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    How To Make The Most Of Social Media For Your Business

    Social media is a massively rising phenomenon.

    Once a place to simply connect with old friends from high school or to smile at cute cat videos, it has now moved beyond that space.

    While there are still cute cats (thank goodness!), there are also many opportunities to connect with your clients and market your business.

    It is crazy to think that the online world as we know it did not exist 10 years ago. But, love it or hate it, social media is here to stay. And if you don’t embrace it, you are missing a huge opportunity.

    To reach your audience, you need to go where they go. That means if you are not on at least one social media channel, your marketing attempts will roll like a tumbleweed down an empty street. 

    But hold your horses! Simply having a Facebook, Insta or LinkedIn page is not enough. There is much more to it than merely having an online presence. There are many ways for savvy entrepreneurs to use social media to grow their businesses.

    Let's look at some of the key aspects...

     

    How To Make The Most Of Social Media For Your Business

    Be Selective With Your Platforms

    The old adage “Jack of All Trades, Master Of None” definitely comes into play here. Don't go all-in and set up Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest accounts all at once. Success is about optimising your time and energy and narrowing your focus to your ideal customer or client.

    Do some research to find out where your audience spends their time, then focus your energy on one or two platforms rather than wasting time on others. Once you have hose up and running, you can explore other platforms if appropriate. It’s much more effective to provide quality content to your community on some key channels than to spread yourself too thin.

     

    Get Organised

    Before even posting your first piece of content, you need to get clear about what you are trying to achieve, and how you plan to do it. Create a social media strategy covering what kind of content you want to share, then set up a calendar outlining what you’ll share and when.

    Set aside a chunk of time weekly or fortnightly to plan and create your content, then use a scheduling tool to post it automatically. Facebook and Instagram have their own scheduling tools, or you can choose a platform like Buffer, Hootsuite, or eClincher to post across multiple channels from the one app. Then you can jump online briefly every day to respond to comments and interact with your followers.

     

    Use Your Time Wisely

    We all know that social media platforms can be something of a black hole. You log in to have “a quick look” and end up losing a good hour or more. Your work time is too precious for this to happen, so be clear about why you’re going online (to respond to comments, post a video, or make connections) and stick to that without getting sucked into scrolling through your feed.

     

    Vary Your Content

    Avoid using the same generic content across all your platforms. Different channels are suited to different material, so optimise your content for each one. For example, images do well on Instagram, video is popular for Facebook, and blog posts might work well for LinkedIn. You don’t need to stick to these content recommendations. Still share your blogs on the other platforms, just don’t line up the exact same material on the same day on all platforms!

     

    Encourage Engagement

    The beauty of social media is that it's fully interactive and businesses can engage with customers directly. Create content that encourages your audience to check-in, like, and share. The more engagement you get, the better your reach, and the more effective your social media use.

    Engaging content is authentic, provides value, and is about quality over quantity. Post things that you know your audience will be really interested in, not what you feel you “should” post. That way it will be easy to encourage engagement.

     

    Network Online!

    Social media is not just a place that you can connect with your clients. They are also an excellent place to network with other businesses. You can connect with other business owners online, form collaborative partnerships and gain referrals just from using social media to your advantage. It can be helpful to just have a space where you can go for support, advice and friendship from people that get what it is like to run their own business.

    If you are looking for a great online networking platform, then check out the Network NZ Community group. It is a free space to gain support for your business and who knows that relationships might eventuate out of it!

     

    Used creatively, consistently, and cleverly, social media can be a valuable tool for your business. Try not to get caught up in the numbers game. It's far better to have a smaller community of loyal, engaged fans than thousands of uninterested followers. Focus on building relationships and keep the sales pitches to a minimum, and your audience will find you!