Facebook, Instagram, Twitter – social media isn’t just for tech-savvy teenagers, but can be useful in the business world too. It’s not just for sharing selfies and pictures of your dinner, but can help you connect with your customers in a way that wasn’t possible before.
If you’re a creative business, Instagram is a network for sharing pictures and short videos. It’s ideal for photographers, graphic designers etc, but also businesses such as hairdressers, retailers
and stylists. You don’t just need to post pictures of your products, but could share customer images or complementing trends, so followers can picture your items in real life, rather than in a shop. You sign up with a name (choosing one the same as your Twitter name is a good idea), select a picture to post and then have the option to add filters, captions, hashtags, and tag other accounts. Followers will see your picture in their feed and can like or comment on it.
Twitter is a popular network for businesses – you pick a name (or “handle”) and share updates of up to 140 characters. People can then tweet you directly by including @YourName in their tweets. Tweets can include web links, pictures and hashtags – your followers can then reply, favourite, or re-tweet (republish) your tweets. Hashtags vary between currently trending topics, to recurring ones, such as #FODhour – an hour a week where Forest of Dean businesses use the hashtag to communicate with each other, promote themselves and reach clients.
Facebook overtook MySpace a few years ago as the popular place to share photos, status updates and anything else you can think of. Businesses can set up a page, where you can share anything from behind the scenes pictures, to special offers and exclusive discounts for likers of your page. As well as enabling a two-way dialogue with your customers, it lets them interact with you in a more informal manner, and leave comments or questions outside office hours, when they can’t call you.
As well as these three networks, you might consider Google+ (a little like Facebook), Pinterest (an online pinboard), Periscope (a live video streaming app), YouTube (videos – ideal for video blogs and demonstrations), Vine (short, looping videos) and LinkedIn (which deserves a whole post on its own, as a business networking site). This might sound like a lot of work – but there are apps that can streamline your social media, let you post to multiple sites from one app, and collect all your responses and notifications in one place.
If you want to chat about social media and how it can help your business, or anything else IT related, please contact us on [email protected], or search for us on Facebook or Twitter!