For most freelancers, managing your social media can be the difference between your businesses’ success and difficult times, but the process of setting up and managing it can be challenging. Whether you’re new to social media, want to transition your personal account into a business one, or wish to boost your social presence as an influencer, we can help you to make the most of your business with social media.
Achieving a full understanding of social media is going to take time and practise, so you should consider how our accounting for contractors will free up time to expand your knowledge of social media and grow your business even further.
Here are the topics we will be covering in this guide:
The Audiences Using Social Media
Setting Up Your Social Media
Managing Your Social Media
The Audiences Using Social Media
Understanding your audience is a very important part of understanding how to use social media. For example, Instagram is largely populated by today’s youth, whereas Facebook typically hosts older audiences. This means that, depending on whom you want to target, signing up with particular platforms may be more profitable for your freelancing or contracting business than others.
This section will teach you about the audiences using these platforms so that you can learn more about which accounts are most relevant to you.
It is estimated that the UK currently contains around 42 million Facebook users.
In January 2018, Facebook’s audience was an even split between male and female users, but its equality in gender distribution did not follow through to its age distribution, as 62% of Facebook users in the UK are over 35 years of age. This means that managing a social media presence on this platform is great for marketing towards parents and pensioners.
Older generations are expected to continue using this platform more and more, whereas younger audiences are choosing other social media sites. If you are marketing towards older users, you should be using Facebook.
As of July 2019, it is thought that there are approximately 14.1 million Twitter users, a significant amount fewer than there are on Facebook. On the other hand, Twitter’s strongest age group is the 18-29 bracket, totalling 37% of all Twitter’s users. In Great Britain, Statista carried out a survey which found that 1 in 4 British people aged between 25 and 34 used Twitter.
This means that, if you are looking to target millennials in your marketing, Twitter could be important for your business.
Unlike Twitter, which sells itself on its short posting system with strict character limits, Pinterest focuses on image sharing. In some ways, this means that Pinterest shares more with Instagram than any of its contemporary platforms, as both are visual platforms that require a keen eye for colour and composition to excel.
These visual platforms are perfect for those who want to advertise products, especially if they’re aesthetically pleasing. For example, an influencer might use their Pinterest and Instagram accounts to promote beautiful make-up and sleek technology, but a building supplier might struggle to find an audience on this platform.
If you are targeting a female audience, then Pinterest could be an important platform for you due to its large female userbase.
We mentioned Instagram in our section on Pinterest because the two are incredibly visual; however, while Pinterest is an up and coming platform with a steadily growing userbase, Instagram is already extremely popular with 24 million users in the UK alone. More interestingly, at least 80% of users follow a business or a brand.
There are slightly more women than men on Instagram, but the percentage of users over the age of 34 drops considerably when compared to Facebook. Instagram is the platform that you should be using if your target demographic is young people.
Setting Up Your Social Media
Now that you know where you can find your audience, you will need to start setting up your account, and we can help you with that as well. If you’re an entrepreneur and still undecided on which platforms you should be using, then we recommend reading our article on How Contractors and Locums Can Make the Most of Social Media before you progress to setting up your accounts.
To begin with, you will need to create your account. We will walk you through how to do this on a desktop computer, but please bear in mind that the layout may change as Facebook updates its image, which may also be different on the mobile app.
First, go to Facebook’s login page and click ‘Create New Account’.
Next, you will see a small pop-up on the screen asking you to enter some basic information regarding yourself. For the purposes of this guide, we will be setting up an account for a pretend identity we’ll call Ms. Iaman Influencer.
Iaman Influencer already has an email that she can access in order to link to her new social media profiles. She also has a password ready and entered. The next step is to sign up, and you will then be directed to the next screen requesting that you fill in a code.
This code will have been sent to the email that you entered when signing up, so it is very important that you can access it to verify your account. Below is the next screen requesting the code, and the email from Facebook to Ms. Influencer.
Ms. Influencer enters the code she finds in her email into Facebook, but she could also have clicked on the button in the email to ‘Confirm Your Account’ with Facebook.
The next screen will take you to your new Facebook account, which is up to you to begin personalising. We’ll cover how to manage your new Facebook profile for marketing and influencing your audience later.
Ms. Influencer is also going to set up a Twitter account. Like Facebook, you will need to click ‘sign up’ on the login screen, which you can see below.
You will be taken to the next screen, as shown below, where you will be asked to enter your name, and either your email or phone number. We will be using Ms. Influencer’s email.
You will then be asked about your preferences before you can finish signing up. After choosing your preferences, you’ll be asked to reconfirm your name and email/phone.
Having confirmed your details, the next screen you’ll be taken to will ask you for a code, much like Facebook’s sign up process. We’ve entered the details from Iaman Influencer’s email into Twitter below:
Finally, you’ll need to confirm a password of at least six characters.
Your account is now complete! You will be asked if you want to choose a profile picture and enter a description of yourself, but you can press ‘Skip For Now’ if you are uncertain about how you want to present yourself (or your business) at this stage. Below is the screen of your new empty Twitter profile.
