Social media has exploded onto the scene and many businesses have already jumped on board surfing the social wave, but understanding the nature of social media is the key to your success within these social networks.
Many of you will already be using social media in your personal lives and may even use it in an attempt to grow your business, however diving head first into social media without an understanding of how to use it, what to post, when to post and how to gain followers can lead to a disaster...
Like any marketing strategy a plan of action needs to be put in place beforehand in order to ensure you make the most of your time spent using these social sites.
Social media isn't a marketing channel for you to stuff your products and services down your follower's throats; instead it is about raising brand awareness, expressing your professionalism and connecting with your audience.
To gain success within social media you need to engage and connect with customers and potential customers. Think of it as a big dinner party, people don't go to a party with the intent of being sold to, just like social media followers aren't looking to be continually given sales pitches. You shouldn't just talk about yourself, try to engage with your followers, ask them questions and provide them with valuable information.
Also try to choose the social network where you think your audience is, just because you think you should be on Facebook doesn't necessarily mean it will be the best option for you. Some research will be needed at the start to ensure you find out which social sites your audience primarily uses.
Everybody already knows what Facebook is, with around 33 million active monthly users in the UK and 24 million of us Brits logging into Facebook on a daily basis, it is clear to see that Facebook dominates the social market share.
Due to its shear mass and popularity across the world, many business owners believe that an active Facebook account is crucial for their online success. While this is probably the case for many businesses, it's not true for all.
If your main goals are to achieve customer acquisitions then Facebook isn't really for you. Your efforts are likely to be better suited for another social network.
Few businesses have found the success they had expected from Facebook, simply because they didn't understand how to use the social network for business to begin with.
Facebook is about building brand awareness and brand loyalty.
Twitter currently has over 12 million active users in the UK. It is very popular among people that are on the go with over 75% of users accessing the social network via a mobile device.
Unlike Facebook, Twitter is publicly open and restricted to only 140 characters per post (tweets).
Local businesses tend to struggle getting into Twitter, at the start finding people to talk to can be a little tricky and if you aren't actively managing the account through the day you can miss out on valuable opportunities.
Not as popular as Facebook and Twitter, Google+ is still the fastest growing social network ever. With around 12.6 million registered users in the UK, it is still worth considering Google+ as an option, as it does have some qualities the other social networks don't possess.
Where Google+ differs from other social networks is that it isn't just beneficial from a social angle. It is much more important for Google to unite its other service (Gmail, YouTube, Google search and Google+ Local) just with a social layer wrapped around it. By doing this it allows Google to track users' behaviour across the web while you are logged in.
Google+ should never be your primary social channel as engagement is usually low. However it shouldn't be overlooked completely as there are definitely a few social tactics that are worth using from a SEO perspective.
LinkedIn has over 15 million members in the UK and around 300 million members worldwide. Launched back in 2003, LinkedIn is definitely the oldest social network on the list but it is probably one of the most popular social networks in the B2B industry.
If you own or work for a local business, you are likely to already have a personal account but you may not have thought about creating a business page yet. By creating a business page it allows you to create a hub for your employees, add photos of your business, let other LinkedIn members know who you are and what you do, and you can also post statuses like all other social networks.
Many business have found success through LinkedIn, it definitely shouldn't be overlooked.
Video marketing is one of the most exciting areas of growth on the internet today. With great exposure, the ability to engage with your audience as well as optimise within the search engines, it is a great way to get your brand messages seen by the right people.
Tracking progress is crucial to ensure the success of your social media campaigns. It allows you to focus on what works and ignore what doesn't, for example what to post and when to post it. This knowledge will help you make the most of your social efforts.
Here's how we can help...
These audits will help you to gain real-time intelligence about customer behaviour. An audit will provide you with an insight into how you can achieve better results, highlighting recommendations to increase activity and reach.
The audit will also look into your existing social media presence, giving you feedback and recommendations.
Within the audit we include a competitor and industry analysis, which shows you how you measure up against your competition, what you can learn from your competitors (in terms of social media) and how you could engage more within your community.
These social media audits will highlight your strengths and opportunities, as well as your weaknesses.
We can produce tailor-made 'how to' guides for your business.
If you are interested in getting started on social media, whatever channel you may chose, then why not have a chat with us first to see how we can maximise your social efforts... contact us 0208 457 4777.