Social media can be a great way to build awareness of your company and its services as well as allow you to connect with potential clients. It gives you a presence in the newsfeeds of the people you are trying to reach. Best of all, it is free to have a presence on the social media so you may as well take advantage of it.
You Should Be Using at Least One Social Network
If you are not already an avid social media user, the idea of beginning to promote yourself across multiple channels can seem exhausting. However, there isn’t a strong need to be present on every network. Some networks may not be appropriate for your work, too. For example, if you are not taking a lot of photos that highlight the type of work you do, Instagram is probably not the best use of your time. A great way to get started with using social media to promote your business is to pick one of the big networks to get started. Typically, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter are the best places to begin. Of course, you don’t have to choose just one and can get started on all three right away.
Understand the business tools on your networks
Once you have decided which networks are the most appropriate for your business, it is good to look at the business tools that are available. While setting up a Twitter for your business is the same process as setting up a personal account, Facebook and LinkedIn have special pages that are designed for businesses that have advantages over using a personal profile as your brand’s presence. All three networks, though, offer advertising options and basic analytics tools to track engagement with your followers.
Come up with a plan for content
When we post to our personal accounts, we are usually creating content in the moment and have not come up with an overall strategy on how to display our identities to our families and friends. Posting to a business account, though, is not the same as posting to a personal one. A good first step to creating a strategy is to understand the basics of how the different networks operate. On Twitter, for example, you would want to try and post frequently so as not to be completely lost in the constant chatter of other tweeters. Facebook and LinkedIn, though, are a little friendlier to less frequent posting.
Once you’ve decided how often you would like to update your followers, it is good to develop a plan to stay consistent with your timing and messaging. By planning your posts in advance, you never have to worry about sitting down at your computer or pulling out your phone only to find that you suddenly have nothing to say. In addition to thinking about how often to post, you’ll want to think about what to post. Does your website have a blog where you or your employees write articles? This would be a good source of original content for your page. Information about your services, client testimonials, industry updates, or event advertisements are also great things to share on your business’ social media accounts.
To stay consistent while not being beholden to logging into your account at specific times every day, it can be helpful to sign up for social media management platform. There are many options to choose from, such as Hootsuite or Sprout Social, so you should compare the services offered and the fees that are charged. Many offer free basic-level accounts so that you can get started exploring the tools before making the decision to pay for whatever added benefits they offer.
Tell people about your accounts
Now that you have created your social media accounts and come up with a plan for posting, start spreading the word about your business’ new profiles. The best place to start gathering new followers is with your current clients. Announce your new accounts in your next newsletter with links to them to encourage your mailing list to follow you. You can also add icons to your website for new visitors to become followers. If your company does tabling at conferences or tradeshows, create a sign with your social media accounts so that people know you have them.
Engage with your followers
Getting started can initially feel like talking to an empty room, however, once you get your first comment you have a new opportunity to engage with someone. It is good practice to respond to people who engage with your accounts. It can help convert them into followers if they are not already or even lead to converting followers into clients. While there is no magic formula to converting every engagement into a client, a good strategy for engagement can help to get a percentage of them on the phone or on your website. Go beyond a simple “thank you,” when someone posts and include some sort of question to try and draw them into conversation. You can come up with some response templates for common inquiries in advance if you are worried about writer’s block in the moment.