Where should you start when using social media for your business?

WRITTEN BY: ALANAH LIGHT, FOUNDER OF LIGHT SOCIAL

Most people have at least one personal social media account but, when it comes to using Social Media for business, most are either not sure where to start or scared about what’s involved.

However, even if resources and time are limited, you simply cannot afford to ignore the power of social media for your business.

 

 

Small businesses have just as much to gain from a social presence as the big brands – and with the benefit of a more personal approach, can build up a loyal and engaged community of customers.

It can be difficult to know where to start. There are countless guides and suggestions out there on this subject (just Google and you’ll see what I mean) but for me, it starts with getting the basics right with these 3 key foundations.

– Deciding your objective

– Figuring out who you are trying to reach

– Nailing your tone of voice.

 

Lets take a look at each of these in turn:

1. Decide Your Objective 

What are you hoping to get from your social media?  Are you just starting out and want to get known in your industry or maybe you’ve been running social media accounts for a while but everything is falling a bit flat right now?

Wherever you are in your journey; the first step is thinking about your WHY?

Broadly speaking there are 3 outcomes you should focus on achieving through your social media activities:

– Build brand awareness & community engagement

– Build relationships with key stakeholders

– Drive traffic to your website/driving online sales

Deciding which of these is your main goal is an important step as it determine what approach you need to take in terms of your content.

 

2. Figure out who you are trying to reach

The next step is to think about WHO your ideal clients are.  If you have an existing client base this is a little easier but, even if you’re just starting out really think about who you want to work with or who would like your product.   Think about all of the following areas:

– Demographics: Age, Gender, ethnicity, Single, Married

– Personality: Are they competitive, Logical, emotional.

– Routines: What are their daily routines like? Is it different at the weekend?

– Social media habits: What platforms are they using?

– Workstyle: What kind of company do they work for?

– Lifestyle: What do they do for fun? Where do they shop?

The more detail you put into your user personas the more targeted you can be when developing your plan around which platforms to post on, what type of content to share and what time of day is best.

 

3. Nail your tone of voice

Now you have defined your audience it’s time to think about how to ‘speak’ to them.  It’s about the audience after all, as they’re the ones who make or break the business

Your ‘voice’ is dependent on the nature of your business. For example an ice cream shop needs to sound different to a funeral director on social media!

It’s important to use the right voice and tone in your writing and posting on social. One helpful method I use with my clients is to ask them to rate these keywords on a scale of 1-5 when thinking about the best tone for their business:

– Formal/Serious

– Knowledgeable

– Educational

– Authorative

– Funny

– Approachable

– Curious

– Colloquial

Once you have these 3 areas complete you’re ready to confirm which platforms to use and focus on your content strategy.    Just don’t forget to be ‘social’ and have some fun.

 

About the author

Alanah is the founder of Light Social, a Social Media Consultancy helping small business demystify social media for their business.  She offers 121 and group training focussed on Content Strategy, Instagram and Facebook.

www.light-social.com