With so many social media platforms out there, it’s tough for businesses to keep up with exactly how they should be using each one. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram, there’s a use for all of them. That said, it’s important to tailor your social media posts and interactions to the platform itself. In this week’s blog I’ll be taking a look at the best ways that businesses can utilise some of the biggest social networks to their full advantage.
With around 1 billion registered users, Facebook is the most popular social network in the world. But what’s the best way to tap into those users? Generally speaking, being informal goes down an absolute treat. Most users fire up Facebook to escape from their everyday lives; they want to see what their friends are up to, have a chuckle at some light hearted images or perhaps just chat to people they know. As a result of this, posting businessy content and (generally speaking) dull information is a quick way to get someone to un-like your page.
We recommend posting content which you think you’d like to read yourself, whether it’s a funny image, an interesting link, or a short competition. Always attempt to encourage engagement, by asking a question or promoting people commenting on / liking your content. Images and links work great on Facebook, seeing a much higher engagement rate than posts which consist of plain text. Engagement is crucial – the more people like, comment and share your content, the more people see your page and brand. Don’t be scared to post content which is completely unrelated your business either; not every single post has to link back to your business, variety is key at the end of the day.
Twitter is growing at a rapid rate. We see hashtags used on popular television programmes, news channels asking viewers to tweet in their thoughts, and even stories breaking on Twitter before popular outlets can get their hands on them. It’s given people the ability to have a voice that can be heard by others around the world. However, it’s also given businesses the ability to communicate directly with their customers. Twitter themselves have even said that one of the most important factors for businesses on Twitter is to be human.
Don’t turn it into a chore by chucking a link up each day and being done with it. Engage with not only your customers, but other businesses too. The beauty of Twitter is that it can be both business to consumer focused and business to business. When you’re creating a tweet think to yourself “would I retweet this?”, if the answer is yes then you’ve got yourself a good post! Posting content which is likely to be shared by others is vital for Twitter, whether it’s informative links, images or just a quirky post. Follow people in your industry, engage with them along with your customers, chat to other businesses and build your network.
Now here’s a social network built purely for business use. It’s currently not really worth spending much time updating your LinkedIn business page (although this may change in the near future, LinkedIn are currently rolling out some updates to business pages – http://linkd.in/MtvgVS). Sure, create one so that you’ve got a solid presence for when LinkedIn finally do make business pages more worthwhile, but don’t go spending too much time on it.
The value of LinkedIn comes is in representing a business as yourself. Flesh out your own personal profile, add a photo, full description, examples of your work along with your range of experience. Think of your profile as a virtual CV. People like to do business with people, not necessarily with businesses themselves. Share content which will be interesting to other professionals within your industry, such as links to useful bits of information, the latest news from your field of expertise, and occasionally bits about your business. Join groups related to your industry and engage with other professionals. LinkedIn is a bit like a huge persistent online business networking event.
Instagram is still in its infancy but continues to grow day by day. It revolves around image based content. Taking snaps of your staff, products, events and business activities can often be great pieces of content. These kind of posts help to show a more human side to your business. Whilst it’s unlikely it’ll drive any sales directly, it helps to give off a friendly vibe which could bring in customers as a result. Instagram is said to be testing the waters with advertisements, allowing businesses to place non-intrusive image based ads into users’ feeds. We expect to see this launch at some point in 2014, we’ll be sure to shout about it as soon as we have any more information!
Let us know in the comments below if you have any questions, or give us a call on 01482 242007!