Social Media is the most cost effective way to promote you and your business, and with several platforms available, it’s a case of trying and seeing which one suits your line of business best. The other factor with social media, is that it never sleeps and there are opportunities to connect and engage with businesses abroad, and the prospect to take your product or service to new areas of the world.
However, Social Media can also take up a lot of time, and unless you have someone monitoring and posting on social media for you full-time, how do you ensure that you remain active?
Platforms such as Twitter only have a 20 minute time-frame, so unless you’re tweeting 3 times per hour, you could be missing out on getting your information in front of the right people, at the right time, and this may mean monitoring tweets throughout the day, and stressing over missing windows of opportunity. Same goes for most other platforms. However, with the right tools and knowledge, you can ensure that you have a maintained presence.
Hootsuite for Social Media
Are you familiar with Hootsuite? If not, read on. If so, see our tips below re networking hours. Hootsuite is a free social media tool that is used for scheduling posts. You can download it here, and can use for free with up to six social media profiles. There is an option to have more than six, but this will cost you a few pounds per month!
I use Hootsuite to schedule various blogs across several platforms, predominantly, Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and LinkedIn. The trick with Hootsuite is to identify, at the beginning of each week or day, the best times of the day to schedule posts for. I undertook some research before I implemented Face for Business’ social media strategy, and found that certain platforms worked better for us at different times of the day. So, I schedule tweets regularly throughout the working day, and include posts within networking hours. I schedule posts on Facebook a few times per day, and of a weekend (when we have found our posts receive most traction), and Google Plus posts are scheduled for twice daily – first thing of a morning and late afternoon. I also incorporate my LinkedIn profile on Hootsuite, and am able to post in the groups I manage also.
Tips on maintaining a social media presence:
- Facebook and Google + also have short timeframes, but if you manage your social media strategy correctly, you can have enough presence.
- Having a good network is also prevalent to success on social media. You need to connect with organisations that find your product or service of benefit. They are more than likely to RT or share your posts…
- When posting, tag in lines of business or companies that you are trying to target. This raises your profile, and if the company finds your post of interest, they are likely to share, retweet and repost.
- Join in ‘live’ networking and conversations – there are various networking hours on twitter for your region, that take place several times a week, and at different times of the day. For example, #NorthWestHour (@NorthWestHour) takes place on a Monday 3-4pm, Wednesday 8-9pm and Friday at 9-10pm. See end of post for a comprehensive list of hashtag networking hours.
- Post news from your industry, or the industry you are trying to target. For example, we posted news on how to drive fuel efficient, incorporated it into a blog and circulated it to driving school accounts and groups.
- Be someone who shares valuable and informative news to your sector – be a leader of information and tweet or post articles from the news (such as The Guardian or Telegraph), or features from online industry magazines. Businesses are likely to look forward to your tweets and may add you to their Lists.
- Change your AVI/Profile pic to link in with campaigns and initiatives. During Small Business Saturday UK, we changed our profile pictures across all platforms to show a unity with the campaign. This shows that you’re supportive, and again, shows that you are knowledgeable. Knowledge is power! We also changed our profile pictures during our birthday to raise awareness of Help for Heroes.
- Always reply to your notifications. Etiquette and courtesy is everything on social media. Be ‘social’ and reply to as many notifications you can.
- Use current trends to your advantage. Look on Twitter and Google trends, and tweet posts including the hashtag, this will bring your posts up when people are searching using the trending hashtags.
In conclusion, you can use social media to your advantage and can adapt the way you use it to suit your marketing and targeting strategies. Facebook seems to be good for business to consumer, LinkedIn is a great platform for promoting business to business and Twitter is a great platform for any business. Google Plus, is also a great visual way of posting information, as it doesn’t have character limitations as Twitter and Facebook does.
The key, I think, to social media, is to be active and ensure that you have enough interesting and engaging posts, blogs, articles, features. Even links to your company’s you tube channel. Consider publishing your presentations on Slideshare.net. Mix your posts up! Have a variety of informative posts at the ready, and plan in advance.
Use Hootsuite to schedule your posts on a weekly basis, ensuring you maintain a presence, and try and engage in a few networking hours on twitter. Visit Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Plus on a daily basis and ‘like’, ‘share’ and repost others, in the hope that they will reciprocate.
Links to further reading
Daily Hashtag hour list for Twitter: http://www.mymarketingguy.co.uk/a-hashtag-hour-daily-listing/
See my previous post on SM Experts re hashtag hours here – http://www.smexperts.co.uk/general/hashtag-hours-business
Feel free to follow Face for Business on all our social media mediums, and be sure to visit our website at www.ffb.co.uk. Face for Business is the UK’s favourite business telephone answering service.