The step-by-step guide to setting up fabulous social media
In business, time is scarce – if you’re anything like me, you need solutions that work, fast! Social media is a fantastic resource but you need it to work efficiently. However, when done properly it can lead to huge opportunities for business growth. That’s why I’ve created this step-by-step guide to creating really great social media for your business. Here’s how…
Identify your audience
This is crucially important – who do you want to talk to, who will buy your product or your service, where are your leads or customers? Create a customer avatar so that you know exactly who you’re talking to – this will help you post feeds that are relevant to your customer base.
Choose your platform
Think about your customers’ habits, not your own preferred platform! As a rough guide, Instagram users are from the ages of 19 to 29, Facebook users from 30 to 54 and Snapchat, around 13 to 20. Don’t forget about LinkedIn; this is the professional network which is especially good if you want to connect as an expert or if you’re providing a
professional service or product. To begin with, identify just one platform where you can find the majority of your customers and communicate through that.
Build your presence
Learn how to use your platform properly – make sure that you complete all the sections, especially the about or bio section which can help people to find your products or services in Google searches or within the platform itself.
Check out all the settings
Fine-tune the details before you proceed – make sure that your security is set up as you would wish, your messages are turned on, your location is set (if appropriate). Choose the countries where you want to be seen and the age range of your audience.
Choose the right image
Add a header image and a profile picture, both of which can be done using tools such as Canva or Picmonkey. Now is also a great time to have a new logo designed for your business if yours is a little tired or you don’t have one. The logo should fit in both a rectangular and square stacked format so it is consistent across all social media.
Begin to populate the newsfeed. Start with a variety of 6 to 10 posts, including links to your blogs if you have them, eye-catching images and posts that share your knowledge. Try to include at least two pieces of video content, sharing your expertise or even just introducing yourself. There should always be at least one post that includes an image of the people behind the business – this is your opportunity to humanise your business.
Now your page is set up, you can start to invite people to view your page. Begin by inviting all your personal connections and ask them if they will share your new page.
Plan your posts
Social media is like riding a bike – when you stop peddling you fall off! Make sure you keep pedalling by planning your content in advance. To be successful on social media you need to show up regularly. On Facebook this may be three or four times a week, on Twitter this is more like three or four times a day, on Instagram, it’s once a day.
The hardest part is being consistent. I plan my content each week using a social media planner but you could plan your content up to a month in advance. Use the planner to jot down ideas, things you might like to do in the future, content for blogs and videos and schedule whatever you can in advance. You can do this with the scheduling tool on Facebook or by using free tools like HootSuite which allows you to plan and create posts in advance. On Instagram, I would recommend Planoly.
Monitor and evaluate
All the social media platforms have insight tools where you can see what’s happening to your posts and you can measure the engagement and the reach. If something works really well and lots of people engage, comment, like and share your post, this is the type of post that you should do more of. However if you notice that a certain type of post gets very little reach and hardly any engagement then stop posting this kind of content and do more of the things that work.
Use adverts to get traction
It can be difficult to get traction, to begin with, imagine your car is stuck in the snow! You may need to give your social media a little push with some targeted advertising to make sure your voice gets heard.
So now you’re up and running, don’t get disheartened – social media can take 12 to 18 months of really hard dedicated work to get rewards. So, keep going, be consistent and find content that informs inspires and engages your audience. And only when you feel confident and happy on one platform should you consider moving to the next – you really don’t have to be everywhere all at the same time!
Alison Teare is a qualified, marketer with more than twenty-five years’ business and management experience, in both the public and private sectors, at local and global levels.
A social media expert, Alison is a trainer and speaker who regularly provides advice to businesses to guide their social media policies and strategy. She developed an integrated Social Media Management programme which enables businesses to coordinate a successful implement their own sustainable social media presence.