Friday ramble - 3 tips for social media
Many of our clients tell us ‘we want to do social media’. And for most businesses, a well-handled social media presence is a good thing. But as with traditional PR, it’s important to consider your objectives in the first instance – and then decide which media (social or otherwise) offer the best opportunities to help achieve your goals.
These three tips provide a starting point for any brand considering dipping a toe in the water, or making more of an existing social media presence. But remember – with social media, your reputation needs to be earned, and this takes time and effort. Nurture your online presence, don’t expect to become a millionaire overnight, and enjoy the experience.
1. Find out which social media your audiences are already using
A little preparation goes a long way. Before you jump in at the deep end with a Facebook page, LinkedIn profile and a Twitter account (currently the Big Three social media platforms – but there are many more!) do a spot of lurking. No, you don’t need to hang around on street corners in an anorak, but it is well worth spending a few hours looking around to establish where the online hubs are for your industry.
Have a look at what your competitors are doing, and think about what you might like to emulate – or steer clear of.
Listen and learn – where do your typical customers seem to congregate, and what are they talking about? What could you bring to the conversation?
2. Decide which social media are best for you
As a rule of thumb, LinkedIn is the premium platform for business to business organisations and Facebook tends to be more in-tune with consumer brands. But rules are made to be broken – it is about choosing the best social media for your brand. And that will partly depend on what your customers are like, and your brand’s personality.
It’s a mistake to simply set up profiles everywhere if you don’t really have the time or inclination to keep them updated with interesting content. Think very carefully about your business and communications goals, and how each social media channel can provide a platform to help achieve them. The profiles themselves are not the answer – it’s all about how you use them.
3. Focus – and take a long-term view
Hands up if you’ve ever gone to look at a clip on YouTube, then finally emerged three hours later?
Social media can be one of the biggest time-wasters out there. And no business can afford to waste time these days!
If you have a well-disciplined social media strategy you will be able to develop and nurture your presence without it becoming a fulltime job. For many small businesses – or those with scant resources – it can be better to choose one or two social media channels and use them well. Otherwise you risk spending all day updating and Tweeting, or at the other end of the scale, having six Twitter accounts that haven’t made a peep for three months.
Here are some examples of businesses in our home county of Gloucestershire using social media well, in our humble opinion:
Are there any more that you would like to share with us?
Over and out…
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