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Social Media for SME’s: Your guide to social platform best practice

by Jordan Ellis
on 10 Apr, 2019

It is not the size of your resources that will define your success as a small to medium enterprise (SME), it is how you use them. Social media has brought us countless rags to riches success stories; with businesses, such as Frank Body, skyrocketing their brands to million dollar milestones with as little as $5000 for a startup marketing budget.

In the second edition of our social media for SME series, we’ll talk you through Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn best practice; simple steps your business can take to achieve social media success with the budget of an SME.

Your holy-grail image dimensions infographic

The key to owning your social media presence begins with creating professional and purposeful profiles. An immediate signpost that a business isn’t run by a social-media native? Incorrect and ill-fitting image sizes.

Want to know what image sizes are used for each social media platform?

Follow our helpful infographic below for a fail-safe guide to profile perfection.

Social media image dimension infographic

 

Facebook best practice

Set up a free ‘business’ page

It is essential that your company is listed as a business on Facebook in order for your brand to take advantage of the excellent facilities the platform has to manage or promote your business online.

Facebook recently made some changes to its business profiles, making the platform increasingly tailored to mobile devices and promoting business

Don’t forget to fully complete the extended information within your ‘about’ sections to further legitimise your business and inform potential customers of what sets your business apart from the competition.

 

Set up automatic replies

Facebook also recently updated its messaging policy to include a number of excellent features for SME management.

However, one of the most beneficial existing messenger applications is the ‘automatic reply’ function.

When running your business, attending to frequent questions via Facebook can become 24 a hour task. The ‘automatic reply’ feature allows your company to pre-set a standard response to messages to ensure your consumers are acknowledged as soon as possible after making contact. This aids the professional standard of your business whilst simultaneously proving your commitment to customer service and easing the pressure to respond.

Facebook automatic reply function gif

Want to see the automatic reply function in action? Message us on Facebook here!

 

Monitor and respond to reviews

Your star rating is an incredibly influential representation of your business.

This rating on Facebook is a public portrayal of your customers satisfaction and ensuring it is as positive as possible should be a priority for your brand.

Communication is a key component to keeping your consumers happy on Facebook.

Reply to negative reviews and contact their writers personally. Offer them compensation depending on the severity of the review and if appropriate, kindly ask them to reconsider their review on your page.

Your rating could be the factor that draws prospective leads to convert or steers them into the direction of your competitors.

 

Establish a community group

Setting up a basic community group will provide a space for your buyers to discuss information, tips and tricks involving your products and services.

These groups can be incredibly beneficial for business markets with typically active audiences; particularly in the fitness, technology and food-related industries.

 

Build your foundation with organic posts

One of social media’s greatest strengths is that it is free. Take advantage of this fact when first launching your page and experiment with organic posts.

Test the waters of your average organic reach and understand what kind of content your existing followers best respond to.

Always build a solid page foundation before looking to more advanced advertising options.

 

Try the new call-to-action function on Facebook Stories

Facebook truly believe the ‘story’ function is the future of advertising – and the all important enabler of their AI functionality. Facebook are all in on stories, and are exploring new methods of getting users to interact with them on their platform. Facebook recently released ‘call to action buttons’ that allow users to access links directly from a particular story.

We definitely recommend testing out this new feature – although Facebook Stories are yet to prove themselves to be as successful as their Instagram counterpart we are excited to see if Facebook’s research will pay off.

 

Sponsored posts and the Facebook Business Management suite

Facebook Business Manager has had some incredible SME campaign success-stories in the past, with sponsored posts on Facebook allowing companies to achieve up to 65% increase in sales throughout the campaign.

Facebook Business manager is an incredibly easy tool to use and allows simple and straightforward content planning and scheduling from a desktop across both Facebook and Instagram platforms.

Sponsored posts have the ability to elevate your digital marketing to reach greater heights in terms of audience targeting and reach. Our only word of caution is to start out small and test your market engagement as you go. Facebook will prompt you with flashy numbers and a promise of greater engagement if you ‘push’ your posts to new customers and increase your advertising spend. However, remember to think critically about your desired audience and appropriate budget; a small, yet targeted user group will likely be more efficient than a general, broad audience.

 


Need a hand transforming your social media strategy into a reality? Contact us today for assistance from our expert team of social media and digital strategists. 


 

Instagram best practice

Create a free ‘business’ page

Similarly to Facebook, Instagram also has an excellent business profiling tool.

The tool allows you to track real-time consumer data, use sponsored advertising and connects conveniently to your Facebook Manager account.

Set up a free business page and reap the benefits of the platform’s extended commercial offerings.

 

Stick to a rough theme and post frequently

Instagram is all about aesthetic, so it is important that your business plans its content to best represent your brand visually. Choose a rough theme or colour palette and try to tailor your creative to fit within these limits.

We recently overhauled our Instagram grid to help fine-tune our brands visual identity.

Frequent, organic posting is the backbone of Instagram’s marketing strategy. Remaining relevant and blending seamlessly into your followers feeds is an essential success driver within the platform, so be sure to post engaging imagery that aligns well with your consumer base and their aesthetic.

 

Instagram Theme Scroll Gif

Want to see more? Check out the rest of our Instagram here!

 

Utilise user-generated content

Your followers are your greatest asset. Social media has an amazing capacity for brand interaction and Instagram is an excellent tool for viewing the way your users interact with your product or service visually.

User-generated content is an invaluable resource that stems from social media, so repost your users images and stay in touch with your consumers ‘tagged-in’/hashtagged references in order to fully take advantage of this free exposure.

Repurposing a followers imagery can be a fantastic way to build a loyal and engaged customer base who have a strong desire to post actively about your brand on their own channels. Just be sure to always give credit when reposting and to shout out your followers actively – no one wants another ‘fuckjerry’ public backlash.

 

Make the most of stories

61% of brands plan to invest a greater amount in Instagram Stories in 2019. Instagram Stories have proven their worth over the last few years, with a massive 400+ million daily active user count as of 2018.

Instagram Stories are a business’ best friend. Not only are they in an even more native format than sponsored posts within the traditional feed, but they have a number of added features tailored specifically for business and e-commerce, such as the ‘Instagram Shopping’ function for stories.

Stories – when aided by paid promotion, or not – are incredibly powerful in developing your brand’s engagement, customer experience and visual identity. Utilise their unique features to your advantage by incorporating gifs, background music, questions, countdowns and ‘ratings’ to engage your audience.

 

Invest in sponsored content

Instagram is known to be one of the most successful and seamless advertising platforms available to marketers, due to the fact that the brands ‘sponsored posts’ are convincingly formatted as organic images.

As mentioned above, this ‘native style’ is a huge benefit to the platform, and is allowing the apps slow evolution into a highly efficient and successful marketplace to remain mostly under the radar.

A majority of Instagram users know that they are going to be marketed to on the platform, with a large group of these users actively embracing the platforms commercial value. Approximately 54% of Millennials research products via social media before purchasing, and as we mentioned in part one of our ‘Social for SME’s’ series, 78% of consumers say companies social media posts impact their purchase process.

Take advantage of this new wave of advertising acceptance and explore your opportunities for sponsored content on Instagram.

 

Use Hashtags

This one is mostly common sense. It is a well known fact that Instagram posts that feature at least one hashtag experience an increase of 12.6% in likes, engagement and growth than those that do not.

However the role of the hashtag has evolved slightly over the years on Instagram, not only acting as a gateway for new, interested users to discover content but also as a tool for content curation.

During 2018, Instagram dropped a new feature that enabled users to follow hashtags on the platform. This can be used as a powerful tool for businesses that strategically share content relevant to topics of interest for their audience.

