When you’re busy running your business, finding the time to get active on social media might not be top of your priority list but it can be a very powerful tool for finding new clients and communicating with existing ones.
A new frontier…
The internet was a game changer when it came to businesses being able to promote themselves to a wider global audience, but it was the subsequent arrival of social media that had an even more profound effect on the way they communicate and engage with customers. Gone are the days when companies can simply “broadcast” information about their products without having to engage with their audiences.
In the right hands, social media is a powerful tool that enables businesses to listen to what people are saying about them, react quickly to problems or issues that are raised and strengthen the relationships they have with their customers. Of course, it can be a daunting prospect if you’re approaching it for the first time – as good social media management involves a different set of skills, challenges, timeframes and pitfalls than you’ll probably have faced before. When performed well, it’s also a huge opportunity to enhance your Limited Company’s reputation.
Although some multinational companies pay significant amounts every year to maintain their social media channels, you don’t need to have the limitless resources that the likes of Coca Cola and Red Bull spend. You can create and manage a great (and cost-effective) social media presence with a little creativity and some hard work.
Beware of the pitfalls
Whilst social media is a two way channel and having a conversation with your followers is almost always the right thing to do, sometimes engaging in a discussion could be potentially damaging.
If you have had a comment from a user which is perhaps somewhat irrational and you feel that engaging in a conversation with them will only aggravate the situation it may be best to ignore it and let it drop through your news feed. By entering a conversation you are effectively highlighting this to the rest of you followers and that may not be for the best.
However, if the user persists with attempting to make contact it is likely that you will have to respond.
Which platform should I use?
Before creating your online company presence, you must first decide which social media platforms are right for you. It might be tempting to try and set up a profile on every social media site possible, but this may not be a viable or rewarding strategy.
For example, where are your existing customers likely to be hanging out online? Are they the sort of people who have strong Twitter presences? Or are they more likely to talk about their consumer habits with their friends on Facebook?
Likewise, what’s your target market for new customers? Are they the sort of people who are likely to use Twitter to find new products and services, or are they more likely to use Facebook to talk to friends and get recommendations from them?
If you are also keen on developing new partnerships or exploring wider business opportunities, a strong presence on LinkedIn may be beneficial.
The most important thing to remember with social media is that you need to be patient. Social media success doesn’t happen overnight. Be prepared to put in some hard work creating your content, nurturing and growing your network, and engaging with your followers.
You’ll see the results of your effort soon enough, and before long you won’t be able to remember a time when social media wasn’t a normal part of your daily routine.
If you’re looking to get ahead of the competition then a robust social strategy is essential. When working for yourself, you have to think like you’re running your own small business. Through our affiliate partner we can help you get ahead of the game by offering a range of marketing solutions individually tailored to contractors and freelancers.
Call us on 0330 024 0406 for more info.