4 tips for starting out on social media

When starting out on social media it can be overwhelming. Which platform should you be on? How often do you need to post? What should you post? What shouldn’t you post?! Is Facebook right for me? Do I need to learn how to dance like those TikTok dancers? Eek!

Don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it appears and by following a few simple steps you’ll be hashtagging with the best of them in no time.

So, to answer common questions:

1. Which platform should you be on?

Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, WeChat, YouTube, there are literally thousands of social media platforms to choose from around the world. However, this one is easy! Where are most of your customers spending most of their time? Like the beer ad says, where they are is “where you want to be”. In New Zealand, Facebook is king so you should always start with a presence here. If you are a professional services provider then LinkedIn is your next most important. 

2. What should I post?

You may not believe it but actually this is the fun part! Social media is about helping people get to know you and like you so take a look around your company and consider what would help people see this. It could be your beautiful display cases if you’re a bakery, your glorious vista if you’re a hotel, your team’s profiles if you’re a professional services company. For bonus points make a list of what would really help your customers the most and create blog posts and content around this. 

3. How often should I post?

Best practice is different for different channels. Consistency is important, start as you mean to go-on; you’ll notice professional bloggers have a weekly schedule they adhere to. As a rough guide for smaller businesses with limited resources, we recommend posting on Facebook two to three times per week and Instagram five to seven times per week. There is a big BUT though because it is MUCH more important to have quality content than weak content. Don’t post for the sake of posting.

4. How do I know if it’s working?

You won’t be short on metrics to measure on social media, in fact this can be overwhelming. Two important ones to track are Reach and Engagement. However, the one that is subjective but the most important is the insights and feedback you get from the social media community you have built up. Questions to think about each week are:

  1. Did I learn something about how I could run my business better?
  2. Did I connect and feel connected with my community this week?

Remember your core goal. You aren’t doing social media to tick a box. You’re doing it to build a strong relationship with your community.

Why? When we have a strong relationship with an organisation, we:

  • Drive 20 metres more down the road to shop (sales)
  • Defend the company from attacks (loyalty)
  • Talk about the company to others (advocacy)
  • Share feedback with them (research)
  • Become true advocates – (shareability and talkability)

When we truly connect with a brand we feel part of the organisation’s story.

“It’s not about storytelling anymore, it’s about story-making!”

About the author

Wendy Thompson is the CEO and founder of Socialites, 2018 Australasian Social Media Agency of the Year. Socialites has been helping build digital communities of raving fans for clients large and small since 2010, including Spark, New World, Ice Breaker, Auckland Airport, Mitre 10 and Microsoft. Get in touch with them on their website www.socialites.co.nz 


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