What You Need To Learn About Using Social Media For Business
And preferably before your next social post
Read time 4:50
I started using Twitter for my business in late 2015 and more recently Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn. And there’s a few things you do need to learn when you’re using social media for business. And specifically if you’re a solopreneur.
Some of the things I’ve learned are specific to each social network and others are generic.
Tips for using social media for business
If you’re struggling to make social marketing work, read these tips. Preferably before your next post.
1. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Pick one channel and do it well. Then go from there.
2. Pick your platform based on your target market demographics and which social networks they’re using. This post from Sprout Social on social media demographics is well worth reading.
3. Select a primary platform that you’re going to focus on first. And make decision based on what you’re business is about.
Visual businesses such as florists, clothing retailers, hairdressers would be well suited to Instagram
4. Listen to advice from your teens (if you have one). They’re great to rebound social media ideas off. Plus they don’t charge you for a lesson on how to use it.
5. Make sure you have a content strategy, content plan and editorial calendar. Don’t know what there are? Then download my eBook How to Get Started With Content Marketing. It’s free.
6. Share informative content that meets your target audience’s needs. What are the problems they have? What are they searching for on Google?
7. Remember the 80/20 rule. 80% of content you publish should be curated, 20% should be yours.
8. Don’t sell. Golden rule on social.
9. Use images for all your posts.
10. Use #hashtags to expand your reach
11. Automate your posts. Don’t waste time publishing each post once. Then posting them over and over again. Use a tool like Buffer to schedule content in advance.
12. Analyse engagement levels for your published posts and re-post those that did well.
For those that didn’t, was it your headline? Did it not have an image? Or was it an image that didn’t grab attention?
If you use Buffer, you can easily see which posts had high engagement through the analysis tab. They’ll be marked as Top Posts.
13. Respond to people who like, share or comment on your posts.
14. Social media is called social for a reason. It’s there to reach out and connect with people.
15. Use #hashtags to find relevant content
17. When you write a blog, write 5 different social sharing headlines. Use different images to promote your blog post. Schedule these in for the different platforms you use. And at different times over the month.
18. Ensure consistency in brand across platforms. The same image, same branding for your created content. People will come to recognise your posts by the colours and logo that you use.
19. If you’re a solopreneur, use a photo of yourself as your profile image rather than a logo. And not one of you on holiday sipping a cocktail by the pool.
20. Don’t fill your social bios with hashtags.
21. Watch what others are doing and how they engage. How often do they post?
22. Frequent posting is the key. Remember, a Tweet only has a short lifespan. So if you think all your followers have probably seen that tweet about your latest blog, think again.
23. Use Twitter lists to manage your followers. Create a list for people that tweet about a certain topic, or those in your city.
24. Don’t feel you have to view all of your followers’ posts. It’s impossible.
25. Highly visual, Instagram seems to make everyone’s images look like they were professionally taken. The emphasis is on a picture that grabs attention and less on the words.
26. It’s okay to use more than 2 hashtags.
27. Use location to your advantage. Tag your post with a location. It’s a great way to connect with local people and businesses.
28. Instagram can be used effectively to engage with your customers.
29. Show a bit of personality.
For me, Twitter is about producing written content that’s valuable to others. Instagram on the other hand is about showing some personality. Letting people in on who I am and what I do in my spare time.
30. Like and share other people’s photos. Comment too. Short and sweet is good.
32. Don’t get scared off by the fact that everyone looks like they’ve been to graphic design school.
33. Pinterest users use infographics to display their content.
34. Pins have a long lifespan. You may have pinned something a few years ago and it is still there on the board it was pinned to.
35. People can even invite you to pin on their board. And when they pin something of yours on their board it gets so much more reach.
36. If your target market is female, Pinterest is a place to find them.
I’ll admit I’ve not put much time into my Facebook business page. It’s something I need to get on top of. But here’s some tips I’ve learned from others.
37. Always uses images to accompany your words. If you’re stuck on where to find them visit my blog on where to source free images for your blog
38. Use scheduling within Facebook to schedule some content.
39. What works on Facebook?
- quirky things
- things that happened to you
- things you want to share such as links to another article that you found online
- links to a useful course
- anything you feel your readers would get value from
40. Join some Facebook groups. They’re a way of asking questions in a small group that you don’t want to ask publicly. Facebook groups are like little communities of like-minded people. Remember to always read the pinned post with the group rules first. It’s not okay to spruik your wares.
41. Consider starting a Facebook group. They’re a great way to build trust and rapport with a specific target market of yours. Help your group members and gain their trust, and let them get to know you a bit better.
42. LinkedIn is a professional networking tool so I wouldn’t be posting images of your pets.
43. Make sure your bio reflects your current work situation.
44. Strike up a conversation on people’s posts. LinkedIn posts generally link to articles of some description. Make a comment on what you’ve read.
45. You can like or comment a few times a day but remember it’s not Twitter.
There are many more social networks, like Google+, YouTube, Snapchat and Reddit that I haven’t covered or used extensively.
Got a useful tip to add to this list? Please comment below.