5 steps to using social media effectively

Written By Emma Lowe

Getting effective interaction on social media has three main basic requirements:

  1. Time
  2. A clear view of what you want to achieve.
  3. A commitment to interacting regularly and consistently.

You don’t need to spend big budgets on social media to get results, but you do need time and resource. Once you have decided which social media platforms are best for your business (tip: don’t go for all at once, nail one or two first), then create a plan of the following:

 

Who do you wish to engage with?

For Facebook, if you are an IFA for example, you may wish to connect with potential local customers who may be interested in your services. Think about who will need your service and the help you can give them.

For LinkedIn you may want to connect with peers who you can network with and learn from and vice versa – to expand your own personal brand as knowledgeable in your business area.

When you have a view on who you wish to target then consider which social media channel maybe best for this. Do some research and checkout what your competitors do!

 

Clear and consistent messages

If you can, then create a month by month content plan to identify the key messages you want to communicate. Ad hoc messaging is fine, but to ensure you tell the full story of your business then a clear plan will help deliver and provide consistency.

Make sure your posts are not too ‘salesy’. For every five posts then one should be sales-focused. In a very busy online environment people need a reason to read your post and click through, for example consider looking at how to:

 

  • Provide insight or thoughts on an industry topic
  • Give hints and tips for people looking to save money or make an investment
  • Promote discounts, free consults and promotions
  • Provide case studies and testimonials of how you have helped other clients.

 

Remember that your followers are following you for a reason, probably because they have an initial interest in what you do. But for them to see you as an expert in your field then you need to develop your credibility and gain their trust so they are far more likely to use you when the time comes. Not everyone will need your services straightaway, it’s a waiting game but by being regular with your posts and relevant with your messages then you will be who they think of when the time comes.

 

Link to website

A simple element but often missed in many posts. Link your channels back to your website and lead people through to relevant pages and content on your site.

If you have a message about mortgages for first time buyers, link it through to a page on your site that supports this – include a strong call to action to make an enquiry or book an appointment.

Social media is a great tool to increase website visitors and to encourage people to have a look through your site and see more of what you do, so you can then generate enquires and leads.

 

Get creative

Use a range of imagery that portrays your brand and messaging. There are numerous free image sites out there that give you full commercial access to great images, have a look at:

www.unsplash.comsocial media

www.pixabay.com

www.pexels.com

Have a search, there are loads of sites you can use.

Or create your own message creatives with tools such as canva.com or getstencil.com – great ways to create imagery with your own messages and branding.

 

Be consistent and engaging

Ideally for any social media channel then you need to be posting at least 4-5 times a week, as the minimum. This can seem quite time-consuming but you can use scheduling tools to get a host of messages scheduled to go out at set–times, have a look at: Hootsuite.com or postcron.com

Use hashtags and tag in businesses and people in your posts where relevant. This will create a higher awareness of your posts and those you tag may well like and share your posts as well, so their audience will see it too.

Remember every post you put out there, or every post you share is a representation of you so keep it focused on your business, be compliant and don’t get too personal!

You need to be in social media for the long haul to get the engagement, brand awareness and your credibility out there. There are paid activities you can also do on social but we’ll look at these next time.

 

Or if you feel you just don’t have the time to get your social media started and keep it going consistently then we can help – call us on 07867 794141, email emma@hellomarketingconsultancy.co.uk. Social media packages start from as little as £150 a month.

www.hellomarketingconsultancy.co.uk

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