Social media has swiftly become one of the most valuable tools that a business can use to connect with their desired audience. We understand that social media can be an overwhelming task for those not used to it and choosing which platforms to use and more importantly, which not to use can sometimes deter a business from even trying at all. However here at Athena College of Ireland we strongly believe that any business needs a social media presence and we’ve put together this blog post to tell you why and give some tips about where to begin.
First of all – Your Customers
Social media is the way in which your business will connect with its customers. The key to the success for any business is to know your audience. Using social media will allow you to interact with your audience and in turn, tailor your business to their needs. For example if your posts receive mostly feedback from a younger audience, you can then tailor your product or service to that market. This helps to target your audience more effectively.
Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter work to expand the reach of your business to a much broader consumer market. With frequent use your advertisements will reach a wider, more targeted audience. Your digital presence ensures that your business is at the forefront of people’s minds when they are in need of your product or service. Proper use of social media will also increase traffic to your website. It may be the edge you gain against your competitors.
Feedback is such an important tool for businesses to learn the parts of their business that are flourishing and the parts that need adjusting. Social media allows a business to tap into instant feedback for any product directly from interested consumers. This is an invaluable resource for any business and probably the biggest benefit to using social media. Sharing your content with customers has never been faster or easier than via social media in today’s era of smart devices and online surfing.
Getting started tips and tricks
There are some things to look at before you enter the world of social media. To begin you must ask yourself what platforms are relevant to you. For example, if you are a florist, visual platforms will be useful like Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. However if you provide healthcare, perhaps these platforms may not all be relevant. So do your research. Find the platforms that shine a light on your product in the most favourable way.
Secondly, don’t dive in. I cannot stress this enough. Your social media pages need to be something that you can manage, so maybe begin with just one or two pages. Use a strategy for your content. By this I mean that you should post certain content at different times of day and use different types of content. To re-use the florist example, perhaps after posting a picture of a bouquet in the morning and receiving little feedback, post in the evening or on weekends when your target audience is online. Whatever your strategy, give yourself a timeline for the first month for how often you will post and schedule 30 minutes a day for posting and responding on those pages. This will make the process a lot easier and less overwhelming.
Finally, make use of the feedback that you receive on the pages. If you find that a certain post has received positive feedback, ask yourself what differentiates it from previous posts. Then use this information to tailor future posts. This ensures that you are responding to your customers needs and will lead to more engagement with consumers.
Does social media still seem scary? We hope not but if you find yourself eager to know more, Athena College of Ireland runs an accelerator course for small businesses. The course is an intensive 9 hours over 3 weeks during which time you will have access to subject matter experts who will tailor a social media plan to your business needs. You can find more information on our website at this address http://athenacollege.ie/our-courses/an-accelerator-certificate-in-social-media-for-business/