Using social media for business is a fine art. Converting posts to sales is a real mind game.

We like to think of social media as digital PR, a ‘feel good’ lead into your business. It takes time, planning, consistency and is never, in reality, free.

Done with skill it will reap SO many rewards, but don’t be fooled that it happens overnight.

Here’s our big tip:

The first rule of social media is to remember the ‘Social’ part! Yes, it started out as a way to connect with friends, and then businesses cottoned on. But the premis of people engaging with and sharing things of real value to them still stands. Tap into their senses, their community, make them ‘feel’ someting positive about you.

We’ll suggest our do’s and don’ts later

The next mega tip is:

Choose ONE social media channel that best suits your audience. Focus, master it and then add another when you can cope.

So which one is best? Ah, the loaded question….

While 33million UK people are on Facebook (that means another 33million of the population isn’t), are they the right demographic for you? Don’t assume they’re all young – they were when it first launched in 2004, but now they’re almost 15 years older! And new things have come along to capture the young audience.

Is Twitter right then? Maybe. It depends who you want to engage with. To connect with other businesses (if you’re B2B) look for your regional #countyhour eg #herefordhour #marcheshour etc They facilitate more direct promotion and are set up to share such posts, therefore gaining a greater business following. You can private message accounts and be more direct with them in a salesy way.

If your consumer is public (B2C) use topical hashtags to tap into the trending public conversations out there. Your posts should be much less ‘salesy’, if at all, to gain engagement.

What about Instagram, I hear you say? That beautiful visual stream of feel-good images. If your business can create those without asking every post to ‘buy me’, fill your boots.

Pinterest? Linked-in? Many more … the same principles apply – where is your target audience and what do you want to achieve?

Ultimately, social media is an ‘awareness’ tool. Be there regularly and you’ll build recognition, which builds reputation.

But our BIGGEST tip is:

Keep it SOCIAL. Yes we’ve kind of said that already, but there’s more: Don’t just post out; Comment (keep it pleasant), engage, support, create stories, be relevant, share, be generous to your fellow users. Why? ….

Imagine being at a party, and the anonymous person next to you is spouting about nothing but how good they are at everything, how well they’re doing, how you could too. But they’re not actually ‘interacting’ or asking anything about you …. nothing friendly or engaging on a personal level at all.

YAAWWWWWNNNN! You really would just zone out or probably walk away wouldn’t you.

It’s tempting to behave like this on social media. You don’t mean to, but you have a great product/service and you just can’t think of anything else to post from your business account – after all, it IS your business account, shouldn’t it BE about your BUSINESS?

Well, think about the party bore and remember, each other social media account is operated by a real PERSON. It might not always be a company owner, it could be a dedicated marketing person, but it’s a person who could become a customer or who could share your post. Appeal to and engage with them and they’ll reciprocate, sharing the love, propelling your lovely business name into cyberspace and perpetuating that cycle of positive inflection and third party advocacy to all their followers.

And we all know the buying rules – people buy from people … people they like, people they trust, people that other people seem to like and trust.

PING! But that’s not when the ‘selling’ starts, it’s when the buying starts from your social media.

Clever isn’t it.

For in-house or 1-1 social media training, contact or T: 07713 243869 to discuss requirements.