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5 smart strategies for businesses who want to get started on social media today

social media tipsDoes your business use Twitter to build relationships with customers?

Or how about LinkedIn?

Or Facebook?

Whichever situation you are in, you can use social media to become the type of company that listens, engages, interacts and learns from customers in real-time.

You don't need to have lots of time, money or resources to succeed on social media either.

To help you get started, here are five ways business people can manage an active presence on social media.

1. Become a master of one network

Trying to manage a social media presence on multiple networks is time-consuming. And coming up with original content for each network and engaging with multiple groups of followers is a real challenge.

Instead, businesses should cultivate a strong presence on one social media network.

This way, it’s easier to keep track of competitors, engage with followers and create content specific for your chosen network.

Are you unsure about which social media network to pick?

Find out where your competitors and customers are most active online.

For example, the majority of the Sage CRM online audience use Twitter and LinkedIn so we've concentrated our resources on building a presence on these networks.

2. Spend your time strategically

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the other major social media networks are all excellent at alerting users about updates and activity throughout the day.

Unfortunately, responding to these notifications and alerts can quickly become time-consuming and can even prevent business people from concentrating on other tasks.

Instead, put aside 20 minutes each day to respond to your followers and post new content.

During this time, you could even use a social media automation tool like Buffer, HootSuite or Sprout Social to schedule your social media posts for the day.

This way, you can keep active on social media and go about your work.

3. Make social media part of your customer relationship management strategy

Social media rewards business people who use it as a tool for managing existing customer relationships.

For example, lots of businesses use Twitter to provide customer service to customers and handle queries about their products and services.

This kind of public engagement can influence conversations about your brand, and it shows your existing customers that your business cares about them.

Why is this important?

It can cost up to seven times more to acquire new customers than it does to retain existing customers.

Alternatively, you could use social media to keep up to date on industry trends and discreetly follow competitors.

This kind of free research is something that businesses would have previously paid a focus group thousands of dollars for.

4. It's all about images, images images!

Social media posts that include pictures and links generally perform far better than wordy, text-only updates.

You should include pictures of your team, product, services and satisfied customers.

If you’re struggling to find usable pictures, Canva makes it easy for to create professional images (like the one at the top of this post) even if you don't have design skills.

You can also use Creative Commons Image Search, Death to Stock Photo and Gratisography to source quality and free images.

Alternatively, consider encouraging customers to send you pictures of them using your product or service and reward those who do with discounts.

5. Measure and adjust your content like a pro

All the major social media networks have built-in analytics for businesses. Twitter's analytics, for example, enables you to see how many saw your tweets, how many people clicked on them and how many re-tweeted your updates.

At the end of the week or month, take a few minutes to explore these analytics and determine which of your social media posts performed best.

Consider:

  • How often was your content shared and liked?
  • Did your social media posts attract many new followers?
  • How many readers followed through on your call to action?

You can use this kind of information to decide on what type of social media content to create next and to tailor your message and calls to action accordingly.

Get more practical social media advice in our upcoming webinar

Do you want to learn more about using social media to grow your business?

Register for our upcoming webinar Making Every Conversation Count: A Practical Guide to Social CRM for Small and Medium Sized Businesses.

It takes place on August 5th at 07.00 BST and at 18.00 BST. You can convert these times here. Afterwards, you'll get a free eBook.

We don't want you to miss out, register today.