Getting started with Social Media

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, learn how to decide which one or ones to use in your business.

 

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Instagram, Facebook, Twitter the list is endless, how on earth do you decide which one or ones to use in your business? Here are some simple tips to help you get started.

Social Media is everywhere, on every TV channel, every news bulletin and almost activities we undertake every day.

So why aren’t you on the bandwagon? You’ve probably got it on your list of “to do’s”

In this blog post we examine why and how to go about it.

Barriers to adoption

Are any of these familiar to you?

  • I’m time poor and I’m struggling  with the day-to-day running of a small business
  • I lack the necessary skills or the time to learn them
  • Outsourcing isn’t an option for me  it’s too expensive
  • I doubt the return on investment
  • I’m worried about the legal issues
  • Which one do I choose?
  • Do I have to be on all of them?
  • I have no idea where to start

Grab yourself a cup of tea and let’s get started.

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Make an informed decision

Let’s not overcomplicate the issue. You as the business owner have the right to choose whether or not you adopt Social Media, as long as the decision is an informed one. Well there is no doubt the figures are in and a vast majority of your potential customers are using Social Media to find out information about your business. If they don’t find the information they need on your business, they have little or no loyalty and will go somewhere else.

In my opinion and right now, I still believe that a professional website which is easy to find is your number one online asset, but Social Media is a very close second!

So if your website isn’t up to scratch or mobile responsive then I’d suggest you get started on that.

If your businesses primary “shop front” is a Facebook business page, in my opinion this is less convincing, especially when you are in the business of selling online. I think you should encourage customers to source information via all the Social Media platforms your business is on and they should point them to your website. At your website,  they will find a professional online presence, find the information they need and make a booking. I call ths funnelling

Tiny steps

Let’s assume that you are convinced that you need to use some sort of Social Media to promote your business and that your website is working well for you and includes the capacity to purchase your product. Yes, that’s it, your ultimate goal is conversion, whatever you are doing online it should lead to this.

If I were to suggest you develop a Social Media strategy you’d probably run for the hills!

So let’s take it slowly and develop your own “mini plan”.

Research

Firstly, let’s find out whether or not your guests are using Social Media and what they used, that’s your “mini” market research. Ask every guest what Social Media platforms they used to source information, record this information for one month. You may find that you only need to be active on one or two platforms to be effective.

Evaluate

Now, you’ve got a list of all the Social Media platforms your customers used, sort them by type and see if anyone platform is used more often. If two are similar, pick one you are most comfortable with. Right, now you’ve selected a platform to start with based on a little bit of research.

Commitment and consistency

Make a commitment to one platform, just to get started, invest in understanding how it works and give it a go, but remember you can’t leave it unattended! Once you start engaging in this way you need to continue. Nothing is more off putting to a potential customer than a Facebook page that hasn’t been looked at for months. Or a page that is totally sales orientated. The old 80/20 rules applies, 80% sharing and 20% promotion.

Review

Set yourself a review date and take stock of your Social Media presence, is it generating revenue? are customers coming to your site and are they booking, if not, adjust your content or look into a secondary platform.

Dos and Don’t’s

Here are a few pointers that you might find of value.

  • Do make a commitment and incorporate Social Media posting into your daily activities.
  • Do be selective in which platform you engage with based on research
  • Don’t leave your online presence unattended
  • Don’t entrust your online reputation to a staff member, unless you have a specific guidelines and policy in place.
  • Don’t assume that just because a staff member understands the technology, it means they understand your business or the legal implications.
  • Do use the information provided by customers on your Social Media platform (with permission) share images and testimonials anywhere you can!
  • Finally, before you post anything online, think about it, if you have any doubt about the content, don’t post, trust your own judgement!!
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