This is the question I get most often when people are starting out using a Facebook page for their business, or sending their first tweets. “What am I supposed to say? Theres no-one out there who wants to listen to me ramble on, and what am I going to tell them that they cant get from the website anyway?”
That’s a complete misnoma. Social media is the place for you to put your brand, your brand message and brand vision on the page, and in front of both your current and potential customers at any given point in their day. That’s an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed. There are a couple of really important things to remember whenever you are writing something on a Facebook page, Tweeting at someone or even when you’re writing your website.
- Always speak to anyone online exactly the same way you would speak to a customer who was standing in front of them. Whether that’s you being super doper enthusiastic about everything, or using particular words that you always reference, the social media experience of your brand is supposed to be an extension of your physical presence. So be yourself, be courteous and (moving onto my second point) be interesting!
- Be interesting! Don’t just post boring updates because you feel you have to. You love what you do (and if you don’t, then maybe that’s a conversation for a later date!), so try and put that enthusiasm on the page. More often than not, being interesting means talking about more than just yourself and your business. Talk about your industry. Talk about your competitors, talk about the country you’re in and whats going on there, talk about public events – but remember to tie it back to your brand
CHALLENGE: Grab a piece of paper, or a note book and draw a mind-map like the one below. You can even print this one if you like. What are the topics that you can list under these headings that you can talk about during the week?
- Stay on brand. Don’t talk about stuff you like in your personal life (**cough cough, cat lovers) if it has absolutely no relevance to your business. Remember, in most instances your social media channels are going to be the first contact that potential customers have with your business. Make sure that they have absolutely no doubt about what you and your brand are about, and what it is you do.
- Post as often as is suitable for the different platforms. This is an important one, and one I get asked all the time. Ill go into more detail about this when I break down each of the different platforms, but for now, this is my version of the tried-and-tested rules: Twitter: 5 tweets a day, spread out across the day Instagram: Daily Facebook: Once every two days (or so) LinkedIn: Once a week Pinterest: Three times a week, 3 or 4 pins per session. Google+: Once every two days (or so) Blogging: Once a week to once a fortnight*Remember, the updates you post during the week cross over ALL of these platforms – you don’t gave to write 50-odd updates in a week! So when you post on Facebook, put a version of that onto Twitter and Google+ etc.
- Use Hashtags sparingly. There is nothing more annoying than seeing someone dump hashtags in a post – that is put about 500 of them on each psot – that have nothing to do with what they are saying, or are just so long and all over the shop. Its (one of) my pet peeve in life. Use hashtags, because they are important on all platforms. But use about 3 of them per post, and only on the highlights – so if you have written a post about Growing Organic Garlic, hashtag #growing #organic #garlic, not #about #howto #organicgarlic etc.
- Remember to use pictures. Everyone has pics for their business, whether its from events, or photos you had taken for your website. Use those where you can, as its going to make people more interested in your posts, like your content and respond better to your brand overall.
- If you have staff, get them involved! Your staff are your greatest asset in your marketing, they will push people to ‘Like’ your Facebook page, they will share your content, and they might even create your content for you! So if you have someone on your team doing something really great, like charity runs etc, bring it to your social media pages. If you have customer service team, talk to them about what complaints they get all the time, and look at ways you can address those concerns in a blog post. Social media is all about the team effort.
- The first post you make is going to be the hardest one. But its an important step, and the key is don’t over think it. Even something as simple as “This is whats going on in the office today” is a good place to start. Then you can do the brainstorming activity above to start the conversation for tomorrow.
- Remember to create a ‘Call to Action’ on most of your posts. We are trying to get the people on your page to purchase, consume, get involved, do SOMETHING. Whatever that is, remember to push them towards that action in your posts. Whether its “Check out the website for more information on this product” or “Go sign this petition” or even “Sign up for our newsletter” – the aim of the game is to get customers interacting with your brand on a couple of different levels, and accepting your advice.
- Ask Questions. Everyone (including me) loves to feel important. So ask people how you can do your job better, what they think about contentious issues, what their favourite something is. Again, so long as its on brand message, these questions can be a great way to get people engaged with your posts, and that means that they will notice more of them down the line. Im going to talk about driving engagement via Facebook in another post, so lets all hang onto our hats for that!
Social media becomes second nature if you persevere with it. But it absolutely requires dedication. But as you know (because you are reading this blog), its important to the future of your business, and can greate a great experience with your customers if done well. If you want more tailored advice specifically for your business, get in touch and we can book in a consultation, where I can give you really specific advice on your businesses situation. Have you applied any of the rules I have outlined above to your business profiles? How have they worked for you? (*See what I did there? Just checking to see you were paying attention at the end)