5 Social Media Tips for Business (Plus Training Opportunities)

Because my NS colleague Colin Kelly was out of town, he recommended me for a visit BBC Radio Scotland’s morning show Mac & Co with Fred MacAulay on Monday. I’ve said it often, but I’ve just loved doing Fred’s fab show for years now – especially when these days it’s not about breakups but rather social media (much less depressing).

This particular topic was inspired by an email to one of the producers for a job as Social Media Manager for Man United. So I went in to discuss that role, and the role in general, as it might relate to SMEs (not just big brands).

Here are a few tips  that I never really  managed to give on the show, but I thought may be useful to someone out there who’s dabbling in Social Media or simply considering it…

1) KNOW WHERE YOUR CUSTOMERS ACTUALLY ARE

Knowing where your customers are is paramount. Is it a visual business pertaining to weddings? Then maybe Pinterest might be the best place for you. Are your customers CEOs of companies then a LinkedIn business page might work best. Are they young and on Facebook or Twitter? Then that’s where to be.

You may want to be on one, two, or three channels or you might just choose the best one to focus your efforts on, and do that one really well. It’s ok. Try and see what works best for you but be sure you…

2) HAVE A SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY, APPLY IT CONSISTENTLY & MEASURE IT

Know why you’re on there, what it is you’re trying to do/achieve – be it inform customers, get them to buy your product, or book your service, have them download your album or ebook,…Simply know what you’re hoping to achieve before diving in.

Make sure you’re managing your time and measuring your progress, but don’t always assume that it’s a big numbers game. Better to have 100 actively engaged followers (who actually care what you have to say) than 100,000 who don’t – (in my opinion).

So don’t rate your value just on how many followers, likes, circles you have – base it on any conversions you may have from them or engagement with them!

3)  IT’S ALL ABOUT USING THE RIGHT TOOLS

Social Media Management on Different DevicesUse tools that can help you monitor your name, your company name or relevant keywords (using geo tags if you’re a local business). There are far too many tools to list here but try out a few and see which ones work best for you. Personally I the ones I use (or have used in the past) include things like HootSuite, TweetDeck, Sprout Social – all which will help you immensely….on this next tip….

4) LISTEN / ENGAGE / RESPOND / CONSISTENTLY

It’s a total turn off to just be sold to all the time. If all you’re doing is some sort of broadcasting of salesy messages, asking people to like this, or download that, then all you will do is put people off.

So make sure you’re engaging with your audience amidst the “calls to action” that you may be posting/tweeting. Be authentic. Have a personality. Mix a bit of personal stuff in there amongst all the business stuff so people can connect with a real person. Remember that people do business with people they like.

Respond to questions, and especially criticism, as soon as possible. Be shown to be there and care. Take it off line as soon as possible.

Be consistent. You don’t have to post every single day though you’ll likely fair better if you do. At least aim for posting/tweeting – a few times a week if possible. Nothing worse than, as a customer we land on a page and the last update or tweet was months ago.

5) ASK THE PROFESSIONALS

If you don’t know what to do with regards to social media, then ask some professionals. Take training from certified trainers on the subject. There are a lot of FREE courses out there, and there are even grants to cover paid ones – (courtesy of the Scottish government) so do some research. There is no reason to not be learning about this stuff. If you don’t – you’ll likely be left behind.

FINAL TIPS: Why a business might be on Social Media

If you’re working on a social media strategy – here are a few reasons why you might consider going social:

– To get more sales

– To engage/respond/listen to customers (and find more by targeting through “GEO Location”)

– To drive traffic to a website (or channel: YouTube, Facebook, Twitter etc)

– To see what competitors are up to

– To build brand awareness

– For data capture – email addresses for newsletters or what have you

– To promote your business

– To find suppliers

– To network with other businesses

– To get advice/recommendations

– To get endorsements from customers

 

It might be some of these, all of these, or completely different reasons altogether.

Just work out what your own reason is – that’s what’s most important here.

If you’re interested in some one-to-one training then please get in touch with me. Or I can highly recommend NSDesign’s Embrace the Space all day masterclass. I myself will be attending their Advanced HootSuite half day course so I can learn more about this popular tool. We can all use a brush up on our skills right? Right.

Tomorrow I’ll jot down an update about the Scottish Business Awards – last Friday. (Former) President Bill Clinton was the keynote so as you can imagine that was a pretty “hot ticket”.