Three ways to make social media work for you

Blogs 8 Aug 2022

Discover top tips to help you make the most of social media, and tackle the issues of a lack of time, inclination, and knowledge.

This article was first published in First Voice. Written by Vicky Laffey, Director, The Content Quarter.

Keeping up with posting on social media can be a big stress for small business owners. Let’s face it, there are a million and one things that you’d rather be doing than thinking about what to post on your Facebook or Instagram page. You know you have to do it, because people keep telling you, but because you work for yourself, you are also the cleaner, the accountant and the delivery driver – not to mention actually running the business itself.

Even when you do sit down to do it, you’ve no idea where to start – or it seems like a chore rather than a positive task for your business. Is it any wonder, then, that you don’t get the results you want from your socials? The following tips can help you make the most of social media, and tackle the issues of a lack of time, inclination and knowledge.

1. Making time

If time feels like a black hole for you, or you feel it takes far too much energy to think of what to post and which pictures or videos to use, try the following:

  • Capture content as you go. You will not have anything to post late at night if you don’t capture photos and videos throughout the day. You need to make this part of your daily working practice so that it doesn’t feel forced and you don’t forget to do it.
  • Take an extra few minutes before, during or after a job to take a couple of photographs – or even set your alarm for various intervals throughout the day to remind you to take a photo or video.
  • Don’t neglect your Instagram or Facebook stories. Stories are not designed for showcasing perfectly polished images or professional photographs. They are best used for behind-the-scenes looks at what you – the business owner – are up to throughout the day, and for engaging with your followers. Pictures of your lunch break, taking the dog for a walk or your cup of coffee on your desk are easy and quick to do.

2. Find the inclination

If you’re of the opinion that social media just doesn’t come naturally to you and you’d rather poke yourself in the eye than sit down to schedule some posts, then you’re not on your own! So many self-employed people feel this way and would much rather be getting on with running the business.

This is possibly because you don’t understand social media or how it can benefit you. You’ve perhaps even put a bit of effort into your socials in the past and not had the desired amount of likes, comments or sales from it, so you gave up.

Stick at it and play the long game with social media. Don’t obsess or take to heart the stats on every single post or just try it for a couple of weeks then give up.

It’s not about big follower numbers or large amounts of likes or comments. It’s about attracting the right clients for you – the ones who are actually going to turn into paying clients at some point and who are interested in what you have to say.

3. Build the knowledge

You can learn this from others. It’s often better if you can find someone who knows your industry and therefore knows what works, what resonates and what generally goes down well with the type of clients who shop with you.

But there is so much information and so many ‘experts’ out there that it can get confusing. Online videos teaching you how to post on Instagram or get the best out of Twitter are common, and they’re useful to some extent, but can leave you more confused and with more questions than before.

Whether it’s in the form of a membership you join, a YouTube channel you follow or an e-book, find someone in your industry who teaches this and will be able to explain to you, in a way that you understand, what needs to be done to attract your sort of people on social media, or even what platforms are best to use. That way, armed with the requisite knowledge, you’ll be in a position to figure out just what works for you and your business, and start to see some results.

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