Social media has provided small businesses with the opportunity to market their brands on a big scale at a fraction of the cost. This said, in order for social media to work to a company’s advantage, users need to understand the various platforms and know how to use them effectively to see the benefits for the business.
“Make sure the time you spend using social media is time well spent by familiarising yourself with the different social media platforms and devising a solid strategy that will contribute to your business growth, customer engagement or sales support,” says Carolyn Holgate, GM of MWEB’s Connect Division.
Here are a few tips to help users along the way:
Engaging content
While social media can benefit a business, posting anything and everything on social media platforms may well turn potential and existing customers away.
When engaging on social platforms, users must be mindful that they are entering an open community which is bombarded with information. Keep content relevant to the area of business, current and around topics that are likely to be of interest to a target audience.
Less is more
Think quality, not quantity. Fans and followers would rather read two good Tweets a day than two hundred bad ones. Don’t post for the sake of posting. If users continually bombard followers with information, they will most likely unfollow the company.
Choose the right platform
The “big five” of social media are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest, but not all of them may be suitable platforms for a business. If a company is a legal advisor, for instance, LinkedIn is a great space for users to interact with other people in their industry, and share contact details with potential clients.
However, as a legal advisor, it makes little sense signing up to Pinterest, which is more suited to a lifestyle brand. Before embarking on a social media strategy or campaign, ask which platforms the target market is likely to be using and which platforms target markets would most expect to engage with a business on, and focus on these.

Consistency is key

When using social media, remember that the target audience may well be engaging with the brand across more than one of the social media platforms. Ensure the brand voice and key messaging is consistent, no matter whether using one, two or three of the “big five”.
Consistent key messaging and brand tone will help the target audience to quickly identify the brand, and better understand its personality and positioning.
Get analytical
Users may think measuring the success of social media requires little expertise, but this is not the case. If users want the best results from their social media campaign or strategy, they need to analyse the results of their efforts properly. Google Analytics and Facebook Insights are two free tools with which users can track their progress.
These tools will allow users to determine how many people they are interacting with, what content is best received and the growth of the fan base. The great thing about Google Analytics is it’s a simple three step process – setup the analytics account, identify the main traffic sources and create advanced segments which will allow users to compare and see the difference of the follwers’ interaction.
There are also many paid for analytics platforms. Using these analytics tools will help users improve strategy by showing them their social media strengths and weaknesses.
Interact with others
In order to get more followers on social media, users need to engage more with others. Look for relevant or like-minded brands and businesses in the industry and start interacting with them online.
Posting comments on their social media pages will alert them to the online presence and encourage them to check out the page. Users will also be tapping into their fan base, which has the potential to help users grow their own.