If you have signed up with Facebook already, then signing up to Pinterest is easy because you can link your two accounts. To do so, you’ll need to click the ‘Continue with Facebook’ button on the login screen, which will direct you to a pop-up screen asking you to log in to your Facebook profile. Once you’ve done this, the set-up will be complete.
Connecting your social accounts to a Facebook profile can be an advantage later if you want to schedule posts through a tool like Hootsuite, which may require you to have some of your profiles already linked to a Facebook account.
Alternatively, you can sign up without connecting your Pinterest to your Facebook by using your email, age and a password.
It’s as simple as that!
As aforementioned in our Pinterest set-up section, signing up with your Facebook profile can make things easier in the long run – and Instagram is another platform where this is possible.
If you decide to log in with Facebook, you will be redirected to Facebook’s site where you can confirm your setting and agree to link the two together. Alternatively, we’ll show you how to sign up more traditionally:
After you press next on the screen above, you will be asked to confirm your age, and then you’re ready to start your Instagram journey.
Managing Your Social Media Channels
Now that you’ve set up all your social media platforms, it’s time to start using them. There are nuances between each platform that we can teach you about here, but there will also be quirks within your own target audiences that will require research of your own before you can tap into them.
Most importantly, any social media platform requires organisation and versatility. You will need organisation to update your profile consistently during the times when your audiences are most active online. You will also need versatility to make the most of ongoing events that either affect your business or are something that you can capitalise on. If you have this mindset, your social media profiles will be sure to flourish.
Organisation and versatility are also extremely important for managing your finances. If you’re making money as an entrepreneur, then you will need to know how to report your earnings to ensure that you aren’t breaking any laws and are making the most of your earnings; however, this also takes time.
Gorilla are accountants for social influencers and online entrepreneurs, so we’ll take on the hassle of managing your finances, allowing you to spend less time sorting your accounts and more time growing your business with these tips:
Generally, you should post at least three times a week on Facebook if you want to retain your audience, but it is most efficient to post once a day if you can. Studies show that, if you post more than twice per day, you won’t be getting as much engagement per post, so this is the best way to manage your time and resources.
The time of the day that you post matters as well, so you should be using Facebook Insights to work out when your audience is online. If you post when they’re not online, then the chances that they’ll miss your post are higher.
If you’re just starting out on social media and aren’t sure when is best for you, then we recommend that you post in the early afternoon – when most Facebook users are online generally – but don’t be afraid to trial different times to reach the audience that is interested in your products and services.
Once you’ve got a following that you want to cater towards and grow, you can start to use Facebook Insights to learn more about your audience.
There is a lot of divergence on what works for different people and businesses trying to promote themselves on Twitter. Generally, it is agreed that you should post a minimum of three tweets per week, but a lot of regular users will contest this number and argue that you should be posting far more.
Keeping high volumes of posting at high quality can be tough, so you need to know your limits and discover what works best for you and your audience, as well as your business.
An important part of using Twitter is knowing how to manipulate hashtags to your advantage. Hashtags act as hyperlinks to conversations and using them correctly can extend the shelf life of your content.
On the other hand, Twitter punishes users for spamming hashtags – this is when you post too often on the same hashtag or use too many in the same tweet. For this reason, we recommend that you stick to a maximum of three hashtags per tweet, although two is optimal.
If you have time, research which hashtags you’re going to use before you send your post – some are more active than others.
If you’re using Twitter professionally, then Tweetdeck is the ultimate platform to help you stay keyed into your favourite audiences and hashtags. You can also schedule tweets with Tweetdeck, which means that, if you’re going to be busy when your audience is most active, your tweets will still go out at optimal times without you having to physically log in at those precise moments.
To access Tweetdeck, simply login into your Twitter normally, then open Tweetdeck – you will automatically be logged in with your Twitter account. You can use Twitter Analytics to study your audience’s interests.
You should publish at least three pins a day, but around ten per day is recommended if you want to grow your following. To excel on Pinterest, spending time studying the pins that are trending and following your competitor’s followers is crucial.
When you follow someone on a social media platform, that person will usually get a notification telling them that they have a new follower. In most cases, this will prompt the individual to check out the page that followed them – in this case, yours – and this may earn you a follower who will later share your profile with others.
Pinterest also uses hashtags and the format is like Twitter’s, so scroll up and consider our suggestions if you want to use hashtags like a pro on Pinterest and Twitter.
You should post at least once a day on Instagram, but no more than three times. Instagram also uses hashtags but, unlike Twitter, there doesn’t appear to be any punishment for using as many hashtags as you can if you don’t post too much with the same hashtag(s).
Over the year, we have helped many social influencers and online entrepreneurs, so we understand how precious the time growing your social media presence is.
As contractor accountants, we can handle your finances and free up your time, so learning about how to market yourself and your product is easier than ever. In the meantime, if you’re looking for some help regarding your take-home pay, you can try out our contractor tax calculator.