29 Jan Getting started on social media: tips for entrepreneurs
With the remarkable boom in social media, even the smallest businesses are now using social media to market their business. Everyone’s doing it. “There are some 62,000 social enterprises in Britain today, contributing more than £24bn to the economy and employing nearly one million people.” – Baroness Byford, a conservative member of the House of Lords
However, with dozens of social media platforms out there, it’s quite tricky for an entrepreneur to learn how best to use social media, and which platforms are most appropriate for marketing their business.
By simply being “social” on social media you’re not going to generate profits for your business. What you need is a few general guidelines that will help you find your niche. Here are some useful tips for entrepreneurs.
Steps to getting started on social media
Sign up with the most popular sites – register your company on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. You’ll need to customise content for each one.
- Facebook – post less formal and conversational updates
- LinkedIn – keep it professional, and expand your LinkedIn reach with Twitter, using the “share an update” box – find it on the bottom of your (LinkedIn) page.
- Twitter – post links to articles or concise snippets of information about your company or product
Other social media platforms – these include Pinterest, Google Plus, and StumbleUpon. There are plenty of social media sites other than these, but pick the one that works best for your business and products, and which gets you the best and most results.
Content marketing – be creative and focus on your customer’s need and interests to ensure your posts are relevant and compelling. Particularly focus on giving your readers information they can’t readily find elsewhere. Readers are primarily interested in what your business can do for them, and if your posts show them value quickly, they’re more likely to follow you and become customers.
Engaging your customers – once you’ve started posting updates on social media channels (whether it’s a conversation between your company and consumers, or between consumers about your company) make sure you reply to their comments. The best way to create a buzz would be to create opportunities for readers to share their opinions, offer giveaways and discounts, and provide information they’ll want to share.
Hire a social media manager – once you’ve established an effective social media strategy, consider bringing on a dedicated professional to handle all your social media accounts. This will also allow you to focus on the many other facets of your business.
Avoid these social media blunders
- Ignoring social media because you don’t have time to analyse the impact
- Do not jump in with no plan or strategy
- Listen to what your customers have to say. Interact!
- Not measuring success and return of investment
- Limit your active social media channels to 4 or 5
- Don’t hesitate to respond to any negative comment or unsatisfied customers
- Admit your mistake, but don’t become overly defensive
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