Posting, commenting, liking, hashing, tagging, monitoring and committing. How do we fit this all in? Use your social media for business guide to get started.
If you were to run a free workshop dedicated to social media for business, you would have a full house. #win.
Social media can bring substantial, qualified traffic to your website. They perform, to some degree, like search engines, which is why it’s worth investing time and effort. However, many of our client’s find building engagement tricky and time consuming.
Question: How am I supposed to continually create content that people engage with on social media – and – do my day job?
Answer: Integrate social media into your day job, share relevant content and use schedulers to bank copy.
Potential customers can be everywhere; but don’t drive yourself crazy by signing up to every digital channel. Focus on nurturing the top few channels where the majority of your audience prefers to engage.
If you have already started using social media it’s worth looking at your Facebook / Twitter / Instagram etc analytics dashboard to see how your posts are performing. Whilst this is packed with useful information, to get the gold dust on audience behaviour, we need Google Analytics.
If you have a website with Google Analytics integrated, log in and head to your dashboard. For details on how to discover your audience and see which social channels are performing over those that aren’t; jump to point 5 [ referrals ] in this blog post.
If you are starting out, or see little engagement either in social media analytics and/or Google Analytics, then the following will help you decide which social channels to pursue.
Your Social Media For Business Guide
- Which social media channels will grow my business?
- How to be effective on social media when short on time.
- Tips for creating engaging posts in the world’s most favourite channels.
- Design dimensions for image profile, backgrounds, tweets and posts.
1. Which social media channels will grow my business?
Check out the competition
Take at least 5 [ ideally 10 ] successful competitors in your location / industry / niche and look and their digital presence. Searching for their company name and location into Google is usually enough to bring the listings up, otherwise follow widgets from their website [ if they have a website! ]
What are they using to engage with their audience? Blog posts? Twitter? Instagram? Mailchimp signups? Meet up groups? or good old fashioned face-to-face networking? List everything you can find on each competitor and prioritise their platforms based on engagement. Are there any common channels among your competitors that are performing well? If so, you can look at the situation in two ways:
First, make sure that you have a regular presence on the popular channels you’ve just identified. Secondly, explore those channels where engagement is not so good to see if your audience is there, but they are just not engaging. e.g, if none of your competitors are using instagram, how could you use it to stand out? Don’t forget, you can always appeal to secondary audiences for your products. If you sell products for the teenage market, use different content to appeal to mums, dads and friends who might purchase your products as gifts.
Join social media groups and engage in conversation
Set up a profile on the top 3-5 channels you have identified as being the most likely to grow based on your competitor analysis above. Start joining groups affiliated with products and/or services you offer. Join groups that your competitors and customers have joined also. E.g If your business offers subscription boxes, join subscription box based groups like Crate Joy or Subscription School to see what other businesses and customers are talking about.
If your customers and suppliers have Facebook / Instagram / Twitter profiles etc, and belong to related groups, then like / follow their social channels and join the same groups as them too. Expand your network by sharing their posts. Tag them in your own posts and use their popular hashes to support their streams. See what people engage with and keep running with the most popular content.
Understand what a channel was designed for and match your business
There are subtle differences between social media channels that can have a big impact on engagement depending on your content. Linkedin is great for B2B where as Facebook is better for B2C. Scroll down to section 3 below to understand more about these.
For example: If you are a B2C luxury goods business, then visual imagery and short videos on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest is a good place to start. If you are an online tutor, then upload your vlog content from your website to YouTube and share to Facebook for better reach. If you sell to other businesses (B2B), then Linked in, Meetup and guest blogging efforts are going to help enormously.
It could be time wasted using instagram if you are a corporate tax lawyer much like you wouldn’t get very far using Linked in to sell your fashion label.
2. How to be effective on social media when short on time.
Share blog, vlog and group posts
Blogging is one of the best ways to promote your website. If you don’t already, make sure you regularly link your blog posts to your social media posts. Only load images and videos natively to facebook if you absolutely have to, otherwise always link that content from your blog and let facebook render it.
However, if there is no time to blog, use other blog posts for mutual advantage. Follow respected brands that regularly produce great content on your specific products, services and ethics. Share their posts / tweets / blogs and be sure to add your own positive commentary in the share snippet.
Portion this technique out in your social media strategy and don’t let it dominate. You don’t want to see web traffic move away from you continuously. Many business use a 50/50 approach when it comes to sharing content. Share your content 50% of the time, and relatable content from other respectable sources for the remaining 50%.
