January 14 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi
How to make social media work for you startup in 2015
You could help expand the potential reach of your small business by using social media.
Today’s generation seem to have arrived in this world clutching a smartphone, thereby knowing the complete ins and outs of all social media. However, many of us remember the days before public internet usage sky-rocketed, and often require some help navigating the different channels of social media available to us.
Indeed, there are many ways to utilise social media for your small business or startup, allowing you to further your reach and create a huge number of impressions. It’s a definite benefit of the digital age that allows one to easily reach the masses, however, it can be a little more complicated than posting a status to Facebook and waiting for the hordes of shoppers to turn up.
In fact, each social media platform has its benefits for different audiences and it’s understanding these nuances that can give your business the best chance of reaching the right consumer.
The professional’s platform for keeping in touch can also be used by companies specialising in the career development or business to business (B2B) industries. LinkedIn can help you reach a network of like-minded individuals using its ‘Groups’ or ‘Pulse’ features, from which you can establish your business as an industry leader by publishing articles or uploading presentations.
It’s great for getting your B2B firm off the ground, establishing those important relationships, giving testimonials to people you’re proud to have a relationship with – and likewise receiving testimonials – all while giving users easy access to key information about your company.
The people’s platform allows users to keep in touch with each other, sharing thoughts, pictures and content throughout your network of friends. It’s the largest social media hub in the world, a fact which few businesses ignore as it allows consumer related businesses to interact with their customer base.
However, many startups are unaware that Facebook now limits the amount of users that see the posts of new small businesses, meaning those with a limited budget will find it hard to generate interest.
If your business to consumer (B2C) firm has many visually appealing products, designs or brands, you might find it easier to grab people’s attention on newer platforms such as Tumblr, Pinterest or Instagram.
Those asked to name social media platforms often forget to include Google+, however, its many advantages make it a platform that should be high on the list for new businesses.
You should set up an active Google+ page so that your business appears in Google Maps, which is increasingly used as a tool to find goods and services in local areas. Furthermore, customers can then leave reviews which are easily accessed from any Google App.
It’s the ultimate tool for those looking to generate more business through Google and reports suggest that Google rewards users by indexing Google+ users faster on its search engine, leading to better search results.
Venturing into the world of Twitter can leave you confused and lost in a chaos of hashtagged tweets, however, mastering this platform can help local small businesses build up a wealth of contacts and receive a truckload of advice.
Firstly, get to grips with the special hashtags that certain times of the week are dedicated to. Industries that get involved with the right hashtag at the right time can find like-minded businesses.
For instance, #B2BHour occurs from three to four in the afternoon every Monday to Friday. Regional hashtag hours, such as #HarrogateHour or #KentHour, take place every evening between eight and nine.
Following these trending hashtags can help you connect with other firms to build relationships and exchange information, tips and advice.
Social media strategy
Don’t forget to evaluate your social media strategy regularly to ensure you’re utilising the platforms correctly and with the right aim in mind. Use tools such as SocialBro and Grade Your Social to evaluate your online presence, allowing you to analyse the data and come to conclusions based on facts.
Furthermore, create a uniform voice across the platforms to keep consistency and help customers form the right impression of your brand. This will help you to build an online community of brand ambassadors who will become advocates and promoters of your business, both in everyday life as well as in the digital world.
Thiago is the LSBF Blog Editor who manages news and features content on the site, and writes about business, finance, technology, education and careers.
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