Not sure where to start when it comes to promoting your business on social media?

Social media can seem overwhelming, but fortunately there are a few basic principles that can help guide you through the ‘getting started’ stages.

The golden rule of social media is to engage with your target market on their preferred platform, using relevant and useful content. Your customers are more likely to come across posts on the platforms they prefer to use and to read, share, like and comment on posts that interest them.

Sometimes this means there is a disconnect between the content you want to post (such as special offers and product information) and the information your audience will find useful and engaging.

Unless you’re one of the lucky few who have a knack for writing engaging content off the bat, you’re going to need to do a bit of research and put together a social media strategy on how to create and deliver that content.

Here are some tips to help you get started.

Work out which social media platforms are best for your business

  1. Choose a platform you want to include as part of your social media mix (for example, Facebook).
  2. On the social media platforms you’re interested in using, search for similar businesses to yours.
  3. Look for businesses with at least a few thousand followers that post on a regular basis (at least weekly).
  4. Browse through their profiles to find posts that their audience are engaging with (posts that get a lot of likes, shares, comments).
  5. Make note of the content theme (eg. was the post educational, problem solving, entertaining or news focused).
  6. Repeat this process for several business pages and identify popular topics or themes.

Plan your social media content

Now you’ve done your homework, it’s time to use your research to help you plan your social media content. You could:

  1. Create your own content from scratch, including written updates, images, infographics and/or videos. Experimenting with different content types is a useful way to test the kind of content that your audience engages with the most.
  2. Comment on relevant content you’ve found elsewhere. You could use a social media post or article someone else has created to express your view on a popular topic.
  3. Use a quote from an article and then express your view or standpoint.
  4. Provide a link to relevant content on an external website.
  5. Share content created by someone else (make sure you have their permission and/or credit them for their work).

Tips to help you create social media content

Once you’ve decided on the type of content you’re going to post you need to develop it.

This can be one of the most challenging parts of the process – the big question is ‘what am I going to share today?’

Luckily, there are some useful tools that can help you generate ideas for your social media posts.

Content idea generator websites

These tools allow you to enter a topic or keyword related to your business and in return you will be given a list of potential topics that are popular in relation to your industry.

Google tools

There are a range of tools freely available from Google that you can tap into for insights into what people are searching for in relation to your product, service or industry.

  1. Google’s Keyword Planner can give you an insight into what people are searching for when it comes to your product or service, helping you generate content that answers the questions they are asking online.
  2. Google search suggestions/autocomplete can be used to explore what users are searching for. By typing a topic into the Google search bar, you’ll see a list of auto suggestions based on what’s popular for that topic.
  3. Google Search Console provides you with insights into how visitors are being drawn to your website. This free tool reports on the search terms people are putting into Google that result in them visiting your business website.

AI tools

Apps like ChatGPT can be used to brainstorm new content ideas as well as help you develop key information to cover and calls to action. Read our article AI made simple: An introduction for small business to find out more.

Draw on human experiences

Are there questions you are frequently asked about your products or services? Or compliments you regularly receive from happy customers? The conversations you have in your business with customers, suppliers or staff could provide inspiration for social media content that you hadn’t considered.

Behind the scenes (BTS)

Providing your customers with a ‘behind the scenes’ look at your business can be another affective way of building up a social media following and customer loyalty. BTS content can seem more genuine and less ‘marketing’ focused than some other content, which may appeal to certain audiences.

Want to learn more about social media marketing?

This is just a summary of the steps involved in getting started with your social media strategy. If you’re interested in learning how to develop and implement a complete digital strategy in your business then join us for our Digital Marketing Essentials workshop or explore our range of practical sales and marketing workshops.

23 April 2024