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Social Media: You’ve signed up but now what?

This isn’t a post from 2005. Instead, a look at how businesses and brands sometimes make a false start into the world of social.

I think most businesses have got their heads around the idea that social media is a good thing. Many have used it with great success to generate new leads, increase sales and double up on their marketing efforts without doubling their budgets.

That’s not the case for all though. Some have dipped their toe in the social water, setting up profiles on Facebook and Twitter, but feel overwhelmed when it comes to deciding where to go from there. With that in mind here are a few essential (but often forgotten) tips to get you going on social.

Looking good.

Ensuring the appearance of your profiles on Facebook and Twitter is aligned with your company branding elsewhere is essential. Make sure you use big enough images so that they appear sharp and not pixelated. Both platforms require a profile picture and a cover photo.

The profile picture appears both on the profile pages and also next to all of your posts. The cover photo is a large, wide image which appears at the top of your profile. In most cases a company logo will work best for the profile picture. Cover photos can be more varied, a large photograph can sometimes look best and will work across desktop and mobile.

There is also the option to use the cover photo as advertising space for your latest offers or a highlighted product or service – if you go down this route you should check out Facebook and Twitter’s terms and conditions just to avoid any problems.

Find your audience and listen to them.

One of the most common mistakes brands make on social is that they slip into an output only mode. Posting update after update but never taking the time to listen to what is going on around them. Split the time you are allocating to your social media efforts between posting new content and interacting with others.

When you are starting out you want people to know that you are there. Liking or commenting on a post from an existing customer or client is far more effective than just inviting or telling them to like your page.

You will also want to take time to find people and companies you already know on the platform and others who could be potential new customers or clients. Regularly spending time on this is the best way to grow your audience and raise awareness that you are active on social.

Consistency and Commitment.

Many businesses will not be in a position to hire a dedicated social media manager but it is important that you commit time and resources once you have signed up. Even a few hours a week is better than nothing.

Post consistently, at least once a day on Facebook and more frequently on Twitter. Plan content in advance so that you don’t get stuck with nothing but be prepared to be flexible and spontaneous as this will provide you with some of the most engaging content.

Find your voice. Stand out.

Tone of voice is, in my opinion, the slippery eel of the content marketing world. Get it right and you’ll be scoring wins left, right and centre. Get it wrong and you’ll experience the tumbleweed response previously reserved for bad stand-up comedians.

Tricky as it may be, it is worth giving a bit of thought to what your company or brand’s tone of voice on social media should be. This can change and evolve over time but it won’t hurt to have a bit or direction from the outset.

Go for it.

There are no hard and fast rules with social media. It’s a platform which you can really make work for you. The hints and tips in this guide (and the thousands of others out there) can steer you in the right direction but there is no guarantee all of them will work.

The best thing to do is just get stuck in. Start posting right now. You really won’t know what works until you try it and as long as you commit to posting regularly and reviewing how your content is performing, it is very difficult to fail (completely).

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Social Content Manager at Redberry Digital

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