Although we believe that every business will benefit from a high-quality website, not every business needs to be on social media.
We have clients whose businesses are flourishing without a single social media channel. Their market is so niche and specialized that it would be a waste of time and money to invest in maintaining a social media plan. Some focus on one or two channels where they know their clients spend time, while others happily keep numerous channels up to date and enjoy a broad client base.
Social media is a place to connect with your clients and engage with them in a meaningful way. It’s a space where you can educate and inspire, resolve issues and update information, communicate and express gratitude. It can also be an outlet to share your products and services and generate sales. Before you decide if social media is right for your business, figure out what you want it for.
What do you want out of Social Media?
Do you want a place to open lines of communication with your clients so they can easily contact you when they need you? Do you want to focus on generating sales for your business? Do you just want a space where you can share the daily goings-on of your business?
This may be a good time to talk to a social media consultant to find out your options and see if social media will actually help you meet your goals or be an unnecessary distraction.
If you decide to use social media, you then need to figure out which stream or streams will help you connect with current and future clients.
Which Streams Best Suit Your Business?
Who are your clients and where are they online?
If you’re working mainly with other businesses, LinkedIn may be a great place to connect with them. If you’re focussed on your local community and region, Facebook could be ideal. If your products and services can be purchased or utilized globally, Instagram or Twitter may be the place for you. Or you may find that your business is best represented through professional video and focus all your efforts on YouTube or Vimeo. If you notice that most of your clients are reached through email, setting up a newsletter subscription on your website may be the most effective use of your time and money.
The truth is, sometimes it’s difficult to pin down where our focus should be. That’s where experimentation comes in handy.
Experiment and Track
Open several social media accounts and do a trial run of a few months. Set up a scheduling program such as Hootsuite and track your engagement, likes, and follows. Notice which place garners the most attention, follow-through, and feedback. You’ll soon figure out which social media stream works best for you and your clients, and you can focus your time and energy there instead of spreading yourself too thin.
It can also help to observe the social media accounts of other businesses like yours. Are they getting lots of interaction on Facebook but hardly anything on Instagram? Are they being shared regularly on LinkedIn but it’s a ghost town on Twitter? This can help you in three ways.
- Showing you where people interested in your products/services are active.
- Providing a potential market for you. Your competitors may not be succeeding in a specific social media arena, but with strategic tweaking of your posts and message, it may be just the place for you to build a thriving online community.
- Giving you inspiring ideas on how to expand your social media outreach. Perhaps you’ll realize that video could be really effective for your business, or you’ll find new ways to edit photos or brand your business that will help you connect better with your online community.
Try, Learn, and Ask for Help
If you decide to add your business to social media, remember that the social media landscape is always changing. From one week to the next there are new hashtags, algorithms, time slots, and streams to consider and navigate. This can be overwhelming, especially if you’re just starting out, and make you feel that you’ll never be caught up.
Thankfully, you don’t have to do it all or know it all to have a good social media feed for your business. Here are a few things you can do to stay effective without losing your mind or blowing your budget.
Learn new things. Read articles, watch videos, or listen to podcasts about the social media streams you use. Even applying one or two tips can increase the effectiveness of your efforts.
Ask for help. Book a meeting with a social media expert to advise you on the best practices for your business.
Above all, Stick to the Basics.
- High-quality images
- Clear, friendly content
- Consistent publishing
Social media can be a wonderful way to share your business with the world and build a great relationship with your clients. If you’d like to see if social media is right for your business, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org to meet for a cuppa and a chat.