Social Media For Beginners Part 4 – It won’t bite!

Part 4 of ‘Social Media for Beginners’ rounds off the series with a few things to remember, some bonus tips and some great resources to continue your learning. So let’s begin……


The thing that tends to scare people about social media is ‘What if I say the wrong thing?’ or ‘What if people post something horrible about us?’ There are ways to minimise this on your profiles – adapt your settings so that you have to approve comments OR as with many brands, directly converse with the person who has the issue, find out what the problem is and work with them to help resolve it – you have no idea how effective this is – the worst thing you can do is ignore it. People are FAR more likely to share something negative than positive so it’s just a matter of managing this and turning their frown upside down. Just remember, just be nice and helpful – it’s very difficult to go wrong that way.

It may seem that there are just too many networks, it’s too much to manage, you haven’t got time etc etc etc. Honestly? If you haven’t got time to engage with your consumers then what are you doing with your business? It doesn’t take long – perhaps 10minutes in the morning and then sporadically throughout the day. Think of it as downtime to chat (but potentially with ROI). Select the networks that are appropriate for your business, familiarise yourself, know what the pros and cons are, the limitations, what you can do etc and then just dive in. Just keep in mind the 4 elements  from our previous post:

  1. Your target market

  2. What they’re interested in

  3. The network you’re using

  4. Your brand personality

And the cardinal rule of social media – BE NICE!

Remember, there is no ‘one size fits all’ strategy or approach to social media. Every business is different, however there are some things that remain the same – put the customer’ needs at the heart of what you do, listen to them, find out how you can best serve them – there’s nothing new or scary about this, it’s the same way you should’ve been marketing for years – it’s just a new platform to do it on.

Also remember that the value of social media isn’t typically expressed in terms of ROI, nor should it be expressed in terms of reach or likes. The quantitative are what the marketer typically resorts to and don’t get me wrong, figures are fantastic for pretty much everything and yes, likes, reach, engagement metrics are all indicative of the success of your social media presence. However, for my money, the real value of social media lies in the qualitative – the brand advocation and WOM, the problems you solved, the help you gave, the person who now thinks ‘yeah they’re a nice brand’. What I’m trying to say is, don’t get too bogged down in the numbers – you want quality.

There are a huge number of techniques that will grow your likes, engagement and influence online, these are just some of the first necessary steps. It’s all a learning process and there are innumerable resources online to help you with it.

I hope this has been informative for you and you can go forward a little more confident in your use of social media.

Some bonus tips

  1. We know visual content works very well so use Instagram to take pictures at any opportunity you can – this performs well across Facebook and Twitter

  2. Use of blogs (simply created via WordPress or through a web designer) is a great way of producing content for your social media channels and exhibiting your expertise:

o   B2C companies that blog get 88% more leads per month than companies that don’t

o   B2B companies that blog get 67% more leads per month than companies that don’t

o    71% of survey respondents (via Hubspot) say blogs affect their purchasing decisions

  1. Treat Linkedin like Facebook, only you’re wearing a suit – keep your personality but smarten it up a little

  2. Explore! There are almost limitless social platforms out there. Some of the big hitters I’ve missed off of this guide are – Google+ (which I highly recommend a presence on, if for nothing more than search purposes), Pinterest (a social bookmarking platform-incredible for visuals), Tumblr (a microblogging platform and social networking website that allows users to post multimedia and other content to a short-form blog) and some of the more transient and ‘youth-friendly’ platforms such as Snapchat and Jelly.

  3. Steal your competitors’ followers! They’ve done all the targeting for you – have a look at their social profiles and engage the community there.

  4. Posting just after the hour or just before the hour between 1pm and 5pm OR around 8am on the way to work OR 9pm at night tends to get the best response rates

  5. Twitter Tip – if you’re tweeting back at someone, put a full-stop ‘’.’’ before the @………. handle – this way, everyone can see the tweet, not just yours and their followers.

  6. Take a look over the weekend – if you go missing from 5 p.m. on Friday evening until 9 a.m. Monday morning, it may mean missing out on potential business, or riling an unhappy customer by ignoring their issue.

A few useful resources:

http://mashable.com/2013/12/24/grow-social-audience/

www.moz.com

http://buzzsumo.com/

http://socialmediatoday.com/

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/

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