Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, TikTok…social media platforms are everywhere and it can be tough to know where to focus your attention when you want to start using social media for business. Once you make the decision to invest in social media, it can then be tricky to know how to do it well and ensure you see an ROI on your efforts.
Many businesses avoid social media for a variety of reasons – not enough understanding of how the platforms work or how they might be relevant to your company, not enough clarity on which platforms to focus on, and no idea of what to post to drive people to engage. Fortunately, there are some quick steps you can take to jumpstart your social media efforts.
Here are our top five tips for getting started using social media for business:
1. Audit your competitors
If you’re not sure what platforms your company should be on, there’s a simple place to start. Check out what your biggest competition is up to. Make a list of your top three competitors and search for their profiles on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, to start. See where each competitor is most active, how big their audiences are, what type of content is posted, how frequently, and how much engagement they receive. Then, it’s time to figure out how to do yours better!
2. Set up, or update, your profiles
Now that you know where your competition is hanging out, it’s time to join them. If you don’t already have social media pages set up, go ahead and open your accounts now. If you do already have profiles up, run a quick audit. Is all of your business information current? Is your profile photo captivating enough to grab the eye of someone scrolling through their feed? Is your profile completely filled out? Are there any old posts you might want to delete or tidy up before launching your new social media strategy?
3. Build your audience
If your audience is non-existent or small, then start by beefing that up. Send a quick email to your subscribers letting them know which platforms you’re active on, and asking them to follow you. It might be worth enticing them to follow you with a contest, giveaway, or teaser of sorts, depending on what makes the most sense for your business.
4. Create your social media editorial calendar
Having social media profiles isn’t going to do you any good if you don’t know what you should be posting. If inspiration hasn’t struck yet, then go back to our favorite trusty tactic: snoop on the competition! See what content they’ve posted that’s gotten the most engagement – comments, likes, shares, retweets, etc. Make note of any regular hashtags used by your competition and within your industry. Craft your editorial calendar around those posts and hashtags.
5. Post regularly and don’t forget to engage
The secret to good social media? Post regularly. People on social media want to see a company who engages with their audience frequently. If your last post was from 2017, chances are, someone in 2020 isn’t going to find your business credible. We recommend posting at least 2-3 times per week. Keep in mind: it’s not enough to post it and forget it. Check routinely to respond to any comments or questions. Showing you value your audience enough to respond and engage with them is critical to building brand loyalty and a strong social media presence.
Getting started on or jumping back into social media can be an overwhelming prospect, but when you break the task down into the five steps above, it becomes a much more manageable task! Make this the month you decide to recommit to building your company’s social media strategy.