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The content that you post to your social media pages needs to be interesting and effective. It needs to sell you without becoming too much of a business pitch.
Let’s take a look at how you can start your journey into social media use for your small business.
While SMEs will almost certainly benefit from having pages on a variety of different social platforms, it is not necessarily important to update each one at the same time. If you are short of time, concentrating on one or two platforms per session can help you maintain them all fairly consistently.
If you are just getting started, it might be useful to pick one platform and concentrate entirely on getting that running efficiently before moving on to the next one.
It pays dividends to have branding properly set up prior to activating a social media page. A clear definition of who you are as a business means you’re more likely to stick in the minds of your potential customers. They’ll look back and think, “I liked that page as it was well designed. I’ll probably buy from them!”
It’s easy to let yourself get distracted. Before you know it you’ve not updated your business Facebook page for almost a week. What happens if someone is looking to buy from you, but they see you’ve not been active on social media?
In the past you might have gotten a phone call enquiring about the business, but not prospective patrons will simply move on.
If you’ve let the social media accounts slip in both quality and content – start again. There’s absolutely no rule against this. Work on one platform each day, alternating so that they get some attention.
Once you have become well established and are adept at posting, sharing and responding to followers you can then begin to work on each platform on a daily basis.
Many companies post information on their social media pages but then forget to revisit the post and respond to any comments. This does not make for good customer service and can potentially have a detrimental effect upon your business in general.
Instead, take the opportunity to actively engage with customers; take on board what they say, and show that you value their input. Adding to your organisation's narrative in this way will help build and strengthen your brand and connect it more closely with customers, which in turn can improve loyalty in the long term.
Respond quickly to negative comments, using these as an opportunity for great service recovery. If someone insults your business or tries to discourage you, move on. There are plenty of people who use the internet to create negativity.
It may be necessary to allocate different aspects of your social media to different members of staff. For example, having one person to deal with enquiries received online will ensure the service delivered is consistent and that each job is competed before being signed off rather than simply passed on to the next advisor where it can get missed or forgotten.
You could have one member of staff run the social accounts in the morning and another in the afternoon.
While it is important to maintain a consistently strong presence on social media, it is important not to share irrelevant material or to post so often that people feel their news-feed is saturated with it.
We recommend that SMEs stick to the 4411 rule - share other people's content 4 times, interact 4 times, share 1 item of original content and actively promote your company once. Also think carefully about the timing of each post. When will most people see it?
By following these simple guidelines, you might begin the see an improvement in the impact that your social media presence is having. We also hope it will increase business for you too.
If you’re still finding issues with using social media, take a look at the events taking place in your local region. Look out for social media based events, these often take place and can provide you with all the skills needed.
If you're looking to take your social media skills to the next level, take a look at some of the applications available that allow you to schedule posts.
FSB Cyber Protection includes an insurance policy with cover of up to £10,000 and an unlimited use helpline to answer all your Cyber Security questions.