In the previous blog, we briefly discussed the ‘Top 5 Ways to Improve your Online Presence’, and I marked that I’d delve a bit deeper into each point as it’s all well and good saying ‘here are some great ways to improve your reach!’, but it’s not too much help without exploring exactly HOW we are to utilise them. So today, I’m going to explore the 4 main social media platforms that us here at Blink Creative use.
Social Media is an excellent tool for promoting your business and extending your reach far beyond local. By showing/inviting your friends to your social media pages, it opens the door for you to be exposed to friends of friends, and then friends of friends of friends and friends of- You get the picture! Now, you can probably achieve this via word of mouth, but it’s much more efficient on social media platforms. I know from personal experience, I’ve just been clicking around scouring Facebook, and discovered businesses that friends work for, own, or just posted a status on the (wonderful) customer service they received – And I’ve gone on to have a look at their company website, and bought stuff from them. That could be your business that I, or anyone else on the world wide web found
Possibly the most used platform on this list. It’s not as fast paced as Twitter, it’s not as funky as Instagram, and it’s not as professionally centered as LinkedIn; meaning that it captures the calmer side of social media, and is more focused on keeping up to date with smaller social groups such as family and friends – following on from that, older generations are much more likely to have accounts here in comparison to the plethora of other platforms (I know we do try to get our Grandparents using Instagram, but it’s just not taken off yet, sorry!)
Status updates/posts are great on Facebook as there’s no limitations to what you can write, and it’s highly focused on the written element, unlike on say, Instagram, where the picture is the crowning feature. This lack of limitation is not just focused on posts, the ability to customise your profile allows you to be quite expressive, and provides plenty of space for you to explain your business and put across key information to visitors. Be active, responsive and keep yourself posting (as your company) on Facebook.
Fast paced and snappy! Twitter is all about small snippets of writing – from tweets to your profile, you are generally limited on the amount of characters you can use. Though, this is most definitely not a bad thing! Twitter is about getting straight to the point, and it’s users aren’t looking for a huge essay or paragraph filled with buzzwords on what you provide – keep that stuff to your website, if you need it! The news feed is constantly updating, and if you follow a lot of people, it’s usually rather hectic. Twitter is all about impressions, or clicks on links if provided, which in hopes, will then convert the impression into a profile view and a click to your website. While this may not happen all the time, or even often to begin with, this is the goal.
Tweet often and keep interacting with other twitter users. Reply to tweets, retweet and throw in some relevant images and links to grab some attention. Short tweets will only take a couple of minutes and do it often to really make use of Twitter, one tweet here and there won’t really give you much of a footing in such a fast paced platform.
Initially, I didn’t think Instagram was much of a business platform, or much of a venture for businesses to take and it took me a while to really give it a try, but Paul here at Blink Creative set one up for us and the attention our posts have attracted, as well as having read a couple of stories from people who have built entire businesses stemming from uploading their work here, I must say I’m inclined to stand corrected.
Instagram is all about imagery, and for those budding photographers or just creative people in general, it can be quite a fun way of gaining popularity or attention for your cause. The image doesn’t have to cost a limb and be professionally done, just make something unique from the items around the office or home. I’ll link in our Instagram page here and hopefully it’ll give some ideas.
In addition to imagery, it is always good to add in a few #hashtags, as they push your image into the audience you want (This is also used in Facebook and Twitter) We generally add hashtags such as #Webdevelopment and #webdesign as this is what we do, and #Startups and #smallbusiness as these are a couple of our target audiences. Test different ones and see which derives more attention!
Now for the more business-y end of social media. LinkedIn has established itself as being an incredibly unique platform, succeeded, and continued succeeding and doing astonishingly well. LinkedIn is much like a professional version of Facebook (Please don’t quote me on that), wherein that your profile is the crowning feature. With LinkedIn you can have a personal profile, and importantly, a business profile, which you can link together. This feature lets you give your business a personality, community and connection with other people and businesses alike.
Seeing as LinkedIn promotes professionalism, you can let your nerdy side out. LinkedIn promotes you taking about your passions and what got you into creating your business or product in the first place. Let yourself be enveloped by the blogs and community and other like-minded people that are also engrossed in what you do. Connections are the main focus of this platform, and it is connections that grow your business
In conclusion, there are a lot of platforms out there that may be great for your company, and they all have different unique features that may click with you. Whether you try one out or try them all out, just remember that they are not for sales. Social media is for visibility and getting to know your target audience as well as expanding and discovering what they want in an ever-changing world. Knowing this, and focusing on that will convert loyal followings and interested people into sales, but not if they’re getting bombarded with a news feed of ‘BUY THIS PLEASE‘ and ‘YOU NEED THIS‘. In most cases, people will buy from you, if you present yourself as someone they want to buy from – and as usual, everybody is different. If you find yourself stuck, try presenting yourself as someone you would like to buy from.