Social media is a wonderful thing, you have the potential to reach clients you never knew existed. However, done wrong it has the potential to harm your business too, particularly if you’re selling your services rather than goods.
We don’t always get it right either, but we do understand how challenging it can be. Hopefully, this article will help get you on the right path!
Do you actually use your social media?
I know, this seems like a bit of a daft question, but a lot of businesses have not cottoned onto the fact that using social media can actually generate business. Others have, but have set up their profiles and then left them dormant. Neither of these is a good plan!
Hands up how many of you would use social media to check out a person you’ve just met? I am guessing most of you would, it can’t be just me, can it?
If you found nothing, then what would you think? If it’s a personal relationship that’s not such a bad thing, but what about for business? How would you feel about that? What about if they had a profile but nothing had been posted for a while? Would you think that business is worth working with?
If nothing else, then you should be making sure that your profile is current, and has some content in there which is engaging and relevant. More about relevancy below
What about too much social media use?
Well, yes, it can go the other way too. Honestly, sometimes it is like walking a tightrope trying to balance everything, we know!
Do look like you’re spending all day on social media? Yes, you can use schedulers, but think about how it would look from the perspective of someone looking to work with you? They may make the (wrong) judgement that you spend all day doing that instead of your day job!
Also, think about how much of what you post is actually relevant to what you do? Yes, of course, you need to make sure that you post engaging content, but it really does need to be relevant. There is no point, for example, for us starting conversations about babies and their first steps on our business Facebook page. For one, it’s not relevant to our in our industry, but also neither of us has kids! OK, this is a bit of an extreme example, but it’s easy to be sucked into conversations which are either not relevant, or worse, damaging to your reputation.
I really shouldn’t have to say this, but you need to be careful about what conversations you get involved in. You’d be surprised how many people can get into hot water by posting inappropriately on social media.
When I am working with my clients, I always reiterate the fact that you need to stay away from any topic which would be controversial. This means a no to politics, religion, racism, sexism or any other ism. Of course, you are allowed to have an opinion on things (I have several!) but you need to remember you are looking for people to work with you. Any posts which could alienate part of your audience are bound to have a negative impact.
Further to that, also think about what you are posting in terms of any bad experiences you’ve had. Yes, you may have been really badly done too by another business, but again look at how that would be received from the other side. Who is going to look worse? The person who has wronged you, or you for slating them on social media?
Just think about how you would talk face to face with a new client. You’ll hopefully not go too far wrong.
Think about it…
A lot of people don’t really plan their social media output. Most of us in a small business are busy trying to bring the cash into our business and of course, social media may be one of the things which go by the wayside. The temptation is to be reactive when you remember to post. This can mean that you end up posting with little thought, or worse sharing content which may not be that appropriate just to fill the gaps in your feed.
If you’re regularly blogging, then you have some ready-made content which you can share. Any facts or stats relating to your blogs can make interesting reading for your potential clients. As can testimonials from existing clients, or case studies.
Another top tip is to have some content ideas up your sleeve. Having a notebook or a digital list where you can make a note of ideas can be lifesaving. As can using online calendars and planners which may have interesting dates in them that you can make use of.
Our top tips!
- Make sure you understand your ideal client and what they’d like to see.
- Plan your content – even if you’re just planning the boring bits!
- Engage in positive conversations which will help your business, not hinder it.
- Try and post different content across your different channels.