Having a social media presence in 2015 should be a given. You’re probably already on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and maybe even Instagram. You’ve got a couple of handfuls of followers and engagement – how customers interact with your social media updates and posts – is going okay.But how do you take social media to the next level, gain more clients and help your business grow? (1) Identify Think about what exactly it is you want to achieve. Are you lacking in the followers department? Do you need to increase your engagement? Or is your businesses struggling with creative content? Once you’ve identified which part of your social media presence needs shaping up, it’ll be a lot easier to give it some structure. Think small, aim big. (2) Strategise Having a clear and thought out strategy for social media is imperative to making your presence work. Don’t throw out posts ad hoc: who knows when they’re going to be seen?Using scheduling tools such as Hootsuite, Buffer or Edgar can really help you optimise your posting times and allow for updates to be structured. Think about when your posts will gain the most engagement, and why. Is it because you’re posting at the right time of day, or is it because the post is the perfect content? Play about with structure and strategy and run some tests to really fine-tune your social media presence. (3) Content People use social media to look for information. Does your business have a blog section? If not, you’ll need to rectify that ASAP. Content marketing – using self-written editorial to promote your business – is the thing to be onboard with this year, but the content itself has to be of value. It needs to be interesting and relevant to your audience. It’s a way of communicating with your customer base and building loyalty. For example, let’s say your business specialises in bathrooms. Instead of using the blog section to posture and tell your audience how great you are at fitting bathrooms, why not write a piece about how to choose the perfect taps, or what the ideal bathroom suite consists of and why. Pieces of content like these will inform your audience, drive social media engagement and in return you’ll be rewarded with loyalty. (4) Visibility Too often businesses get so embroiled in social media, they forget one of the key reasons why they’re there in the first place – to market their business. Give your business the visibility it needs. Don’t become another one of those brands who use boring stock photos alongside their content. Show real people, doing real things. Show Brian from Accounts, show Marsha in Advertising – what are they up to? Do they have any stories to tell? Get creative. Make it personable, and the reward will be that customers feel connected to your business. (5) Invest To really take your social media to the next stage, you’re going to have to initially make a key investment: your time. We know that businesses are already pushed for time – so many meetings to attend, so many invoices to chase. However, investing some time each week for your social media strategy, and adhering to the above points, will see a positive elevation of your presence and in turn more customers. More customers equals more business. A bit of a no-brainer really? Claire Beveridge is a writer and content producer at Crunch Accounting.
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