Social Media for business – part one

Since we opened our Nottingham office last year, we’ve been making the most of as many of the fantastic local training and workshop opportunities available to us. As an agency, we strive to remain supportive of our teams’ development – we regularly take Google exams and attend Bootcamp sessions, and make as much time as we can for opportunities to further our knowledge and expertise.

I have recently attended a two day Digital Growth workshop, Integrating Social Media into Your Business. It’s designed to help individuals with all manners of backgrounds, in all manners of industries, evolve their understanding of social media and determine the relevancy of the different platforms, in order to grow and drive success. Here are some of the key take-outs from day one.

1. Before you even begin to consider entering the social media maze, it’s imperative that you truly know what your audience, or your ideal customer, looks like. Start with their age, gender, location and interests – are they predominantly male? Do they shop online or prefer to visit you in person? Do they have any particular interests or hobbies? Unless you know this information, it’s going to be near impossible to target them appropriately and effectively.

In the world of social, knowledge really is power – by understanding your ideal customer, you can predict which platforms they’re using and what type of media they’re more likely to consume. For example, if you’re looking to target the over 65s, there’s little point in setting up a Snapchat account since data informs us that this demographic simply isn’t using Snapchat in sufficient numbers to make your efforts worthwhile.

2. In order to determine precisely who you’re speaking to via social platforms, you need to thoroughly research your market. There are many methods of obtaining factual customer information that are freely available, quick and easy to use.

A great tool is Facebook’s Ad Manager – located at the bottom left of your Facebook Homepage, under ‘Create > Ad’. It’s fairly intuitive and straightforward, allowing you to refine the objectives of your ad in order to gain real insight into your ideal target audience – their size, age, gender and interests – based on their actual search habits, and all at the click of a button (or two).

3. Another important message delivered during the session, is the importance of making the effort with customers post-purchase. People are very much influenced by people – it’s often the personal touches that are valued most, particularly when it comes to impressing and retaining your customers. In order to succeed with social media, you must address the three key stages of the customer journey – “know, like and trust”. The content you push out to your audience should address each of these, so think about:

  • how you can convey who you are in a way that’s meaningful and memorable
  • what makes you different to your competitors?
  • why your customers should care about you

Once they’re bought in, you need to turn your attention towards building upon that precious relationship and retaining their trust – focus on proving your value by posting engaging and interesting content, share previous success stories to reinforce your expertise and display your enthusiasm for what you do. When done well, cultivating relationships with your customers can see them turn into invaluable brand advocates with the power to influence others to buy your product or use your services.

“Do what you love so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends

– Walt Disney”

4. I took away a few interesting statistics and nuggets of information, detailed below:

  • As part of their algorithm updates for business pages, Facebook has announced that a text-only post is now extremely unlikely to get any reach, regardless of how many ‘likes’ your page may have – and Twitter isn’t far behind). Therefore it’s vital that you look to optimise your posts, by embedding a high quality image or video, for example.
  • 85% of all Facebook users (and over 80% of users across social media as a whole) now access social media via their mobile phone – a staggering figure which reinforces the vital requirement for your website to be mobile optimised. (Source: Smart Insights) 
  • Seven times more people turn to Twitter to voice a complaint about a product or service they have received, than they do on Facebook.
  • When it comes to how many times you Tweet per day, don’t worry about over doing it, instead you should be worried about under doing it. Tweeting often is vital in order to remain visible and make an impression.
  • You should be including between 10-20 hashtags minimum with each Instagram postViewhashtags like social media’s only currency – you really can’t discover content without them.

5. And finally, social media often gets bad publicity; we’re all too familiar with the guilty feeling that comes with having wasted too much time mindlessly scrolling through meaningless content because…well, just because. We all know we’re sitting and staring at screens for too long – check out our recent blog post about the impact of long term sedentary behaviour. We all get an uneasy feeling when we’re served a targeted advert for a specific item following an innocent conversation with friends (we know you’re listening, Instagram!). Yet, there are also many positives that can be drawn from social media, particularly when used for business.

I really connected with our trainer’s advice that at the heart of every post and interaction, should be three key intentions:

  • be kind
  • be generous
  • be valuable

By keeping these three simple points in mind, we can all ensure that every post and every interaction on social media carries with it a positive intention – one that will hopefully only help to build a good reputation online. It’s certainly something I’ll be making an effort to remember going forwards.

I found the day to be really insightful and valuable, and look forward to day two – to be continued later this week!

Interested in learning more about how you can improve your social strategy? Why not download our social whitepaper, speak to our paid social experts or submit your query using our online form.

Written by Olivia Lowden

Brand & Office Manager