Love it or hate it, there’s no denying that social media is increasingly hard to ignore. A quick look at the most popular platforms shows us why. Facebook, the big daddy of them all, has 1.32 billion active users worldwide and there are more than 15 million businesses with Facebook pages. Twitter is small by comparison with 271m users, but a whopping 500m tweets are sent every day, with even The Queen now getting in on the action (see her very first tweet @BritishMonachy).
Major news stories such as the recent Ottawa shooting also now regularly break first on Twitter and new features such as Promoted Tweets are enabling businesses to run low cost marketing campaigns that reach customers in a new and effective way.
The race to keep up with it all however can be daunting. While one sixth of the world’s population has a Facebook account, many brands and businesses have struggled to understand how to use social media effectively. Even the platforms themselves can get caught napping with the speed of change. Facebook had to quickly adjust in order to keep up with the shift from PCs to smartphones as the device of choice by the majority of its users.
The secret is to not just chase numbers of Likes and Followers, but use it to engage with people by sharing stories, ideas and pictures. The platforms and networks themselves are designed for this and to fail to do properly means missing a massive opportunity to connect with customers and influencers in a way never before possible. There are many platforms to choose from, but here’s 6 Facebook and Twitter tips that every business user should know:
Choose your platform: Facebook is perfect for engaging with consumers, Twitter is tailor-made for B2B. Consider which (or both?) will be most suitable for your business needs.
Hashtag heaven: Twitter hashtags let you plug into industry debates, discuss issues or follow unfolding events. They pull tweets together in one stream such as #CircularEconomy or events like Sustainble Brands London #SB14London.
Be Seen: you control how much or how little to get involved, but the more you do, the more you’ll get back. But if tweeting isn’t your style, don’t worry. Some 40% of Twitter users never tweet but use it to follow people or keep up with industry news.
Make it Fun: Facebook is perfect for running competitions, promotions and giveaways. If your customers are consumers, consider using Facebook in your marketing mix. Irreverence works too – take a look at PG Tips Monkey’s page to see how the pros are doing it.
Get organised: Use Twitter lists to sort those you follow and dashboard tools such as Hootsuite or Tweepi to manage them into multiple streams you can check at a glance.
Go Back To School
Book yourself onto a social media skills course. Learn how to best apply it to business and share experiences with others. Book now for our next Social Media for Business course on Tues 25th November 2014 in Guildford. Limited to 10 places so hurry!
Amanda Barry-Hirst is a Director at green issues PR & Social Media specialists Third Rock Communications Ltd www.thirdrockcomms.co.uk Follow her on Twitter @ThirdRockAmanda