Social Media seems to be the new kid on the block and is a hot topic amongst business owners. There are those who feel that a company’s online presence can only be done by someone from within the company and then there are those who are only too glad to be able to pass the job on to someone else. The truth is… there is only one successful view on the matter and that is a combined view of both corners.
First prize will always be to have an in-house social media manager – someone who is employed by your company and who has experience specifically in the online world. This (and I repeat) is NOT a job to pass off to the new intern or to hand over to your cousin’s daughter’s son! But, as the business world goes things aren’t always operating in an ideal world and if you are not a large corporate company then you might not have so many people at your disposal or even the budget to employ someone full time for this.
If you are the “I do it all because I don’t trust anyone else type” or the solo entrepreneur who has no choice then you’ll know better that anyone your time is already stretched to breaking point. You simply do not have time to take a shot in the dark and hope something falls on solid ground – especially when it comes to social media!
Ideally (and this applies even if you outsource or give the job to someone internally) you should be as invested in your business’ page as the person who is managing it. Make sure that if you get someone else to do it, they have a keen spirit and drive to make it a success. You should be working together on creating content that you can preschedule so that the social media manager knows exactly what you would like him/her to focus on and how you see things rolling out. If you have business insights to share or something exciting in the pipeline then let them know so that they can capitalize on it and use it online to your advantage. They should know how to make a fuss online for your, but they might not always know what it is they are suppose to fuss about! You cannot expect to hand it over and never look back again.
Here is a quick look at some tips to consider when looking into the world of a social media…
My top 10 tips for getting started:
- familiarize yourself with your chosen platform*. It doesn’t help you one bit if you cannot get even the basics such as uploading an image right. If this is you, then I think you have two options… either go on a course and get your basic understanding OR just save yourself lots of waisted time and outsource this to a professional (NOT YOUR SON/DAUGHTER).
*this is a fancy word for which ever social media you choose such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, ect.
- decide what you have time for and commit to making it happen without fail. Everybody wishes they had time to post 3 times per day every day of the week but in reality, not many of us have the time! Why not start off slow and commit to posting at least once a week. Make sure that this one post is well planned and business related because please… if I don’t know you I really don’t care about what the cat ate for lunch.
- it’s not all about the LIKES. Before you even launch that page, make sure that you have a clear understanding of who your ideal clients are. You want to attract people who, in the long run, will become clients because lets face it, we’re not putting in all the effort to make some new friends. You’re better off having 200 LIKES from people who really are interested in the content you post than having 5000 LIKES from people who randomly liked your page one day and couldn’t really be bothered to ever have anything to do with you. Yes, initially you should get your family and friends to like and share your page because it does help get the word out and make it personal but after a little while, refocus on getting those ideal clients onboard instead of chasing a random number.
- make it easy for visitors to navigate around on your page. They don’t have time to try and find a way to contact you or to look for your services so make sure the most important parts are right there staring them in the face. Your contacts sections needs to be clear! However you want to be contacted (via email, cellphone or direct message) needs to be clearly visible! Please don’t make the mistake of leaving it off because you don’t want to be found. Remember that Facebook will see that and then question how legitimate you really are therefore limiting your reach even further. Just don’t make life difficult for your potential clients because they will move on in a heart beat. Remove any unwanted tabs from you page too! If you’re never going to host events then why have a blank “events tab” on your page!
- graphics matter more than you think! If you do nothing else, make sure that your icon and cover image are appealing and set up correctly. You should treat them the same way you treat your reception area or display window. It has the potential to welcome people to your page and keep them a little longer, or to make the click and run! Remember to also view your page on a cellphone to insure that nothing is dropped off when viewed at a smaller size (Ps. even I forget to check this one from time to time).
- keep things professional. I cannot emphasize this one enough! Posting a puza-thursday pic of you doing the tango with Jimmy at the new gin bar really isn’t something you need your current or potential clients to see (unless you are trying to attract the tango club to your new gin bar).
- always respond to everything that happens on your page. Yes, I know it is a lot to ask for but if someone shares your post, say thank you… if someone mentions your business as a referral, say thank you… basically SAY THANK YOU! If someone leaves a nasty complaint on your timeline (ps. there are settings to help avoid this if you need it) then address the issue professionally by acknowledging the situation and asking for their email address of contact number so that you can follow up. This will show others that you are hands on and always willing to listen!
- to link or not to link? This is something you really need to think about and decide for yourself how to proceed. If you are on your own and you want to get the word out about your business then why shouldn’t you link it to your personal profile!? If however, you are a large corporate with a bigger staff following you should think about whether you want to allow your employees to openly state that they belong to your business. People often forget that if they list their place of employment publicly online, whatever they post on their own page can have a ripple effect to the business page. It is therefore really important to have this chat with your staff members and explain the situation. If they are lead stars in our Thursday night tango sessions with Jimmy and love posting those selfies tagging everyone but the Queeen herself, then perhaps request that they not list their place of employment. There are contracts in place for these type of things so if you are concerned, just ask around! There are a few things you can do on the setup of your page that either allows things or forces people to submit things for your approval so again, make sure your settings are correct.
- find an app! By now even the computer illiterate knows there is an app for everything. If you need an app to assist with making your pics “prettier” then do it, if you need an app to remind you to post content, then find it but just take a look and ask around because there really are LOADS (and often free) apps that will make your life just a little bit easier.
- find a business buddy who, in your opinion, is doing a good job of running it themselves and see if they would mind you asking them the occasional question from time to time. Alternatively you could join one of the many online communities (such as a Facebook group) where you can freely ask for opinions or assistance as you grow. Incase you’ve missed it, I have created a Facebook group for specifically this reason so check it out >> Bosses Mean Business.
The online world of social media is bursting at the seems, so much so that even Facebook recognizes it and makes use of the infamous (and dreaded) Facebook Algorithm to determine what is relevant or not. My reason for mentioning this and ending on this note it that I urge you to make sure that any content you publish on social media has a purpose and is part of a bigger plan! Random posts about info that nobody could be bother to read will not retain your visitors and will damage your brand in the long run – not to mention what it does for your page’s visibility stats.
Remember with social media… the Algorithm is always watching!
If all of the above blows your brain and you need help, I am simply an email away so visit my website www.leciamaral.com or say hello on Facabook @LeciaAmaralDesigns. I love chatting about this topic!