The purpose is to provide a simple guide for business owners on how to use social media effectively. Whether you are new to social media or want to improve, Hixsons has some unique tools and ideas for you.
Objective of Using Social Media
To engage with customers, the market and new customers for research and communicate your brand as part of your marketing and communications plan. In time you may wish to break this down further to focus on Innovation, revenue generation, operational efficiency, specific customer experiences, product development and so on.
Why Use Social Media?
Because social media is measurable, you can easily do it and it is what brand leaders do. You cannot afford not to these days. In the final analysis, your brand is what you sell. Dell, for example, uses it across the whole value chain from research, supply, internal company communications, customer management and prospecting to after sales service.
How Does It Work?
We help our clients to work to a strategy that aligns personal and business objectives, and we also help with marketing plans, action points and a communications schedule. This schedule can include social media, newsletter, emails, PR, Case Studies etc. as appropriate: all coordinated and targeted based upon the opportunities the plans describe.
We keep it simple – you have plenty to do already. You can do a Post every day, perhaps three items to establish a presence. There are many social media platforms but in the UK the most visible are Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube, with business pages for Facebook more popular in certain sectors.
You may have keywords, services, products or brands where people search for you on the internet. You will want to be known for these in your posts. Start by choosing your key themes and ensure your team stick to using these.
Writing a Post
When you write a tweet, or post on a social media site, it will need to be concise. Try to keep it to 140 characters, which fits into a tweet. Then this can also be used for your other posts. Some other key considerations are:
- insert a hashtag # in front of keywords, this will make it searchable within Twitter and Facebook (not LinkedIn)
- if you find a webpage you want to share, you should see a share button you can click to turn the page into a link; if not copy the url and if that is too long you can go to a shorten url site
- inserting videos and images is recommended as they appeal to audiences and Google likes them, so your ranking improves.
Following and getting Followed
In business social media, unlike leisure posts, there is a structured, non-whimsical approach. So for example with Twitter, choose your themes, search on them and follow people and businesses interested in those themes or based on a given geography or sector search. You can look at a business and follow their followers or people who they follow. Again this helps manage geography, themes and sectors. A key action is to follow knowing a proportion will follow you back. These people then see your posts. Apart from those whose posts you really want to read, you should unfollow those who do not then follow you back. Subscribe to a tool such as SocialBro to analyse this and other key twitter analytics. For posting in advance and to all your social media sites in one place Hootsuite is good.
The aim is to become a source of quality content in your chosen area, both original and shared. Sources of your original content include:
- your own blog, from either your website facility or a free blog online
- your own video: low cost via webcam, using YouTube or Google hangouts or upload to posts
- articles and White Papers, or suggest to colleagues you will post and promote their articles
- pages on your website especially if you have self-edit capability
- links from one social media site to another of course especially those Google owned which provide SEO benefits
There are many sources of interesting content; here are some ideas:
- Google Alerts – enter a search query you wish to monitor and receive regular updates
- On Twitter search for topics, themes and then retweet, adding comments as appropriate if you wish. The same with other social media sites
- Lists on Twitter and http://listatlas.com/
- Keyword Search Tools e.g. http://www.marketsamurai.com/
- Free Flickr images NB note where images are free or copyrighted
- BBC feeds
- Chrome webstore apps: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/category/apps
- Tweets You Like
You will also find you own sites for good content. Here are a few examples:
Most businesses waste all the work they perform in research and content sharing. We can help you by saving it with an e-file system, and importantly, re use it.
Analytics – reviewing results
LinkedIn and Facebook have analytics called Insights. We find Hootsuite and SocialBro good for Twitter. YouTube and Google+ have their own analytics and obviously you can use Google Analytics for your website.
More Help or Questions?