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Social Media: A Guide for Your Business

If you own a business, you probably have multiple social media profiles. If you don’t, you may want to consider hopping on the social media train! As of 2020, approximately 50% of the population uses social media, which means you’ll reach a lot of potential customers. Social media is a great way to interact with customers, inexpensively promote your services, and educate others about the merits of your business. Utilizing a social media platform like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram is especially important right now. With the coronavirus limiting face-to-face interactions and the loss of in-person marketing options, many business owners are turning to social media to keep customers engaged and informed.

Since social media has become a vital part of your business’ success, you’re going to want to do it professionally and smartly. Although managing your personal social media accounts may be relatively uncomplicated, there’s an art to managing business accounts. You have to be very mindful about your content and what you post.  

Creating a Plan

Before you post on social media, it’s incredibly important to develop a social media strategy. You may want to consider creating a publishing calendar that outlines what you’ll post, where you’ll post, and when you’ll post. This will not only help you stay organized, but it will also enable you to see what topics you’ve covered so you don’t inadvertently post the same material repetitively. Along with this, you may also want to consider investing in a tool like Hootsuite to plan your social media posts by scheduling them ahead of time so you’re not rushing to post every day.

Setting Up Your Social Media Profiles

When you create your social media accounts–whether on Facebook, LinkedIn, or otherwise–it’s important to appear as professional as possible. Upload your company logo as your profile picture, input your contact information, describe your company, and upload banner images. Fill out as much information as possible so people visit your page and know exactly what you do and who you are. Entering these important details will ensure that potential customers see your business as a professional establishment. As you can see below, Fujitsu has a cover photo, profile image with their logo, and other information set up on the account. 

An image of Fujitsu's facebook page. It's complete with all details

How Often to Check Your Social Media

There’s no rule as to how often you should check your profiles because it’s usually just based on each individual business’s preference. Most businesses typically check their accounts at least once a day, but it’s okay to check your profiles more if desired. You’ll probably want to check your profiles at least once per day so you don’t miss new notifications, comments, likes, and more. You especially want to keep an eye out for any negative comments or concerns customers may have so you can take care of the issue right away. If you wait too long to reply to someone, that might be a bad reflection on your company because it will seem like you are ignoring the customer.

How Often You Should Post

This, again, is up to you. Some people have major success posting once a week, while others have more success when they post multiple times a day. What should you do? Well, it’s wise to take a look at your analytics. Review your business profiles and see how much engagement you get with your posts when you post once a day versus when you post once a week. If you find that one way favors the other, you should try and do it that way. 

Most social media channels have an analytics page where you can check engagement, traffic, and other important information. It’s wise to check that area when you’re testing to see if your posts are gaining traffic.

The Best Time to Post

Globally, people tend to check their social media accounts multiple times a day. However, there are specific times and days when customers are more likely to see your posts. Sprout Social completed a study across multiple social media channels and found that the best times to post to your accounts are Wednesdays and Fridays between 11am and 1pm, while the least effective days to post are on Sundays. They go on to say that posting anywhere from 10am to 5pm is better than posting later in the day.

Finding Your Voice

There’s a certain language you must adopt when you create a social media account. The person (or team) running your accounts must create a “persona” for the company that remains the same no matter who is posting to the account. Take a moment to think about the way your business functions and reflect upon your company culture. Does your business host fun social events? In that case, maybe your social media pages should represent that culture by utilizing playful language and emojis. On the other hand, are you the type of business that promotes educational information to your clients and responds to everything in a strictly professional manner? In that case, you may want to refrain from using a ton of emojis in your posts. Does your company post about team accomplishments? Go ahead and publish pictures of your team while peppering those posts with effervescent language.

Whatever the case may be, take your business’ culture into account when creating your posts while maintaining a consistent tone. 

Using Images and Videos

Images, videos, and gifs are an incredibly useful tool to use when posting. In fact, studies by Hubspot have shown us that tweets with images receive 150% more engagement. When you post captivating images, they’re more likely to capture your audience’s eye which will garner more engagement that leads to an increase in views. 

When posting, your images should always align with your social media presence’s persona. For example, you should post pictures of animals if you’re an animal shelter or post HR tips if you’re an HR services company.  Also, if you choose to place text onto images, make sure that the text is easy to read by ensuring that the color and font size you choose is easy to see. 

Tagging Other Companies in Your Posts

Tagging individuals or other businesses in your posts is a great way to reach more people and promote other businesses, but it has to be done wisely. You don’t want to tag someone just to get their attention. You’ll only want to tag someone in your posts if you’ve actually found their services useful, if you’re thanking them for a shoutout, or to acknowledge a review. Here’s an example of Timesheets.com thanking Software Advice for featuring them as a time tracking front runner:

A social media post from Timesheets.com. The post reads "Our online #time and #expense tracking software is reliable and efficient. That's why over 50,000 #business owners have used our service! With everything in the #cloud, it's easy to manage your team anytime, anywhere. Ready to start tracking #attendance, #timeoff, #projects, and more? Try it free now:  https://secure.timesheets.com/free-trial"

Thank you Software Advice!

How to Slide Into Their DMs

There’s an art to messaging someone privately. For instance, if you’re asking another business or employee for a favor on social media, such as asking if they want to become a partner or write for your blog, you may want to do so discreetly. You don’t want to be publicly rejected. Awkward! Also, most people aren’t keen on opening up a message and immediately being solicited. Instead, consider sending that person something useful first so they feel as though there’s some sort of gain within the transaction. Be sure to be clear about why you’re reaching out and include your direct contact information so they can reach you easily. 

Posting Useful Content

One of the most valuable things you can bring to your social media profiles is useful content. You can use your social media profile to promote your business’ services, but you need to have a good balance of information and “selling”. There’s a term I learned at a conference recently called “Give Give Ask”. When you have a social media channel, you don’t want to solely promote your services and free trials. Give your audience useful information and then ask them if they want to use your services. For example, if you’re an HR services company, you can post like this:

Monday: Promote the “CA state laws” whitepaper (GIVE)

Tuesday: Publish the list of employees covered under the FFCRA (GIVE)

Wednesday: Promote our 30-day free trial period (ASK)

It’s not only an elegant way to market your products, but it also lends your company value because your followers will see you as an informative resource. 

Wrapping it Up

How you run your social media profiles is entirely up to you. However, you will want to make sure that you present your company in a professional manner that ensures peace of mind for those considering your services. At the very least, make sure that you highlight your company’s mission, website link, and contact information so they know who you are and how to reach you. Don’t forget to use consistent language and graphics so you match the social media personality you’ve created.

As a tip, if you’re uncertain how to proceed and don’t know what to post, take a look at your competitor’s pages to see what kind of material they’re posting and observe their likes, shares, and comments. That should give you an indication as to what is working and what kind of material you may want to publish.

Do you need time and expense tracking for your employees or contractors? Take a look inside a live Timesheets.com account. It’s free to test! No credit card required.

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