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Why does my business need to be on Social Media?

Why does my business need to be on Social Media?

Of course, your company can exist without Social Media but have you ever considered how much business you are missing out on because you don’t use it or your platforms are looking a bit neglected?  If you think it is too time-consuming, that you are not comfortable with it (and you would rather it go away) or that it is not for you, then think again. 

We all need to learn new skills and different concepts so don’t shut the door on something you don’t understand, stick your fingers in your ears to block it out or just ignore it and hope it will go away!  It won’t and if you think like this you could be affecting your profits (and not in a good way) …  This is my second “Take Five” which I hope will give you the confidence to head out on your social media adventure.

Which platforms should I be on?

This all depends on your business!  Don’t make the mistake of thinking you have to be on everything (because that’s what everyone else is doing) because all you’ll end up doing is spreading yourself too thinly and not reaping the benefits.  A corporate company will gravitate towards LinkedIn whilst a designer may head straight to Instagram and Pinterest and a holiday rental may split their resources between Instagram and Facebook.  It all depends on your target market (and what your customer profiles are) and where they hang out online.

What's the minimum you need to do?

Time – One of the worse things to do on your social media profiles is to post randomly – all in one go and then post nothing for months.  If you’re going to run your social media yourself then think about how much time you can dedicate to it whilst running everything else.  Block out some time in your diary each day or each week to create your strategy, content and posting schedule. Don’t underestimate how much time it takes.

Knowledge – Social Media should be integral to your business marketing, not an afterthought or something you’ll do when you have a moment.  At the very least you should understand the basics, so if you’re feeling unsure then think about booking a power hour with an expert to put you on the right track. The more you use each platform the more you will become familiar and comfortable with it. 

What are the common mistakes to avoid?

Not engaging with your customers – don’t leave their comments or questions unanswered

Just broadcasting and selling and not being social and engaging.  Don’t forget the social bit of social media

Using poor quality photos – blurred, wonky or wrongly sized

Undervalue how important Social Media is for your business

Not posting regularly – just sporadically.  If you can only manage once a week, then put it in the diary, plan out your strategy

Producing dry corporate (over managed) content – be authentic, be real – keep the same tone of voice throughout all your posts

Forgetting or not bothering to look at your social media statistics – if you don’t, how do you know what’s working and what’s not?

What are the advantages of being on Social Media?

Helps your customers connect with you and you communicate with them

Increased and continued awareness and exposure of your brand and products.  How can you attract new customers if they don’t know about you?

Ability to update your business news as it happens

Build a network and make new connections

Should I outsource my social media management?

Yes.  If it really isn’t your thing then don’t ignore it but get an expert in. It will leave you with more time to do what you’re good at and run your business.  A qualified social media manager can really enhance your business.  They will create a strategy, plan your campaigns and positively promote your business, engage with your customers in an appropriate manner.  Don’t under estimate a good social media manager!

At some stage you might also like to think about Facebook and Instagram Advertising – and we’re not talking about dabbling with a boosted post or two  (but that’s a blog for another day).  Again if you feel this would benefit your business then get someone in who knows what they’re doing – Facebook and Instagram Ads are extremely effective when targeted and executed in the correct way.  

 

 

Does my business really need to be on social media?  I’ve got some many other things on my plate, I don’t know where to start …

Still not sure in which direction to go?

If you’d like to dicuss anything further, then why not get in touch and we can have a chat.

What to think about when setting up a new business

What to think about when setting up a new business

You’ve had a great business idea, you’ve taken the plunge and you’re ready to get going but there’s so much you need to think about.  Suddenly there’s a myriad of things you need to understand (with no corporate IT Department at the end of the phone) and you’re being offered unsolicited advice left, right and centre. In my first “Take Five” I will hopefully be able save you some time and stress (well at least digitally).

I have been privileged and honoured to have been present at the start of many successful businesses.  Here are a few helpful hints (well advice) on how to avoid some of the regular digital pitfalls.  To ensure your adventure starts off on the right foot and that you don’t encounter too much trouble (well on this matter only) , here are my FIVE  pointers to send you in the right direction (the views are all my own).

Domain Names

Please don’t enthusiastically rush off and register your domain name with some random hosting company (particularly if they’re not in the UK).  Talk to your website designer and ask for their advice on where they think both the domain name should be registered and where your site should be hosted.

Have a look at your potential domain name – does it have other connotations when run together?

Do you need .co.uk and .com?  How will you feel if your business grows and suddenly you realise that whilst you have the .co.uk domain name someone locally is using the .com option (yes, it’s happened to a company close to here!)?

Try to avoid dashes, complicated names or lots of initials in your domain name.  Not only will it be a pain to remember for visitors but it will be mistyped and you may not be found.

Please ensure that the domain name is registered in your name (and therefore your company’s), that you know where it is registered (and how to login to the account) and that you are paying for your domain name. You don’t want to be held hostage by a third party who can’t or won’t let you have access to it.

Social Media

Check that the social media names for your new business are available on all platforms and then set up these platforms immediately (they can always be finished later).  You’d be pretty upset to find that they’re no longer available once your carefully crafted website is complete.

How do these social media names look?  Do they make sense or do they spell something inappropriate? Can you believe that Camp America’s Instagram name is @campamerica69

Are your names obvious and easy for someone to tag you on social media (we have a shop nearby that has a completely irrelevant Facebook @ tag – frustrating)?

Are the names too similar to another company?  Recently South Eastern Railway (our local train company covering London, Kent and East Sussex in the UK – @se_railway) was tagged in an angry tweet which was meant for @serailwaykol (Kolkata – India). South Eastern (UK) did politely reply and point the cross gentleman in the right direction.

Website Login Details

If someone is designing your site please don’t forget, at the end of the project, to find out the hosting company details, logins and passwords as well as the admin passwords for your website login (WordPress or template builders).  If one day you can’t get hold of the designer at least someone else will be able to update your website.  Yes, this can happen (a number of times of actually!).  Ask for a summary of all this information if it hasn’t been provided.

Photographs & Graphics

Yes, copyright does matter. Pay for a subscription to something like Shutterstock or Twenty20 or use a royalty-free service but do not under any circumstances use someone else’s work. No, you can’t just copy someone’s logo or photo off the internet and change it a bit. They will find out and they will have every right to charge you handsomely for it.

Digital Budget

This should not be an afterthought but an integral part of your business budget set up. Think carefully about how you will build your online presence and if you need to include a budget for paid advertising like Facebook or Google Ads? Your website hosting and email will not be free and as your website is your digital shop window you need to ensure it makes your business look good. Don’t cut corners but find someone you’d like to work with and who you feel understands your business.

It can sometimes seem so overwhelming …

Still not sure in which direction to go?

If you’d like to dicuss anything further, then why not get in touch and we can have a chat.