With only 50% (ish) now to worry about, use schedulers to add autonomy and bank your best content.
Social scheduling tools help you find, manage, schedule and analyse your social content in one place. Not only do they save you time and help curate better content – they preserve your sanity!
Do a Google search for social media schedulers and explore the options to see which one fits your business needs. Some are dedicated to one social channel, and some can integrate with many.
Hootsuite and Buffer handle the major channels and have a decent free option for freelancers and those starting out. Sign up and get stuck in with their online tutorials and see how schedulers can help your social media performance.
3. Tips for creating engaging posts across social media channels.
If you have identified that regular content production via social media is the right move for your business, give these posting tips a whirl.
Tag us in @Opturlo and we will do our best to share your posts!
- Do try to tailor some of your posts to someone in particular. Use @ to tag them in and entice them to respond.
- Do look at the trending hashtags and see if you can comfortably work them in to your posts.
- Do link to your blog posts and direct traffic back to your website.
- Do use video / stories / vlogging / Infographics to break up static posts.
- Do inject humour and entertainment into your posts.
- Do share content from other sources and constructively comment.
- Do show your face. Your images don’t have to be professional photographer standard. People like to see people keeping it real so they can relate.
- Do join and engage in groups. When you feel ready, start your own group!
- Don’t overdo the hashtags, just one or two per post. The exception here is instagram. With Instagram you can have up to #30 – just keep them relevant.
- Don’t use the boot post feature in Facebook, you are better off putting that money into an ad campaign instead.
- Don’t directly sell. Offer free advice and information instead to build trust first.
- Don’t upload natively if you can help it. When ever possible always link from your website.
- Don’t be disheartened if your organic reach is not on par with your paid reach. Social Media channels will always prioritise paid for ad campaigns over free posts. It’s how they make their money.
Ideal for most businesses looking to reach large audiences. Particularly for B2C types and products that perform well with paid advertising. Great for organising events and group participation. Posting something new on a daily basis holds more attention than infrequent repetitive posting. For deeper analytics, audience profiling and re-marketing, install the Facebook pixel.
YouTube (Owned by Google)
Ideal for tutoring and entertainment type content. Share your knowledge, skills and passion by videoing what you are doing and explaining it along the way! Upload a couple per week, keep videos under 2 mins until you command a large viewing, and think carefully before allowing 3rd party advertisements.
Instagram (owned by Facebook)
Lifestyles of the rich and famous have the lion’s share of insta. Food, Fashion and Wanderlust follow closely behind. Brands with enticing visual content are in general the most successful. Instagram and Pinterest work well together in that you can use insta to post a product / destination/ selfie and then set up a pin board to show off the different aspects.
Great for talking directly to your audience and reaching new ones. Many brands use Twitter as a customer support platform! Answer questions, re-tweet relevant content, start twitter chats, review products / services, discuss the latest news, share your events and blogs! Keep it short, sweet and helpful.
Ideal for B2B service type business, recruiters and job seekers. Connect with people as you would in a live networking group. Interacting in groups here is key for reach. Set up your company page and invite your employees to list their role. Apply for jobs and advertise for jobs!
Huge female presence on Pinterest with Design & DIY being the biggest influencers. Food, Fashion and Wanderlust follow closely behind. Pair pin boards with related Instagram posts. Post, Pin and re-pin regularly. Be sure to include your url in the post so as to link back to your website or blog content.
4. Design dimensions for images across social media channels.
If you’re not using Canva yet, it’s worth creating your free account today. For beginners, or those short on time, it is an absolute god send for creating the correct size image without thinking.
Within the Canva landing page menu, you can select the type of post or profile image you want to create. The correct dimensions are then pre-loaded into a template image editor for you. Amazing.
For those of you progressing to photoshop or equivalent, specific dimensions in pixels are:
Profile: 500 x 500
Facebook Cover: 820 x 312
Facebook Post: 800 x 800
Facebook Event Cover: 1920 x 1080
Instagram Post: 1080 x 1080
Twitter Post: 1024 x 512
Twitter Cover: 1500 x 500
Pinterest Post: 735 x 1102
YouTube Thumbnail: 1280 x 720
YouTube Channel: 2560 x 1440
Don’t forget to compress your images before you upload them to your website and blog pages. Then share your web and blog links to social media. To find out how to compress your images for free; click here.
Let me know if this social media for business guide has been a help!