is to just take it one step at a time. To start with, decide who your target audience is, and what your main assets are. Another thing to start off with is to try to create a sense of identity or personality that reflects your business, which you can use throughout all your posts to create a distinctive style.
Your first priority after creating your accounts and doing the above should be building relationships. The initial relationship you build with your customers is so important, as it’s something people always remember. A good way to do this when you first start your account is just by adding/following a few friends, beginning to engage in conversations, and maybe even starting a few on your own page (people love to share their opinions, you will almost always get a response!).
What to post…
Promotion and engagement are the two most important things to remember when posting upon your social media accounts. As strange as it sounds, when it comes to marketing via social media, engagement is actually the more important of these two. A good idea is two follow the 1 in 7 rule, which means that for every 7 posts; only one should promote your business directly. This doesn’t mean that the other posts can’t be about your business, but they shouldn’t always be outright advertisements. Ideas for these other six posts could be discussing your products and services, creating conversations, posting or reposting things you find interesting or things that relate to your business, or creating competitions for your audience to enter.
The science to social media
What many people don’t know is that there is almost a science to social media, with formulas and rules which have been proven to work. There are endless pages of information on this subject online, but to avoid you having to search through it for hours, I have summarised a few of the main points. For instance, research shows that the best time to post on Facebook is 1-4pm, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Furthermore, on Fridays people seem to be much happier, and so upbeat posts will get a lot more engagement. When it comes to twitter, the optimal times to post are either noon, 5-6pm or 3pm, as these times seem to have the highest statistics for retweets and likes. Due to the number of businesses using social media nowadays, Facebook and Twitter (Facebook Analytics and Twitter Analytics) both have tools which allow you to analyse your own company’s statistics in order to post more effectively. Instagram is slightly different, as the 500 million monthly users are fairly dedicated to the app and therefore are very often online liking and commenting on photos.
Some extra tips…
One thing to always remember is that visuals are very important. People are naturally drawn to images over large bodies of text, and if the image is interesting it’s more likely to create a conversation or to be shared with a larger audience. When posting large bits of text, it’s a good idea to come up with a headline to draw people in, or allow them to decide whether they want to read further. Another thing to keep in mind is that social media success for your business will not happen overnight. It is a long process and requires hard work and a little bit of knowledge, however the rewards when you do it right are worth it. Many social media experts state that doing it right either takes a lot of time, or money. If time isn’t something you can spend on your social media, you should consider hiring someone to take care of it for you. The Directory Group itself can take on board your social media, by managing and scheduling your social media posts ensuring you get the best from it.
The Directory Group covers the following areas within Hampshire and West Sussex: Petersfield, Clanfield, Hayling Island, Cowplain, Waterlooville, Denmead, Purbrook, Widley, Farlington, Cosham, Drayton, Havant, Rowlands Castle, Emsworth, Southbourne, Westbourne, Bosham, Portsmouth, Alton, Alresford, Bentley, Four Marks and Meon Valley