Staring out on social media: the do’s and don’ts for small businesses.
When it all boils down, there are two types of industries: those that have been reshaped by digital technology, and those that will soon follow.
In our world’s current business climate, the turn to the digital world is unavoidable. Businesses are now being run entirely online, and as we’ve seen with the recent announcements about the ABC Shop closures, physical retail is rapidly being replaced by an online presence. But, if you’re looking to go digital or at least enhance your digital presence in the world, knowing what you’re doing is crucial to gaining a following.
What many businesses in Australia struggle to do is turn their investment in the digital sector into a tangible investment and profit for their business. When approaching the digital world and social media with your business’ presence in mind, it’s important to leave your preconceived business strategies at the door. What works in real life might not always translate well into the social media world. The approach you need to take encompasses digital strategy alongside your knowledge of the business world, in a holistic approach that doesn’t leave one aspect of your online presence in the dust. Utilising the necessary analytic tools to understand your customers and channelling them alongside strategies tailored for the digital world, you can make sure your business is adapting to the move to the digital world.
But it’s easier said than done, so we’ve compiled a few tips to help you get ahead with your business’ social media presence, so you can really take control on the digital stage.
Know your audience
If you’ve been running your businesses in a physical space, it’s likely you’ll already know who you’re targeting, but if you’re starting out in the digital world, it’s important to figure out who you want to be seeing your posts. It’s no use posting on Pinterest if your target market don’t stray away from Instagram, and will result in a waste of your time and energy.
Figure out the content they want to see
Once you understand who is looking at your page, you need to know what they want to see you post. There’s no point posting content that they don’t engage with or find relevant on your page, as it will do nothing to drive your business’ own profits.
Work out what you want from social media
Are you trying to drive traffic to your website? Or do you want to gain an audience for another reason? Looking to get more people into your physical shopfront? It’s important to work out what you need from social media before you start trying to use it, or you could start sending very mixed messages to your audience. The way you interact with social is going to change depending on your desired end goal.
Look at what your competitors and inspirations are doing
To figure out the path you want to take, have a look at similar businesses and how they are using social. Perhaps there’s a company you would really like to emulate? Look at how they interact with their customers via social platforms and you could pick up a few tricks to boost your own audience. It’s likely they’ll have quality content, which might inspire you to up your own social media game.
Treat every platform the same way
It might be easy to post the same content across all of your social media channels, but all that’s going to do is bore your audience and miss a vital target market. Whilst all social media platforms have some similarities, they were each developed with a certain strategy and use in mind, which you can capitalise on for your business’ growth.
Copy anyone else’s social strategies
Whilst we’ve said that you should be looking to see what your competitors and inspirations are up to, make sure the content you’re posting is original to your own account. If you’re copying posts from other people, you’ll not only step on a lot of toes, but you’ll also lose a huge amount of authenticity and integrity that your followers will want to be seeing from you.
Oversaturate your social media pages
Knowing your audience and what they want to see from your page doesn’t give you an excuse to oversaturate your page with that content. Instead, post strategically, with your content timed to receive the maximum effect. Have a promotion or sale coming up? Utilise the excitement around that to boost interest on social. But if there’s nothing on, there’s no need to be spamming your followers with filler posts that could just get frustrating and lead them to unfollow.
Lose sight of why you started
Maintaining authenticity and integrity is so important when starting a business, and if it’s something you’re passionate about, make sure you keep that passion alive through your social media channels. Use them to explain why you do what you do and why you believe in your business, and make sure it’s your authentic self that is coming through on your social posts, not just your professional self.