3 Essentials to kick start your business on social media

Thursday, 05 February 2015
Published in Blog
Word of mouth is still believed to be the strongest form of advertising you can do. A recommendation coming from someone who has no affiliation with your business is the best kind. They are recommending your services to a friend, so firstly they are a trusted source and secondly they gain nothing from it - so it is a genuine reference.

Whilst, “word of mouth” style advertising is often the strongest, it used to be something we were unable to control; these days however, social media changes all of that.
I like to think of it as todays word of mouth, but on steroids. If someone shares a post on Facebook, that is their recommendation to read, view or visit the post that they have shared about. It is because of this that it is important to harness the power of social media to get the ball of online chatter about your business rolling.

We have put together three simple yet critical steps to kick start your business on social media and make sure you get it right.

1. Post quality content
This is important for a few reasons. Readers do not want to waste their time reading about something or following someone they don’t care about. They want to get something out of it. Secondly, it says something about your brand, if you are posting low quality photos with low lighting or short statuses that seem to be irrelevant to what your company is trying to do, then it can damage your brand (depending on what you are going for).

Make sure your content is relevant to your followers and give them something they can use. Whether that is new information about a cafe that just opened up that they should try, something that is happening in your business like a product launch (be careful not to SELL over social media) or simply a link to a blog post that will help them with something relevant to your product/services.

To recap - there are two types of quality content.
1. Rich and thoughtful content that is of a high quality both in information and visual aesthetic.
2. Relevant content to your readers that they will gain something from.

2. Post often
There is nothing worse than a social media page that looks like a ghost town. You want to make your business look alive and active. Social media is really a behind the scenes look at a business and a way for customers to follow what that business is up to. By keeping your customers informed in what you are up to and delivering relevant, quality content to them, you will stay forefront in their minds and they will be more likely to spread the word about you. Alternatively, if you haven’t posted something for 4 months, I can guarantee you will have fallen deep into the pit of forgotten memories.

If it helps, write up a schedule for each social media platform that you are on and when you will aim to post. This is not necessary but can help to make sure you stay on top of your social media. Timing can also be critical when posting on social media to maximise the reach of your post. I read a great article the other day on Buffer Social titled A scientific guide to posting tweets, facebook posts, emails, and blog posts at the best time. Give it a read and experiment with what time and type of posts work best for you.

3. Become part of the community
As important as posting content is, this is not the end of it, merely the beginning. It is called a social network of people for a reason: because you network, with people. Engage your audience and community, if someone comments - respond. Even if the comment is negative, attempt to repair the relationship with the customer and perhaps ask them to contact you privately in order to resolve the issue. Just move the conversation off social media as soon as possible. Aside from this, seek our other businesses relevant to you and like/follow their pages. Comment on and share their awesome posts, they may return the favour (giving you reach to their customers as well). By doing this you will start to develop relationships and become part of a community. Businesses will refer you to their customers and you will do the same. You will support them and they will support you. By staying stagnate and not engaging with your audience and other businesses, it may seem as if you are on social media to promote yourself, and that is not word of mouth at all.