When you’re starting out, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. You might have experience using social media personally, but for business, it’s a different world.
There are lots of reasons for using it, brand building, relationship building, advertising what you do, selling products and services, adding value by demonstrating your knowledge and expertise, PR… the list goes on.
Personally, for my business, it has been invaluable and I can’t recommend it highly enough but there are lots of factors to consider.
- What platforms to use?
- What to post on social media?
- When to post?
- How frequently to post?
- Do I need a plan?
1. What platforms to use?
There are so many options to choose from; Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok, YouTube, Snapchat, or Clubhouse but rather than choosing the platform you enjoy, it’s important to think about where your ideal audience hangs out.
When starting out, by all means, test them all out but it will be incredibly time-consuming because it’s better to focus your social media efforts on one or two and to do those well rather than spreading yourself too thinly. Trying to do them all will leave you feeling stressed out, and confused and unless you have a team supporting you, it will take a lot of time.
2. What to post on social media?
All the platforms are different, some are more visual, some prefer text-only content, some work well with a mixture of both and Clubhouse is a voice-only platform.
The key is to mix up your content, always looking to add value and to provide engaging content. There are different ways of doing this from educating them, to talking about the features and the benefits of your product/service. There are often lots of talk about how people are only interested in the benefits but whilst that might be true, some also like to understand the features. I for one am a detailed person and like to know what I am getting.
Think about storytelling, why did you start your business, and who is involved with your business. This is all about your audience connecting with you, people buy from people and this helps to build the know, like, trust factors and you will become memorable for it.
Don’t be afraid to create sales posts but when you do, if it is possible to do so, include the pricing. Too often I come across posts from product-based businesses on Instagram and there is no mention of how much something will cost me. Even if it’s a from price, it’s incredibly useful to know the budget I am looking at.
There is a lot to consider, and it’s important to think about how you want to be perceived. Do you want to come across as corporate, professional, friendly, relaxed, cool, or informal? It’s important to decide this early on and to be consistent with it.
3. When to post?
From my experience, there is a firm belief that it’s best to focus on weekdays but often some of the best times are at the weekend. My suggestion would be to initially track your social media posts, making a note of when you posted your content, the day, date and time and to review it over the course of a month (or longer) because you will get an idea of what works.
I think it’s important to think about when your audience is likely to be online. For example, if you’re looking to appeal to someone who is in lots of meetings and they’re the sort of person who is likely to commute to work , commuting times could be a perfect time to post. Whereas 10am might be a good time for you but if you’re trying to attract someone who is in lots of meetings, they’re likely to miss your post. The other alternative would be in the evening.
Weekends can be good because people often use that time for catching up on what is going on in the world and it can be a great time for less formal content, so an opportunity for showing a little more of your personality or maybe something more personal to you.
4. How frequently to post?
Consistency is best but be regular with it. Too many people turn around and say social media doesn’t work for them because they post once or twice per month but that will not create a big enough impact. As a minimum, I would suggest once or twice per week. Ideally, I would recommend between three and five times per week and if you have enough time to be consistent with it, aim for daily.
The advice out there differs so much but consistency is what it is all about. If you’re using Instagram, besides the grid posts, try to get into the habit of using Stories because this adds to the experience of the audience.
5. Do I need a plan?
Yes. It’s important to know why you are posting on social media and to understand how it fits into the bigger picture of your business. I previously wrote a blog post called ‘create a content strategy‘ and it takes you through the points to consider.
Social media tips for beginners
I have spoken about the practicalities of social media BUT there is so much more to it. Social media is all about building a relationship with your audience. Give them an insight into what you are like, so don’t talk at people. If people engage with you, engage with them. After all, the clue is in the name… SOCIAL media.
Try to focus on providing 80% value and 20% on promoting your products and services. If you continue to sell, sell, sell, there is a strong chance, people will unfollow you because they want to get to know you and your business and knowing what you can do for them.
Think about the companies you like and follow. What is it about their social media that you like? What don’t you like? Use that as a starting point for your own social media strategy, of course, don’t copy them, you want to stand out but it might help you to create your own strategy.
If you’re still feeling confused and overwhelmed about where to start and what to post, book a free 20-minute call with me. We can have a quick chat and I can also share with you how I can help you to create a winning strategy for your business.
“I was due to start the promotion of my Business Planning Templates & Services but had a brain freeze when it came to creating content. In just one strategy session with Louisa, we devised a brilliant plan for the whole month, which I implemented on my social media platforms. Louisa’s work on this was invaluable, and I can’t recommend her services highly enough!”Adanna