Social media: Four questions all businesses need to ask
The big wide world of social media can be a scary place. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram – where should you start? Once you’ve decided which platforms to focus your social media efforts on, the next step is deciding what to post about. Then, how do you build your audience and stick to a posting schedule? Don’t panic, we’re here to help! In this blog post, we’ll answer four key questions that all businesses need to know before starting their social media journey.
Question one: Which platform should my company be on?
The beginning is the best place to start! There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, it all depends on where your audience is. If you’re aiming for a predominantly business audience, then LinkedIn is the place to be. This platform is prime real-estate for catching the eyes of decision-makers across various industries and gives businesses a chance to share their viewpoints and debate key topics.
Twitter is a good place to join conversations about current news and events. The fast-paced nature of the platform means that tweets don’t stay in the spotlight for very long, but using hashtags will link your tweets in with other like-minded updates and accounts to make sure your updates stay relevant.
Facebook and Instagram are still primarily consumer-focused, but that doesn’t mean they should be disregarded for a B2B audience. These platforms can be great recruitment tools and are heavily image-focused, so if you have a good image bank to share then consider signing up.
Do a bit of research into which platforms your competitors are currently on and search for relevant topics on to see what you might be able to add to the chatter. Remember – it’s quality over quantity, so finding your feet with one platform and doing it well, is better than spreading yourself thin across multiple platforms.
Question two: What should I post about?
Quick answer: everything topical related to your business offering. The more conversations you can join in, the better, as this will increase the reach of your social posts.
However, one word is essential here: relevancy! Spreading the conversation as wide as possible is great, but make sure it stays relevant to your key messages. Is talking about Black Friday and the retail high street really that relevant if your business sells UPS technology? Probably not. However, commenting on a national grid failure would be a great way to get the conversation started.
Top tip: Keep an eye on your social media analytics to get an idea of what topics and themes are working well for your audience and which aren’t to help inform your future posts.
Question three: How do I build a following?
Again, relevancy is key here. If you build a platform that has a clear direction and tone of voice then your followers will soon learn what they can expect from you. In turn, this will encourage more social media users to follow you too, if they know they will receive quality, relevant and topical commentary that will heighten their knowledge and give them more to think about.
Posting regularly is also important. Don’t just keep your social media platforms for once a year at the same industry event; keep the feeds ticking over with daily content – if possible – and you’ll soon create the buzz you’re looking for.
Remember, building a social media following doesn’t happen overnight – it takes time! A smaller, niche following with an audience that is actually interested in what you have to say is better than a following of thousands but no engagement. Quality over quantity!
Question four: How do I stick to my social media schedule?
Dedication is key! Start by creating a plan of social media posts from a bank of articles, blogs, Q&As or other content on your website. Schedule this in advance so that you know you’ll always have content going out on your social media feeds. Decide how regularly you can commit to doing this – either weekly, fortnightly or monthly – and then create enough social posts to last the timeframe.
In between this, sprinkle the ‘regular’ content with topical, timely articles and news, pieces of press coverage (your PR agency can help here) or other ‘urgent’ resources (such as webinars, events or breaking news) so that you have a good mix of content.
Remember: don’t set unrealistic goals. If you’re a marketing team of one, don’t set your sights on posting 10 times a day. Sure, you can do that, but it won’t leave very much time for anything else. Remember, you can always start posting more once you get into a routine, but don’t start a posting schedule that you can’t maintain. Use a tool like Hootsuite or Buffer to help you.
Are you ready?
You should be! We’ve given you the answers to four common social media questions that will put you in the best place to kick start your social media strategy.
If you have more questions or want to speak to one of our social media gurus, get in touch!
In the meantime, here are a few of our other blog posts that might help you: