Getting Your SME Social Media Presence Right
Ten years ago, an SME would not have given importance to social networks such as MySpace, Orkut and Hi.
Fast forward today, where in a world of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (to name the top three) many businesses, both, small and large survive because of social networks. This post talks about how you can plan and execute your social media strategy, keeping in mind limitations of time and budgets that SMEs typically face.
Securing Your Social Media Presence
What’s in a name, a rose by any other name is still a rose, right? But you know better. You have had countless discussions coming up with a name that suits your business best, found a domain name and built a website that showcases all your products and services. The next step is to ensure that your brand name is the same across all social media handles. These are also called vanity urls. Think facebook.com/yoursme (for Facebook) or @yoursme (for Twitter) and www.linkedin.com/company/yoursme. It provides consistency to your users, and allows your business to be seen and recognised in more places. However, apart from these top social networks, did you know that there are hundreds of other networks that you need to have this consistency? It can be extremely difficult to secure your brand name across all social networks. That’s where sites such as Name Check (namechk.com) or Knowem (knowem.com) come in handy. Here you can search over 500 popular social networks and over 150 domain names to see if your desired username or vanity url is still available.
Getting Your Social Media Content Strategy Right
Whether you are looking to gain followers on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, or Instagram, here are some of the key points to remember. First step is to ensure that your profile is filled completely. Add as much detail as you can on your company page. Apart from services and products offered, ensure that you also update your company news, events, and customer success stories on your social network and not just on your website. Feel free to share photos and videos of your team and of your work. In-short, think of your social media page as an extension of your company’s profile, but at a more personal level. You can also share industry knowledge posts gathered from other sites, use the channel for customer support and not just product launches.
One of the most important point to consider is that social media is a lot about how well designed your posts are. Being an SME, you may not have the resources to hire a full fledged graphic designer. The good news is that you don’t have to. There are sites such as Canva (www.canva.com) which helps you design presentations, social media graphics and more with thousands of beautiful layouts. It has everything you need for amazing design and it’s free.
You should start posting updates to your profile once you have enough content to keep you going for at least a month, the frequency being 6-8 posts every week to begin with. However, you don’t have to login to individual social networks to post updates. Websites such as Buffer (www.buffer.com) and Hootsuite (hootsuite.com) can take the tediousness out of posting your social media updates to different networks. You can write a bunch of posts at one time, choose which social profiles to send them to, and then use the tool to spread them out throughout the day or week.
Getting Your First 1000 Genuine Followers
Now that you have your vanity urls and social media handles along with your content, how do attract your audience (called followers) to interact with your social media page? Start by using what you have. Add your social media links on your website, your email signature, your company brochures and of course your calling cards.
In the beginning, get your friends, employees, colleagues, family and neighbours (you get the picture, just about anyone you know) to ‘like’ or ‘follow’ your page. Once you have some initial traction, join a few groups on the relevant social network and engage in meaningful discussion, share insights, be seen and heard. You can follow the leaders in your industry and share their posts on your company page. While it is good to share interesting updates about your company, stay away from sharing information such as ‘what you had for lunch,’ (and so on.) The key is to be consistent, post often and keep your page interactive.
From being nowhere on the horizon, social media has now become a vast ocean of possibilities. As an SME, you can benefit from having an extended online presence and new channels to gain, interact and serve more customers than you would have otherwise been able to reach out to.
Ready to grow your online presence? See what Maxis eCommerce can do for you.