Social Media

Choosing a platform that works for you..

Goldmine business types

posted June 2017

The approach you take when advertising your business on Social Media websites depends on the type of business you have.

You can obviously create a free page for your business on Facebook for example, but sometimes the groups you join on Facebook can be more useful.

In addition to local interest groups and fan groups, there are thousands of groups where people buy and sell items, maybe that's where you should be advertising if you're selling baby clothes locally for example. There are plenty of groups for businesses to advertise locally or nationally. Anyone can create a group and use it for whatever reason they want. People can search for groups and request to join them. You may find it useful to set up your own group or several groups for the purpose of generating a crowd to advertise to.

Perhaps you join several business groups and advertise in each, posting the same message to the same groups, day in, day out. You may begin to realise the only people visiting the business groups are those there to advertise their products too. Why else would they be there? However, this advertising channel can be useful if you are targeting businesses. This is a place you know they'll come to.

If you're a local handyman or tradesman, some Facebook groups can be a gold mine. Seek out and join your local area groups, plus all other areas where your service reaches. You'll soon see people asking if anyone knows of a local plumber, decorator, builder, etc. and that's where you step in and reply. If you do a decent job for someone off Facebook they will probably recommend you to other people in their group. Make sure you leave your business card after completing each job!  Plus, once you've replied to a few posts, those posts will stay there for more and more people to see.  If they don't need your services, they'll maybe remember you when they do, or if a friend does.

Twitter is not the same at all. You won't see groups of people having flowings conversations like you see on Facebook, so finding someone local who is asking for your service on this platform is not going to happen, unless they contact you direct of course. If Business to Business is your thing, I suppose Twitter can be an easy place to collect business leads.

On Twitter you can 'follow' people and people can 'follow' you. This is similar to being friends on Facebook and all it means is you will see their tweets (posts) appear' in the same way as you see your friend's posts appear on Facebook. The difference on Twitter is they don't have to follow you back and that means they won't see your tweets unless they deliberately go to your profile page.  Also, if someone is not online when you tweet, they're probably not going to see it at all unless they go to your profile page to view all your tweets.  The exception is, if you include someones twitter name in a tweet, such as @merseyads, they will see a notification that they have been mentioned and will look at yout tweet, since this is the way people 'talk' to each other on twitter.  You can talk to anyone on twitter - they don't have to follow you and you don't have to follow them.  Twitter is public, well it's meant to be.  You can set your profile to private, but as a business why would you do that?  That means only followers you have accepted can view any of your tweets.  Some businesses which have set their profile to private follow us and we follow back, but we cannot retweet their message, to help spread the word and advertise them.  It would be pointless since none of our followers would see their private message.

More people following you potentially means more people seeing your tweets. If anyone retweets (shares) your message, it is seen by their followers too. On Facebook it's not easy to get people to 'like' your page, but on Twitter businesses will follow you back simply because you have followed them, and other businesses will be doing the same - following you just so you'll follow them back. If anyone hasn't followed you back after a couple of days or weeks you can simply unfollow them.

Having your business on social media sites can be a convenient way for your customers to find and contact you.  If a potential customer is considering a purchase, they may want to check you out first and it builds confidence if they can find you on their favourite social media platform.

If you have found success or failure using any particualar social media platform, tell people about it by commenting below.

You may not want to use social media, but you should at least set up your profile on each on them.  Google will find your social media pages and link them to your business, and that's a good thing.  Another reason to set up profile pages is to reserve your name - you don't want someone who has a very similar name, or the same name as your business, to get there first and take the name you wanted to use. That can confuse potential customers.  If you are a new business and have not quite decided on a name yet, it can be a good idea to search all Social Media sites to make sure the name you want to use is not already being used.