Using Social Media to your advantage
The first TV advert in the UK aired in 1955, it became the most effective way for big companies to advertise, over taking the traditional way of newspapers and magazines. However in 1991 the World Wide Web went live and thus changed the way we connect and interact with people whether that may be our family, friends or future customers.
The Four Horsemen
Sometimes referred to as the Big Four or GAFA. The four horsemen are the four main technology companies that are responsible for driving societal change. Each of the companies has an impact, right now on your life whether directly or indirectly. Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple. This societal change has impacted the way we, as business owners interact with customers and potential customers. People no longer look at the advertising section of newspapers, news is available via apps we automatically have on our phones or posted on Facebook. We record TV shows so we can fast forward through adverts or better still use streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime so we have no adverts and can binge watch to our hearts content.
So what does this mean for businesses?
For small businesses in particular, the change has been fantastic. A chance to stand with the 'big boys' of your chosen industry, the playing field is even on social media- if you know how to play.
Facebook has essentially built an advertising structure into their business - very clever. So how can you take advantage of this.
Firstly make sure you have a business page. In order to get your product or service out there, you need to grow your numbers. Share your page on your personal page and ask family and friends to like and share the page too. Run a competition or giveaway where users have to like and share your page in order to be entered. Post and share content FREQUENTLY. At least twice a day should your presence on Facebook be known. Now as a business owner myself, I know sometimes this is unattainable, however Facebook also has a clever feature called 'Schedule Post' if you are short on time pre organise your posts. Sponsoring your posts is also a HUGE trick that many people miss out on. You can boost a post, for a limited time, at a budget of your choosing and even target the audience you want based on their age, location and their interests.
In 2012 co founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger sold Instagram to Facebook....for a whooping $1 Billion dollars. A clever decision from Mark Zuckerberg as he now owns the two biggest social media platforms in the world. So whats the difference? Instagram, originally was used more by younger audiences however that has since changed and Instagram is quickly becoming the most used social media platform overtaking Facebook.
Personally Instagram is my preferred social media platform for personal use and business use. As a business we are more active on Instagram than Facebook, this is because we can interact with our followers more. Using Instagram stories to show behind the scenes and the feed feature to show student work, you can also interact with other people in the industry.
Instagram is synonymous with hashtagging, however it was Designer Chris Messina who first used it on Twitter. Both Instagram and Twitter use Hashtagging as a feature on their platforms in order for users to find posts/conversations/pictures they are looking for of the same nature. On Instagram it also allows people to find you, and create more followers.
Rules of hashtagging > when you add hashtags to a post that's set to public, the post will be visible on the corresponding hashtag page enabling people to look and follow your page, informing them or your product or service you offer.
Post your picture with a caption, then COMMENT underneath your hastags. This way if you have your Facebook page connected to your Instagram account you aren't posting them to Facebook.
Use a minimum of 16 hashtags if you wish to be seen in the 'Insta-sphere'
You can use up to 30 hashtags on one comment post. People can follow hashtags e.g. #beauty or purposefully look for them. There's over 1 billion Instagram users, all posting content, all wanting to be seen. Using one or two hashtags isn't going to cut it I'm afraid.
What to #
Use your hashtag quite literally, hashtag your location, what you are doing, the products your using. Create your own hashtag if you can, we often use #teamtrue for our pictures. Then jump on the most used hashtags #lashesonfleek #nailsofinsta
Things to remember.....
Social media is meant to be SOCIAL. Don't use your social media platform as a way to hard sell. Introduce your staff members, show them behind the scenes, let the users see a little bit of your private life. People want to know the people behind the business, they want to know your story.
Organise your social media posts by using the Bullet Journal technique to get you started
'Nobody likes being sold to, but they like shopping with friends'- Ryan Serhant
For more information google Facebook Blueprint for short free courses on how to use your Facebook and Instagram pages for business.
Next Week....Twitter, Google+, YouTube and Why you should have Snapchat
Don't forget, have a specific question or concern? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try and answer in my blog posts. All emails and questions will be anonymous.