Social Media and a few words of advice…
Sooner or later (most likely sooner) social media will not form such a question as ‘are you using social media‘ and be more the case of ‘what is your social media username‘, I mean you hardly hear anyone saying these days ‘do you have a telephone number‘ or ‘do you use email‘? Such is the importance of social media, it will become just as important as your mobile number / website address and even take over from both these forms of communication in the way that your connections and potential new clients make initial contact with you. So, seeing that social media is now one of the main communication channels for your business, what should we be putting in to place to increase the results the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more can deliver your business?
Work out if you are looking to push your own name, your business name, what is unique about your business or a combination of some or all of them. This may sound confusing, but imagine that you are a chef and are using social media to increase awareness, you need to decide if you want to become known for yourself as a chef that cooks great food which will draw in clients, or that it’s the restaurant’s name that is important to push and the food it serves, or maybe that you serve a unique food and that’s the topic for your marketing. I know that there’s a restaurant in London that is rather unique that it serves Champagne and hotdogs and being in that business sector as well myself, I do get asked many times what the name is of the place, usually ‘There’s a place in London that serves Champagne and hotdogs Chris, what is the name of it“… This shows that the main marketing point is ‘Champagne and hotdogs’ over what the name of the restaurant is and definitely over that of the chef/owner. A push on Champagne and hotdogs (as long as they stay unique within London) would help the restaurant to really make a strong presence on social media, especially with the aid of a clever hashtag, over the name of the restaurant itself of the owner behind the idea etc.
Once you really know what you want to push on social media, this will help you to decide the best platform(s) to use and the best content you want to be sharing. Things are moving rapidly in social media, in fact writing and publishing a book on the subject these days would be pretty much useless as once released it would no doubt be mostly out of date… Though social media has been around with the likes of YouTube and Facebook onwards for 10 years now, there are many gaps still to be filled and especially that more and more social media platforms are launching such as the recent Periscope (live streaming of video). We are still in the time zone of ‘now is the best time to get underway with social media‘ so despite that some brands have established an almighty presence themselves, there is still chance to grab the attention of a target audience valuable to your business by being clever (the time is over now that you can simply be present on social media, share limited content and still gather an audience easily).
I strongly recommend any business looking to use social media to thoroughly study what their local competitors are doing themselves, which channels they use and the results they achieve as well as taking a look at other business sectors and even searching the likes of Google to read up on recent success stories of those using the likes of Twitter and Facebook to give you ideas. Nearly every day I see news stories on brands and people gaining great success on social media with images, videos, website, giveaways, interviews and much more which has enabled them to gather a large audience over a very quick period of time, adding value to their brand and an whole new audience to target for new business.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with social media. Even today, after the many years of using social media to build brands online myself, I still experiment with social media such as different styles of photographs and when I need to be sharing them, who to tag in, how long a sentence to add to the description etc. Sometimes a few tweeks to a social media post can mean the difference between a couple of hundred engagements to 10,000 + as a few times now I have compared results from similar posts and it can be down to simple basics as was the photograph taken in the sunshine or not (Estate Agents will be familiar with this in regards to property photos, many using softwares to change a dull grey photo into clear blue sky settings and the difference in quality does stand out).
Yes, once you have released an update on social media then it is there for the world to see, you can die by the post you share or cover yourself in glory that a simple social media update can take your brand to stardom. With these odds in your hand and being that many business owners will be risk takers themselves, it seems a sensible move to try and maximise your usage of social media and adopt an attitude of experimenting until you get it right, once you get it right keep experimenting as goal posts change and new opportunities arise all the time to increase your exposure and chances of unlimited success if you find that golden ticket of a post.