A beginners guide to social media

One of the questions our social team is asked the most is, how do you get started on social media? This blog will answer that question and help you get started on social, covering every step of the way. To ensure this piece is as comprehensive as possible for anybody starting out on social, our social media team has written this blog post collaboratively, to make sure every point is covered! 

Getting started on social media can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right preparation and guidance, creating social accounts and developing a presence can be simple.

Today, most brands have an active presence across at least one social media channel. If you don’t have a presence on the main networks, you’re missing out on an audience that’s ready and willing to connect with your brand

There are several social networks to choose from, so whether you feel like tackling them all, or just one, try and choose the platform which will work best for your business. For example, a sports talk show could work well on YouTube or Twitter, while an e-commerce brand would likely be best suited to Instagram and Facebook. 

There’s not always a one size fits all for social media, but to make things easier, we’ve put together a list of things you need to consider when getting your business started on social media.

Why should your brand have a presence on social?

Determine why you are using social media.

It’s important to acknowledge the primary reasons you have decided to build a brand presence on social. It doesn’t have to be a single answer either; there could be multiple reasons, but defining your expectations will help to provide direction for your business in this space. 

Decide what you want to achieve.

This could be anything from brand awareness to lead generation. If you have clear goals from the start, it will be easier down the line to create content which helps you achieve your objectives.  Take note, as this will provide the foundation of your social media strategy.

Who do you want to speak to?

Define who you want to speak to.

This requires some time. Do your research, but start with what you already know about your customers. Where are they congregating and communicating online? Can you find out who they are interacting with? What conversations are they having online? Maybe look at your competitors and who is following them, or research into the accounts your target audience are following. Note this down to help you build a bigger picture of your target audience and what resonates with them. Once you know which social networks they are using and how they are using them, this will inform your own approach to social. 

What makes you different from your competitors?

Research how your competitors use social and take learnings from this.

Researching into the content your competitors are sharing is an important step to help you identify opportunities. Is there a platform they’re posting on that’s seeing strong results? Do you think there is an opportunity that your competitors aren’t making the most of? Use competitor research to your advantage to take away positive learnings for your own approach to social, but also to find gaps which your brand could fill.

How do you reach your audience?

Decide which social channels are right for your business and what you need to run them.

Having researched your customers and competitors, you should already have an idea of which social channels are right for your brand. It’s now important to recognise that to run your social media channels successfully, you need to have the right resources available. Ask yourself these questions: Who will run the social media channels? Who will answer customer service queries? Who will create assets or blogs? Do I need to arrange a photoshoot? If you do not have these resources available to you in-house, you may need to consider outsourcing some elements before creating your new social media profiles. It is important to remember that social media activity needs to be ongoing – once you start you need to continue with regular posts that interest and engage your audience.

What do you want to say?

Define your key messages on social.

Finally, before getting started, you need to think about the messaging you want to publish on social. This could be about your brand, products, services, or even your team members. Whatever aligns to your brand values, but also makes you stand out as a business. Think about what makes your business different and how that translates into content which is both useful and interesting to your target audience. Don’t just promote your products and/or services, you should also think of social media as a platform to connect with your audience and serve them! It’s also important to think back to your audience and competitor research to create content your audience engages with, or responds well to. 

Consider how you can use different media types to communicate your messages.

There are many different types of content, from video or image-based to blogs, so be creative and get inspired by what has worked well for others. The type of content that your audience engages with can always change, so this is something you need to monitor closely from month-to-month when planning content.

Summary

Setting up on social media requires a lot of thought and effort. Based on extensive research and planning, your strategy will be a compilation of everything you plan to do across each social network and how this will help you achieve your goals on social media. The more specific, the more effective! While there is no magic formula to ‘get social media right’, establishing why and how you are going to approach social will get you on the right path before jumping in to set up your social profiles. Just remember to always come back to the ‘why’, ‘who’ and ‘what’ to ensure you are on track to meet your business goals. If you ever need any more assistance, our team of social media experts are here to help!

Arrange a .conversation today.

If you’re looking for an agency to help you get started, our social media team is here to help you on your venture into the online world. Give us a call us on 01603 252555 or fill in a contact form here to find out more.

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