How to use social media effectively to promote your business
Today we reintroduce Nicola of Propose PR who talks to us about the successful use of social media to promote our wedding industry businesses.
A good social media strategy can do wonders for promoting your business. However, the term “social media” covers quite a large and diverse range of platforms – and for the digitally uninitiated, it can be a bit of a confusing world to navigate. So how do you go from casual Facebook user to conquering the best platforms for your business?
Decide on which platforms to invest your time
This boils down to two things: what are you trying to get out of your time on social media and how much time do you have to invest in building a presence on each platform? For example, while customers may well find you on Twitter, it’s also a very useful tool for networking with industry peers, finding PR opportunities and so on. Pinterest and Instagram respectively are fantastic platforms if your brand is visually impactful. YouTube is great if you’re building a consultancy or something that is all about your personality and giving advice. Facebook is still a very valid platform for finding customers, but (and we’ll get to this in a bit) is more difficult to gain coveted “likes” than ever before. However you choose to invest, keep your end goals in mind.
Be consistent on social media. Most brands have social media guidelines, such as a specific tone of voice, whether you’re an “I” or “we”, whether to use the brand name and logo or a specific person within your business as the face of the brand and so on. Whatever you decide, make sure you’re consistent across all platforms and posts. It’s also important to keep up the amount that you post on each individual platform.
Each platform is unique
While it’s important to be consistent in the profile pictures you use, tone of voice and bios, remember that each social media platform is different and must be treated as such. Twitter is a constant stream of small posts, whereas Facebook requires a little more, a little less often. Each platform also has its unspoken rules (for example try to follow fewer people than are following you on Twitter). Give your customers incentives to follow you on different platforms by making sure that each has exclusive content to offer. For example, if you post a picture on Instagram, perhaps post a different picture to Pinterest, and so on.
Remember that you are representing your brand, so try to steer clear of controversy. Avoid getting involved in social media spats, airing any political views or swearing. If in doubt, ask yourself if the message you’re about to post is the first thing you would like a prospective customer to learn about you or your business. If the answer is “no”, then delete and think again.
Don’t just self promote – engage
Most social media platforms have been around long enough now for people to be more discerning with their likes, follows and subscriptions. With that in mind, try to avoid an endless stream of direct self-promotion. The occasional link, offer or competition is great, but social media is, by its nature, social. Remember to engage, talk to people and don’t be afraid to show a bit of your personality too.
Understand social media algorithms
It might feel disheartening that, for example, nobody is reading or liking your Facebook posts. Most social media platforms have complicated algorithms that dictate how many people actually see what you write. Knowledge is power here. For example, only a tiny percentage of your followers actually see your unpaid Facebook posts – but how many people see the post is directly related to how much engagement that post gets. This creates a bit of a chicken and egg situation, so if you’re aware of it, you can recruit some friends to like and share your post to get the ball rolling.
Follow up leads
From PR opportunities (pro tip – follow wedding journalists and the hashtag #journorequest) to potential customers, networking events and more, social media leads can be really valuable for your real-life business. Don’t be shy and follow up hot leads with a polite email, or by showing up to that tweet up or offering your help. You never know where an opportunity found on social media can take you, so make sure that you see your leads through.
Managing your social media accounts can take some getting used to, but once you have a handle (no pun intended) on the different platforms and opportunities available to you, the possibilities for your business are endless. Good luck!
Many thanks for your insights Nicola. Very useful.