How To Get Your Business Set-up on Social Media

Nathalie Jones

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Whether you like it or not, your small business is competing with the digital giants: Amazon, Uber, Airbnb. The reality is that customers are expecting a digital experience from day one.

Sounds crazy, right?

Fortunately there are a few simple steps you can take to bring your small business to life on the internet. It may seem daunting at the start, but you’ll be fluent in no time.

Let’s start with social media.

Getting social

Facebook

What is it?

Facebook is a social media network that helps you connect with friends, family and colleagues by creating profiles, uploading photos/videos, and sharing content. It tends to be a more interpersonal platform that people use to communicate with their networks on a broader level and on an individual level through Facebook’s Messenger app. For many people, Facebook is the only form of social media they use.

Why use it?

Facebook is not only the most recognised social media platform but also the world's most used platform with over 1.55 billion active users. Therefore it is naturally the first place that many businesses start when they decide to enter into the social media sphere of promoting their business, simply due to the sheer number of potential customers that they can reach. Facebook allows businesses to setup a page and share content about opening hours, important information, photos of the space, and any updates that might help a customer plan a visit. For this reason, Facebook can be a great tool for communicating with your customers and meeting them on the platform where they already hang out.

How to use it?

Pick strong, high-resolution images for your company page

  • A strong profile picture and cover photo with a clear, catchy explanation of your company in the 'About' section is a must. You may want to use your company logo as the profile image and a team photo as the cover image. Coordinating these photos in addition to having a pinned post featuring evergreen content or a promotion are key in raising your brand’s profile.
  • Facebook has an emphasis on being fun and easy to use. Keep your posts visual and entice the viewer with rich photography, infographics and video content where possible. You may want to share visual content that is relevant to your brand, or you may want to create your own. In a perfect world, you’d strike a balance between the two.

Measure the performance of your Facebook page by using tracking URLS and Facebook Insights

  • By using tracking URLs you are able to see which of your posts are leading people to your website. This helps you tailor your Facebook page and ensure that only content with high engagement is posted to attract users and keep them interested.
  • To measure the engagement rate per post, it's a good idea to check out Facebook Insights. This will help you adjust posts to better suit your audience, thereby attracting higher click-through rates.

Twitter

What is it?

Twitter is a social media platform that only allows for messages - known as 'tweets' - of up to 280 characters long to be posted to your followers. Essentially it is a short and sweet communication platform for your business.

Why use it?

These 280 character tweets can encompass links to web content, such as blogs, eBooks, photographs or even videos. Visual content makes your tweets far more engaging, which in turn increases the likelihood that it will be shared and reach new potential customers. In 2018, people are being bombarded with information on social media. To achieve cut-through, you need to compose tweets that are insightful yet concise. If you produce insightful, useful content that respects your audience’s time, you increase the chances of them tuning into your channels regularly. Once you begin to attract an audience on Twitter, it can be a great way to quickly make announcements - such as changes to operating hours - or share content and increase your business’ profile.

How to use it?

It’s super easy. Create a profile, add a high-resolution photo as your profile picture, and pick a profile name (known as your ‘handle’). To get started just remember: 280 words, ideally witty or memorable, combined with engaging visual content.

LinkedIn

What is it?

LinkedIn is a social network for the corporate world, supercharging the processes of networking and recruitment. You can add ‘connections’ (instead of ‘friends’, as you would on Facebook), and people generally stick to posting work or business-related updates as opposed to personal information.

Why use it?

Think of LinkedIn as your digital resume. It’s a reflection of who you are in your professional life. Whether you are a business owner, manager or employee, it’s a great idea to have a presence on LinkedIn. Perhaps you could encourage each of your employees to sign up for LinkedIn and list your business as their employer. That way, customers who are researching your business will get a sense of the people behind it, and it gives them a more personal experience.

How to use it

You can set-up a personal page and a company page, but you will need to be conscious that the two pages will work together to form your overall business image. Customers may be clicking between the two and will form an impression based on the consistency of information and overall feel.

On your personal page, you have an opportunity to provide details on your qualifications, experience, skills, certificates, extracurricular activities, hobbies and interests. By including this information, you’re giving your audience a sense of who you are, and demonstrating your transparency and openness as a business leader. This brings customers one step closer to trusting your brand.

Whilst having a refined personal account is a definite boost to your business, ultimately having a clearly set out business account will ground your presence on LinkedIn. You may also want to join various small business industry groups and networks on LinkedIn in order to access first-hand relevant knowledge from your peers and contribute your own insights and learnings.

It will also serve as another way of making useful connections which may help you hire new employees, bring on new clients or even source other suppliers. Having these connections on LinkedIn is a way of formalising your network, and you never know when it’s going to come in handy.

Instagram

What is it?

Instagram is a visual sharing platform that allows people to view photos and videos from their friends and other organisations, getting a quick visual snapshot of what they’re up to. Instagram is a complement of Facebook as the two social media platforms are linked together, and you can post directly from Instagram to Facebook if you want to share your visual company updates with audiences on both platforms.

Why use it?

Instagram is quite an important platform as it has a captive audience that logs in daily. By creating visual content in diverse forms - such as infographics, photos and videos - you will be able to cater to your audience's wide preferences.

How to use it?

From the outset, identify a visual 'theme' for your business. By creating a style - which could be as simple as a recurring colour scheme - your business will be instantly recognisable to your audience.

In addition to a certain visual style for your businesses, you will also need to decide what your photos will concentrate on. For some businesses, such as cafes, this could be your own coffees or beans. For other businesses, the answer may not be so clear and you may need to seek out inspiration from others in your industry or spend some time testing different ideas.

While Instagram is predominantly a visual social media site, one cannot ignore the non-visual elements of Instagram. This involves the language you use in your captions. A popular technique used by businesses is the 'branded hashtag' which involves using a hashtag that embodies your Instagram presence and encouraging followers to share photos that fit into that similar theme.


Nat is the Communications Manager at Valiant Finance. She has a double degree in Journalism and Law, and a background in the fintech space, hailing from Asia's largest fintech hub, Stone & Chalk.

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