We all take social media for granted these days; it’s usually the first thing we look at when we open our eyes and the last thing we check before we close them.

But just because we all have personal accounts it’s very different when you are trying to get your business or brand recognised and followed.

Do you feel as though you are talking to yourself on Facebook, your images are not being seen on Instagram or that no one stops scrolling on twitter? 

By following this quick and easy guide to maximising your online presence, crickets will become a thing of the past.

UNDERSTAND YOUR WHY

Being on social media because everyone else is, is not a good enough reason for opening an account.

Understanding the why you are doing it will give you way more of a reason to use the account and put the time and effort in.

When I launched my first business, I checked the relevant social profiles were available before I bought the domain name.

Once I had secured the domain, I then snapped up the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest profiles and I will still advise you do this today. The only difference now is that I wouldn’t use them all (well not straight away anyway).

By registering them though it means you always the option to use them and of course no one else can.

The top 5 reasons for using social media for your business

  • You have instant access to a large ready-made audience
  • You have a free platform to speak to them on
  • It gives you a way to ‘humanise’ your brand, which the audience is crying out for
  • It is a great free source of traffic to your website
  • You can grow brand awareness- it takes 6/8 ‘touches’ to make a sale and they can all be achieved on social media, which speeds up the conversion time.

CHOOSE YOUR PLATFORM CAREFULLY 

Not every social media platform will be successful, or as successful for every business, so you should choose your platform carefully.

The key to getting it right is knowing your target audience – where they are, what platforms they are spending the most time on and what they want from you.

When I talk about social media, I am referring to the mainstream platforms; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest but there are so many others you might want to consider like LinkedIn, YouTube, Tik Tok, Snapchat, What’s App, Messenger, We Chat, Tumblr, Reddit, Viber and Medium, to name just a few.

It’s not just about knowing your audience though, it’s also essential to understand the strengths of each of the platforms.

Facebook is perfect for you if you want to create a community or have a brick and mortar business that people can review or check into.

Twitter is super effective for sharing a lot of content and providing first-class customer service.

Pinterest is the go-to platform if you want to drive sales because more than 90% of users plan their purchases after using the site.

Instagram is all about the images, and as you know a “picture is worth a thousand words” so this allows you to share behind the scenes photos, sneak previews and speak to and inspire potential customers.

If you run a B2B business then you should make sure you put the effort into LinkedIn, especially when it comes to lead generation and recruitment.

The demographic is very different from the other platforms, with a higher age of user than all of the others, which is something to bear in mind when it comes to content creation. 

OPTIMISING YOUR PROFILE 

It’s not just what you post and the hashtags you use that will help find your followers and likers. By using related keywords and hashtags in your bio you will also be more searchable – which is exactly what you’re trying to achieve.

Most bios only allow one link, so you can either change it regularly to promote what you want, or you can use workarounds such as Linktree or by creating a custom-built promotion page like I use on my Instagram profile. – link

Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest profiles are quite simple and obvious to fill in (although doing it effectively is another ball game) but it’s easy to miss some vital information on Facebook.

Make sure you don’t forget to use the company overview and story section and if you are a brick and mortar business also make sure you add a location, business hours and the ability to leave a review – which can be a great form of free advertising.

A fully optimised Facebook profile can also help with your Google ranking.

UNDERSTAND YOUR INSIGHTS/ANALYTICS 

The key to a successful account is listening to your audience, and I’m not just talking about the comments and messages you receive.

With free access to powerful insights and analytics, make sure you use them.

Find out when your audience is online, so you can post at the right time to catch their eye and understand what content they like.

Use your analytics to analyse your posts to see what resonates most, that way you can tailor your content to better serve your audience and only show them what they want to see.

FOCUS ON HELPING OVER SELLING

You have probably heard about ‘social selling’ but do you know what it means?

Well, according to Hootsuite “Social selling is the art of using social media to find, connect with, understand, and nurture sales prospects. It’s the modern way to develop meaningful relationships with potential customers so you’re the first person or brand a prospect thinks of when they’re ready to buy.” 

In most cases, it has replaced the awful process of cold calling although you will still see a lot of businesses on social media who forget the social part and just use their account as one big sales promotion.

By listening to your audience and helping them with their problems and pain points you are building a trusting relationship, which is far more likely to result in a sale – it might just take a bit of time to nurture.

It’s easy to see why social media is now such an important tool for every business, new and old.    

There are so many ways you can use it to your advantage and achieve amazing results.

The important thing to always remember with social media though is, you don’t own the accounts and at any point, your success or indeed your visibility might disappear.

We have all heard horror stories about people, with hundreds of thousands of followers, have been locked out of accounts and unable to access their accounts or they’ve been hacked and found that the customer service offered by the social media companies has left a lot to be desired.

 So, it is important to only use social media to promote platforms that you own and use your accounts to convert your followers offline, so make sure you collect email addresses regularly so if the worst happens to you your audience is not lost forever.