In this series on social media marketing for business, we’ll be sharing some of the key information on getting more out of the social media in the most effective manner. Here we’re aiming to use our time wisely.
Just spent a few hours with a client called Nicki teaching her the key points of social media and how to manage her web presence on them. The most important lesson wasn’t how to use the platforms though, the key lesson was ‘managing time’.
In this half day session we setup her Facebook page, organised her Twitter profile, began to properly get her Linked In profile complete and also started her Google+ page. We also began her first blog.
But overall, the emphasis has been on using her time on these websites properly. And the reason I say this is because far too many people in business spend a lot of their time on social media and, even worse, the wrong social media. Worse still is that when you’re self-employed your time is your most valuable asset.
So let’s have a think about spending time on the appropriate social media:
First off, let’s look at Facebook. If you sell to businesses then Facebook will only ever be something like having a postcard ad up in your local supermarket. The reason I say that is because people who buy for businesses just don’t consider Facebook as a place to buy. (NB as of Dec 2013 this situation is rapidly changing and I’ll be writing more on this).
If you sell to consumers then you should definitely spend time there since that’s where your target market hangs out. Have a read of: http://buswebs.co.uk/2011/11/facebook-page-for-business-5-things-to-consider/ for more info.
Next up is Linked In. If you sell to businesses and professionals then Linked In should be an important part of your social media strategy since those on Linked In are normally there for professional networking purposes. When looking for business services many people do a search on Linked In to ask contacts if they know someone or to see if there’s someone in the area who comes highly recommended.
With Twitter the story is somewhat different. Here you can open up a dialogue with clients and contacts and also put out marketing messages too. Twitter has very broad appeal with consumers and those in business. However, if you’re in business then you need to try and consider what you put on Twitter. Very few people in the business community will want to know that you’re bursting to use the toilet or that you’ve just had egg and cress sandwiches for lunch. Yes, make it conversational but don’t go mad with tweeting every ten minutes on every little thing.
Google+ is the new kid on the block. It’s rapidly becoming a competitor to Facebook with an interface very much like Facebook a few years ago. The important difference with Facebook is that when you setup a Google+ page it’s public in that you don’t have to login to Google to see it. With Facebook pages you have to login to properly see all of the information.
Blogging is a very important consideration and should be an important part of your social media marketing, especially if you encourage readers to make comments. For more on this have a look at: 5 reasons why your business needs a blog.
So after going through all of this I’ve suggested to Nicki that, since she sells exclusively to small and medium business, then she should be focusing on Linked In and her blog. And spending no more than 2 or 3 hours a week altogether on social media.
Having said that, a friend of mine who runs a beauty therapy business spends almost all of her time on Facebook because her target clients are there. But even she doesn’t spend more than about 20 minutes a day on there.
So, to summarise: use the social media according to your target market but most importantly remember that you shouldn’t be spending all of your time there. Post stuff and respond to people but if you’re spending dozens of hours a week on the likes of Facebook then almost all of it will be a waste.
If you’d like some help with effectively using social media in your business then give us a call on 0116 3552194 and we’ll discuss your needs