Social media has had such an impact on the way we communicate with each other that it is hard to imagine a time when handwritten letters and telegrams were the only option. We are now in constant communication with our peers – using sms, instant messaging, email or the traditional phone call; smartphones and tablets have enabled us to interact with each other 24 hours a day.
For a long time businesses have needed to adapt with technology in order to grow. Businesses may have started out transporting goods on barges via waterways before utilising new road and rail networks, and more recently removing the need to trade from a physical shop front to selling online. A business needs to keep up with changing trends or risk falling behind.
Social media has not only changed how we socialise with our peers, but the relationships between companies and their customers. Platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Youtube provide a direct connection between a business and its potential customers. Social media is often best used to promote “calls to action”; encouraging people to sign up to a newsletter, discount codes, sales or competitions to name a few. The ultimate goal is to drive traffic to their websites and encourage sales and interaction. These platforms are also used to reinforce a business’ brand personality.
Social media is often used as a customer service portal. Consumers are much more likely to make a complaint online than in person, but are also more likely to report good feedback on social media. We are part of a culture, in which people broadcast their lives on social platforms; checking in to the latest place they’ve visited or sharing positive experiences. Think of it as word of mouth on an unfathomable scale.
Here at Jaijo we stress the importance of social media presence. Regular, new content updates on a website is one thing (blog post to follow), but while social media is different it is just as important. Here are some tips to help get you started:
Cover your bases
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and Pinterest are the big ones. Google + is also recommended but hasn’t quite become as popular as the others… yet. It would, however, benefit you to familiarise yourself with it. Whether you plan to use them or not, make sure you secure the pages for your business on all social networks.
Types of post
Calls to action to consider:
– Discount Codes
– Sales / Special Offers
– Miscellaneous posts relevant to your business, industry and brand personality
Interact with your followers
It is important to reply to as many feedback posts on social media as possible. Complaints should be replied to and moved to a more private channel such as email if possible. However, dealing with complaints successfully in public can have an extremely positive impact. Of course, replying to positive feedback is the most pleasurable, but it also serves a greater purpose, demonstrating that you are present and listening, giving your brand a human touch.
Imagery. Get it right!
An image may successfully upload to your profile page, but that doesn’t mean it looks good. We suggest getting the dimensions correct so that it displays as best as it can. All social platforms are mobile responsive and so images have to look good on desktop and mobile view. Most importantly your logo must be legible. At Jaijo we offer brand artwork package to suit all social platforms.
Keep it active
Make sure your social media channels are active. Blog once or twice every two weeks. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram should have daily activity. Even if you don’t run competitions, discounts or sales everyday, there is always something to say – current affairs relating to your industry, images of products, whatever is going on in the office. All of this can all help promote your brand and its personality and reiterate to followers that there are real people behind the business.
In Paul Boag’s ‘Social Media is Part of the User Experience’ article for Smashing Magazine*, he says that “Users move between multiple channels and so all of these channels need to be designed as one consistent user experience.” If possible make your usernames and handles the same and use the same branded imagery across all of the platforms so you are easily identifiable.
The more images the better! Images are more likely to catch a browsers eye as they’re scrolling through their newsfeed, rather than plain and simple text. Use them wherever you can when relevant.
Know your #hashtags
Using hashtags correctly can make a big difference to your searchability and when used incorrectly puts you at risk of looking silly. They’re really simple and helps your message spread further than just your followers. (We will be producing a blog post on hashtags soon)
You Blog – you share!
Social media is best used for small snippets of information at a time, whereas a blog is seen as more of an essay or article. Share links to new blog posts to encourage followers to read it, this will drive more traffic to your site, and give your reader reasons to keep a closer eye on what you’re up to.
It can be hard to keep all of the platforms regularly updated and many large organisation have teams of people, responsible for managing their social media activity. We appreciate that this is often an unrealistic feat for most businesses. Identifying which platform is more suited to your target audience will allow you to focus on just one or two. It is better to manage one or two social platforms well, than many, badly. Taking advantage of platforms that can be linked (e.g. Twitter and Instagram)makes things far less time consuming.
That’s it from us, we hope that these starter tips will help you when considering your social media activity. There are many tools available to help with your social media monitoring which will provide statistics in order to see what works and what doesn’t. Planning your social media activity to include interesting, relevant and engaging content will have you gaining followers in no time.