10 Tips for Social Media Success!


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10 Tips for Social Media Success!

10 Steps to help you start using and improving social media for your business..

10 – Don’t panic

With so many social media sites out there, it can be hard to pick the one that will be best for your brand. There’s a lot of learn at first, but don’t panic, keep it simple and focus your attention on one platform to begin with. Remember that you may need to invest a little money to gain new customers and sell to your existing customers, however most social media sites allow you to create tailored campaigns that cost pennies and are certainly worth the investment.

Before spending any money, ensure your page is complete with a strong description, high quality profile picture and that you already have a few followers – nobody will be interested in an empty profile.

9 – Think about your audience

There is no point in picking a site that your customers and prospective customers don’t use – even if you already know how to use the site – you will be wasting your time if your audience isn’t there with you.

Facebook is usually a good site to start with, as most people already have a profile and it is easy to set up a basic profile.

Twitter is useful for sending out quick bursts of information, it is also good for research of competitors, new trends and the local area.

Check out these up-to-date demographics to see which social media site is right for your brand.

8 – Brand voice

Be your brand, let the people that buy your brand associate with you. You want to be seen as one of their peers, in doing that, you like similar things, share things that they will be interested in and engage with them in a way that makes them want to respond.

If you stop trying to be a “company” and think of your brand as a real person you will automatically find it easier to know what to share or discuss.

If your business is very small or requires personal interaction with customers regularly (eg Bed and Breakfast or Salon) then it may be easier to just be yourself – just make sure you leave out any overly personal or controversial opinions.

Check out Innocent Smoothies and the RSPB – these guys are fantastic at starting conversation and fitting with their target audiences.

7 – Work smart, not hard

Don’t waste your time! Only follow suitable people, mainly engage with brands that will really complement your business and make sure you are putting the majority of your effort into the sites used by your target audience.

With so much content online people can be overwhelmed. To make sure your message is coming through strongly use short videos, high quality images and short messages. The only place you should be writing blocks of text is on a blog.

6 – Don’t just self-promote

“Social” media is all about being social. Your customers and fellow businesses will respect you more if you share a mixture of content that is relevant and suitable to your audience, instead of just pushing your own products.

Pinterest in particular have a strict rule of sharing a mixture of content and not just self-promoting.

Think about your audience’s lifestyle and keep up-to-date with the subjects they will be interested in. There’s loads of topics that you can discuss that will relate to your business (without you having to hard push your products).

Some examples are:

Clothing store – London Fashion Week

Dog walking – Crufts

Library – World Book Day

You can also talk about suitable celebrities, places and just recommend fellow businesses (particularly complementary ones).

5 – Share the love

In following complementary businesses, you can share each other’s content and build strong links between your mutual target audiences. Twitter is particularly good for this – retweeting is so easy and it instantly shares their message with your audience. In turn they are more likely to share your messages with theirs. This can be the difference between your 300 followers seeing something or another 10,000 people seeing your message.

Just remember – exposure is good, but pointless if it doesn’t reach your target audience. Eg) a café in Surrey is unlikely to benefit from their message being seen by residents of the USA.

This also help you to get relevant content without always self-promoting.

4 – Keep it simple

This goes back to my point about not panicking. Start small and work your way up. My main advice for keeping it simple is to keep testing the water before jumping straight in and launching a huge social media campaign.

It’s better to use one site well than to be on every single social media platform and have profiles that are messy and not regularly updated.

Use your brand logo, brand colours and brand message – but don’t overdo it – keep your page simple and easy to navigate. Most social media platforms stick to their basic layout and only allow certain areas to be customised – so you are unlikely to go too crazy.

3 – Keep Experimenting

Keep playing with sites and buttons to see what they do and test how your audience reacts to different media. Do they prefer links? Do they like photos? Do they want offers and discounts? It’s all about practice.

If you have a lot to talk about then it is best to do this through a blog so you don’t clutter your other pages. You can then promote your blog on other sites and these links will help to improve your Google search engine rank.

2 – Be visible

There’s no point in having a social media site if nobody can find it! Make sure you use sensible username and that you write a suitable description. Make sure your description is unique for each site and not copied and pasted from anywhere. This is because Google will lower the search ranks for anything that has duplicate text. Strong, keyword heavy, descriptions are especially useful for Google owned platforms like Google + and Youtube.

Also share your links with your customers – they already buy from you and you want to build the engagement with them first, then new customers will come. Promote your social media pages on your packaging, in your newsletter, on your receipts or offer discounts for following you – the first followers are the hardest to gain, but most important in the long run.

1 – Enjoy

The world of social media is full of entertainment and fun, just enjoy the ride. Sometimes you need to make mistakes to know how to improve build on your social media offering – in fact most social media professionals encourage mistakes to gain a deeper understanding of your follower’s wants and needs.

Each business is different with a different audience and different products and services, which in turn makes all social media activities slightly different – you just need to make something that works for you and your customers.

I hope you have found this guide useful please let me know if you have any questions, and best of luck with your social media adventures.

Kelly Atkin
Specialist in online marketing for small businesses

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Kelly Atkin

After studying marketing and advertising at Kingston University I have become more and more passionate about helping small businesses to get online and navigate the twists of social media.

I am originally from the New Forest, where my parents run a Bed and Breakfast, and began my journey with helping to promote their company without a budget (although these days we do spend tiny amounts on Facebook adverts and partnerships).

I currently live in Chessington and work in Hersham running marketing activities for Hersey Silversmiths and Jewellers.
uk.linkedin.com/in/kellyatkin
http://www.twitter.com/kllytkn

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