As a small business owner, you already know that social media should be a key part of your business marketing strategy. But you probably have questions. LOTS of questions, like:
Which social platforms should you be using?
Is Facebook still a thing?
Is Instagram any good for my type of business?
Should I be vLogging? (And while we're at it, what is a vLog?)
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Just like Bill Gates once said “content is king”, Facebook has rapidly established themselves as the king of social media.
If you’re not currently investing your resources into the platform that touts over 2 billion active users a month, ask yourself why that is and figure out what you can do to fix it.
Is it hard to get your head around? There’s a wealth of free knowledge out there about how best to generate leads and engage your audience.
Does it take up too much time? You can automate everything from posts to advertisements. You can even set up automatic replies from your business page in response to common questions (like business hours).
Much like Google, Facebook constantly tweaks their rules and guidelines around how businesses can use the site, so make sure you keep on top of any changes to generate the best ROI that you can.
Twitter still has a status as somewhat of an unknown in the business world, having acquired a reputation as a platform for celebrities and presidents rather than as a constructive tool to grow your business.
Because of this, a lot of small businesses opt to engage their audience on more ‘known’ platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, but you may be missing out on the unique advantages that Twitter can bring.
One of the benefits of using Twitter is the ease with which others can find your brand. Using relevant hashtags means greater exposure to audiences that might not normally come across your company.
If you can tailor your content to be snappy yet effective, don’t be surprised if you start attracting some engagement from unconventional sources! All it takes is one retweet for your brand to go viral.
It’s also a great way to directly engage with and build out your professional network, whether through targeted collaborations or simply an exchange of ideas.
You may think that the visual nature of Instagram means that if you’re not a fashion brand, a travel company or a food blogger, then what could the platform possibly bring you?
You don’t have to be the next ‘Instagram model’ to utilise the platform to your needs. You can use quotes to inspire your followers, share photos of events you’ve been at or even just give a ‘behind the scenes’ sneak peek into your day to day life as a small business.
Getting the most out of Instagram just requires you to think a little creatively. Instead of crafting wonderfully worded copy, instead try to figure out how you can convey that into an image. Work backwards – figure out the message you want to tell and then try to represent that visually.
Everyone knows LinkedIn is the premier platform for ‘professionals’ in the 21st century, but it’s not just a place to list your job history. Be it connecting with influential figures in your industry or sharing your insights through an article, LinkedIn can help to elevate both your individual and your business profile.
Like Facebook, LinkedIn works great because of the variety of content that performs well on there. Whether it’s text, pictures or video, it’s just a matter of figuring out which type of medium resonates with which type of audience. The good news is that you can use all three interchangeably to keep your followers engaged and tweak your marketing strategy over time based on what performs the strongest.
LinkedIn also offers inbuilt services to businesses that help them to hire talent, create targeted advertisements and constantly improve their skills through the offering of over 13,000 courses.
YouTube is great for attracting followers that may not be on a site like LinkedIn, while also allowing you to test out long-form video ideas that maybe don’t work so well on those other platforms.
Livestreaming – also available on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – means that you can see comments as they come in live, letting you interact with your audience in real time and shape the conversation. While not seen as the most traditional website to build your business on, you can use the fact that it’s not as heavily utilised as Facebook or Instagram to draw those untapped viewers into your orbit.
You can upload a range of videos under one brand – ranging from topical takes about your industry, common questions asked by your customers, personal ‘vlog’ style videos and much more – and separate them into playlists so your audience can more easily find what they’re looking for.
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