Content curation is an ingenious way to continue to post frequently on Instagram without wasting away your brands resources and original imagery – we highly recommend it for all SMEs.

 

Review your analytics

Instagram Insights are an incredibly powerful tool that make it simpler and easier than ever to understand your audience. Within your Instagram analytics, be sure to actively evaluate your post engagement, your ‘ideal posting time’, the demographics of your audience and your reach. This data will be invaluable in shaping your content plan and better understanding the type of content your audience is interested in.

 

Engage, respond, interact

Be active. Social media provides an incredibly unique opportunity to engage and interact with your audience on a truly personal and granular level.

Show your customers you care by responding and reacting to their comments, questions and content – it will only work in your favour both in terms of Instagram’s recommendation algorithm, and in building a more engaged audience.

 

Ultimately, have fun

One important rule of Instagram: don’t take yourself too seriously.

If the story of Instagram account world_record_egg has taught us anything, it’s that users love content that makes them laugh and interacts with relevant pop culture movements.

Don’t be afraid to embrace your brand personality online, the chances are it will only grow your loyal following.

 


Want a stronger social media presence but don’t know where to start? Contact us today for assistance from our expert team of social media and digital strategists. 


 

LinkedIn best practice

Set up a brand page

Although straightforward and intuitive, setting up your profile correctly is essential to your business’ identity on LinkedIn.

Be sure to invest time into developing a snappy, yet informative description and always use relevant keywords and phrases when referring to your business. Be sure to put your best foot forward when talking about your brand’s operation and achievements. Remember, first impressions last and this is the perfect opportunity to snapshot your business in the best light possible to future clients, talent and partners!

 

Post meaningful content

Content may be king, but the type of content you use on LinkedIn can greatly affect your engagement levels, and sometimes even your reputation. It is important when creating content for LinkedIn that you remember who you are speaking to and understand your audience.

LinkedIn is not the place to share content simply for the sake of it; contrary to the two other platforms we mentioned in this blog, this is not the place for memes and pop culture messaging. LinkedIn is a place to carefully curate an industry image for your brand, source potential talent and engage with future clientele.

LinkedIn post featuring a quote from the Thirst Creative Managing Director and Co-founder

Your LinkedIn brand profile is also an excellent place to champion your employees. Showcase their expertise and achievements to strengthen your organisations credibility and talent brand.  

Want to see more? Check out our LinkedIn profile here!

It is essential that your content reflects your business achievements, industry movements or news, testimonials and staff opinion pieces or quotes. Some of the best mediums for communicating this information is through rich media such as blogs, LinkedIn publications and video.

LinkedIn even lets you pin your most relevant content to the top of your profile to ensure your business can make its best first impression on visitors – we currently have our favourite business profiling video pinned to the top of our page, check it out here!

 

Encourage your employees to reference the page

Exposure is everything, and who better to champion your brand and its achievements than the very employees who made them happen!

The simple action of sharing your profiles content will expand your page reach exponentially and will also transform your employees into online ambassadors for your brand success.

 

Use content suggestions and curate content to engage with your industry

Content suggestions are a feature recently released by LinkedIn that help businesses share content from and start conversations with relevant players in their industries.

As discussed in our Instagram best-practice, content curation is a great way to save resources and provide your followers with relevant and interesting content year round. However, with the added lens of LinkedIn, content sharing facilitates an opportunity for connection and networking among businesses that share a common interest or audience.

 

Use your analytics

As with every platform, the more data the better. Frequently review and utilise the information within your analytics – use your insights to your advantage and follow your profile trends in user behaviour.

 

 

Automation

Social media can be a handful – especially when you’re juggling content creation and account management across multiple platforms. There are a number of tools you can use online to streamline your social management process and take the stress out of social planning.

Check out our list of automation assets below:

 

 

Need help with your social strategy?

Do you need help setting up a social media strategy, theme or content plan? Our team have a number of tailored solutions to help your business achieve social media success. Get in touch with us today.


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