Yesterday Primary Image listened to a number of social media marketing experts at an event in London’s Canary Wharf (held 32 floors up, so it was a bit hard to pay attention with the incredible views outside!). The day was organised by Host Europe, who we have worked with for many years to house and maintain our web hosting services.
Here’s some social media advice we picked up from the experts, as well as splashing some of our own social media tips into the mix too:
SOCIAL media tips!
Journalist and writer Tim Fuell gave a great talk and shared his tips for social media success, which we’ve loosely repeated below (but with our own wording!):
Choose a short name for your brand, website address and social media accounts. It’ll make it more memorable and easier to share. Twitter also has character limits, so you don’t want to take up too much space!
Try not to include underscores, hyphens or other fiddly characters. They’re less easy to remember and harder to type on mobile devices.
Make sure your brand is easy to say and pronounce. Avoid joining words together that can easily be misread, e.g. childrenswear.co.uk could be read in two different ways, as could therapist.com!
Be clear on what you do and what you’ll be sharing on your social media accounts. Normally you should avoid mixing lots of different, unrelated topics. Stick to a certain area and entertain that audience.
Signpost people from your social media messages to your website, where you can give more detailed information and have a “call to action” to get your customers to do something, e.g. make a purchase, fill out a contact form, etc.
Get involved in the conversations happening and ensure you’re encouraging two-way comms. Don’t be a robot!
Keep up a regular routine, say once per day, twice per week, etc. Try to avoid big bursts of activity, followed by long periods of silence. Tools like Hootsuite exist where you can schedule your social media posts in advance.
Make sure your content is relevant and interesting (know your audience).
Get visual and share pictures and videos where possible. Images can easily catch people’s attention and increase engagement with your audience. In fact, Facebook said a few months ago that its algorithms will favour posts from business/fan pages that incorporate visual content, so these kind of posts are more likely to be seen in your followers’ news streams.
If sharing video, try to keep it to 60 seconds maximum. Most people will not have the attention after that.
Have matching account names across the different social media sites, so your recognisable.
Ensure you use a consistent logo across the different social platforms.
Don’t ignore people who send you social media messages – get involved and message them back!
Inject a little humour when appropriate. People mostly use social media in their spare time, so don’t go too corporate and heavy!
Make sure your social media accounts are clearly visible and linked from your website, with easy to recognise icons.
Do ensure that your website address is populated in the “about” sections of each of your social media profiles.
Which social media network should you use for your business marketing?
There isn’t one definitive answer for this, but Nick Leech, Marketing Director for Host Europe, recommended Facebook should be your Number 1 choice purely because it’s the largest platform and “everyone is on it!”
Whilst some people may have thought LinkedIn is the obvious choice for B2B (business to business) marketing, he said the site is very much based around a career focus and people on LinkedIn are mostly interested in “me”, i.e. selling themselves and their CV. The other users on there are head hunters looking to recruit people.
For Google+, Nick said the limited audience makes it a less appealing destination, despite it having some good features. He argued that as we only have a limited number of hours per day, we’re best of concentrating our efforts into the most fruitful places.
However, Nick did caution that Facebook is so busy that you have to accept that “very few people will see you posts, perhaps only around 6% of your followers.” If you want to get your posts seen by more people, you have to pay, and that’s how Facebook makes its money!
Paid-for social media advertising
Where Facebook used to rely on advert boxes on the side of pages, it now incorporates native advertising, i.e. commercial posts integrated into your news stream. This makes it harder for people to ignore these sponsored posts and some people may not even realise they’re seeing advertising! This form of marketing has been proven to be much more successful than other methods.
Nick argued that unlike using Google Adwords, buying banner adverts on the internet, or creating an email marketing campaign, you can do your marketing via social media platforms at little or no cost.
If you are willing to invest in a little paid-for social media advertising (often called “sponsored posts”), it allows you to specifically target certain niche audiences, so has huge potential for your marketing campaigns.
Need some advice or help running your social media campaigns, building up your audience, and converting your followers into customers? Speak to us at Primary Image!
Did you know we can also help with designing your social media account artwork, such as creating Facebook cover banners? Drop me a message with what you need!
Mike founded Primary Image in 2010. He specialises in the WordPress website platform and speaks regularly at national web design conferences. Mike became a member (MCIPR) of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations in 2015.