Why social media?
Almost everyone uses it. It pulls in all sorts of people. It’s becoming the easiest way to check out a business, see what they have to offer, and ultimately decide if you are worth visiting. Having a social presence could be the game changer your business is looking for.
Plus, people are getting worn out to traditional types of ads and are becoming more interested in brands that show a personal, human side. Social media is one of the best opportunities to do that when it’s done well.
What does this mean for your business?
Although it is getting more and more simple to use and easy to access, the MAJORITY of business have still missed important elements that could’ve made their campaigns stronger. Either they are NOT using social media at all or at least not using it properly or effectively. It’s easy to access and all the information on how to use it is available online, but it is often misused and over-complicated.
Simple, clean photos and consistent posting can be enough to get you started on social.
Where it often gets complicated is finding time as a business owner to learn and use or delegate and manage an employee using it. In this case an agency can help create, manage and promote the content FOR you, taking a load off of your shoulders. If you are a business that would like to do it on your own, some time and dedication to research and education will be necessary.
It’s not impossible to achieve success that way; it just will take some work to do it right.
Resources you can get started with
Look into sites like Hootsuite or Buffer that can not only aid with scheduling posts in advance, but also have blogs that share informative articles on how to get the most out of social media. Facebook Business also regularly shares a ton of information on how to make the best use of your Facebook page and ad account.
Take time to look at social media accounts with businesses similar to yours. “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”
Don’t copy everything they are doing, but rather use what is working and let that inspire your content. Get creative. Letting your passion show through the content you share will help go a long way to building a connection with you audience and ultimately help grow your business.
Start with a smartphone and go from there.
A couple quick tips for social media posting
- When you’re sharing other content and articles, introduce the information in a personal way. Anecdotally, even something simple like, “I was surprised at the depth of information in this post about ad headline techniques — definitely a recommended read,” can entice interest far more than the standard [restate article’s title] + [URL] approach that seems all too common.
- Create content that tells your story. Focus on the four Ws. Who? What? Where? Why? Tell your story. Who is behind this? Who is this intended for? What are you selling or promoting? Where can it be found? Why are you doing this? It will take time to get used to sharing about this on social media, so keep it simple and personable.
The first step to being active on social media is having content to share. Once you have taken some time to get familiar with social media platforms, you need to decide what kind of content to share. Depending on the business you run, you may be able to take images of the day to day process and share that (think restaurant/bar/boutique/store). If you live online or don’t have a lot going on day to day in person, you will need to get creative.
Simple descriptions and clear images. If you don’t have products or a location to photograph, look into royalty free images on websites such as pexels.com or pixabay.com. With your images or the free images found online, you can use Canva to tailor them for specific uses on Instagram, Facebook, etc. Whether you are creating a post, a story, an event cover or some kind of physical media like a flyer or business card, Canva is a free resource that can help take your content to the next level.
Sharing the Content
Once you have created content, now you need to share it on social media. Consistency can be difficult to maintain, and that’s where using a tool like Buffer.com or Hootsuite.com will save you time and keep you organized.
These scheduling tools allow you to upload your content and plan it out. You can add your copy (written content) alongside your visual content to help get the point across. Buffer offers a free option, 1 user, 3 social profiles and 10 scheduled posts at a time. Hootsuite has a similar free option: 1 user, 3 social profiles and up to 30 scheduled posts at a time. Both are easy to navigate and have easy-to-use.
They give you an option to create a Posting Schedule which will auto-post from the group of content you’ve uploaded.
Alternatively you can directly schedule each individual post.
Based on my experience using both platforms for an extended period of time, Buffer is better suited to use with a posting schedule while Hootsuite works well to directly schedule posts.
Since both accounts are free you can try out both and see which one is easier for you to use and works best for you.
There are so many free and paid resources available to be used for social media, these are just a few to get you started. What are you favorite and least favorite aspects of social media? Share your thoughts and concerns with us so we know what would be helpful for your business!