While someone may have a gourmet kitchen with fancy equipment, that doesn’t make them a professional chef. The same can be said for business tools. Having premium tools means nothing if you aren’t using them effectively. This is often the case with how small companies choose to use their Social Media... an indispensable marketing tool that happens to touch on most aspects of our daily lives
Some people wake up and immediately focus on Social Media. Others only rely on Social Media to find local businesses around them that can provide a needed service. In order to stand out to audiences like these, you can’t just create a couple of pages and hope for the best – you have to craft a Social Media strategy that works for your business.
Let's start with a quick crash course on some Social Media basics.
- Facebook is one of the most popular Social Media sites and is used by the widest audience. It makes sense for most businesses to use this platform, as they’ll have access to the largest amount of users. Facebook gives prospective customers a chance to learn more about your company, ask you questions directly, and share their experiences in the form of public reviews.
- Twitter is another popular platform and is a great place to share announcements, tips, photos and quick videos. Users can interact with you by responding to Tweets or sending direct messages, but they can’t leave reviews for others to see.
- Instagram continues to be one of the fastest growing platforms, bringing in more and more users at a high rate. Instagram is a visual platform where you can share photos and videos. In recent times, Instagram has become more business friendly, allowing users to advertise products and share promotions with customers. This platform is great if you’re looking to reach a younger audience.
In order to make the most out of your Social Media presence, it’s important to answer a few questions first.
“What is the function of my Social Media?“
A garage door company won’t be using Facebook the same way a pet care facility will. This is why it’s important to never take a one-size-fits-all approach to Social Media. A garage door company will likely use Facebook to field service requests in messages and respond to reviews from customers. A pet care business will probably use Facebook to keep customers engaged with photos of the staff and even cute pictures of animal guests. Both strategies are valid in their own way, as they demonstrate a knowledge of each business’s audience and needs.
Answering the above question will guide you to the next one.
“What will my audience want to see?”
Another way to make sure you use your Social Media effectively is by considering your audience. Put yourself in their shoes and think about what they would want to see. Your landscaping company’s Twitter feed should probably feature photos of impressive projects, because your audience is likely made of prospective customers evaluating whether your work can meet their expectations. On the other hand, a fencing company may be well-suited to post fence maintenance tips to their Facebook page, as their audience is interested in keeping their perimeter fence looking its best.
The answer to this question may help you filter out Social Media pages that you likely don’t need to spend as much time on. Your plumbing company probably doesn’t need to maintain an Instagram page if you don’t expect your audience to tune into photos of your technicians’ work. An exception is if you focus on sharing high end plumbing installations or occasionally dip your toes into basic bathroom or kitchen remodeling jobs. It’s best to place your focus on a select amount of profiles that make sense to you, rather than opening up as many profiles as possible and hoping for the best.
“What is my end goal with Social Media?”
Some people use social to find new customers, while others use it to retain them. Think about what it is you really want, and whether or not a Facebook or Twitter page will do that for you. Spending company time on Social Media is a more worthy cause when you have set goals and expectations to track. These goals will also help to shape what you’re posting and how you present your company online.
Social Media is infamous for taking up way too much of people’s time. Don’t let the same be said of your business. Make sure you’re spending quality time on your company’s Social Media and carefully considering its potential. Done right, Social Media can get you new, high-quality clients that will stick around.