Find Your Button: MSPA’s bespoke advice on social media for creative business
The Brighton ETSY team recently approached My Special PA to give a talk specifically on effective use of social media for creative business.
So on the 3rd June, armed with heaps of information about the world of social media (much of this gleaned from her former training with online marketing expert Alicia Cowan) Emma went along to The Old Market – Brighton.
Here’s a summary of the top tips Emma shared (plus a few more!) on how to make the most of this incredibly powerful business development tool for creative business.
Choosing the right platform(s) for you…
It’s important to find the platform(s) that feels right for you and works well for your business.
- Visual platforms (e.g. Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube) lend themselves very well to creative industries
- Your target audience can easily engage with and understand your brand
- Images typically generate more attention than text
- Video increased the likelihood of a front page Google search result by 96%
- According to recent statistics, there are 1.28 billion Facebook users and 255 million Twitter users – so well worth considering if one of these networks might work for you
- More traditional business networking sites such as LinkedIn can also be really useful for growing your business contacts
We suggest you ask yourself the following questions:
- What platform(s) do you think you’ll enjoy using most?
- What suits the personality of your brand as well as your working style?
- Which platform suits your product or service the most?
Don’t feel pressured to use every platform straightaway! Start with one or two and become really comfortable with those first (= regularly posting!) before thinking about setting up more social media accounts.
Your online profile…
Whatever the platform make sure you complete the profile section – it sounds obvious, but is often overlooked:
- Use an image of yourself if you are posting as an individual – a face helps your target audience identify and bond with you
- Make your bio engaging – it’s vital to tell people what you do, but also add something else that tells your target audience something about you
- Include your website address in your profile information
- Include links to any other social media platforms if allowed
- Ensure there’s some consistency (e.g. username/company branding) across social media accounts if you are using multiple platforms
What should you post/tweet/talk about? We have found there’s a tendency to overthink this for fear of getting it wrong. The trouble with this is it tends to lead to a lot of social media accounts with very little content. You won’t attract new followers (and you may lose existing ones) if there’s nothing new for them to see/read so post something regularly (this doesn’t have to be daily, by the way, just regularly):
- Decide what types of things you feel comfortable posting about – you need to vary your content so you don’t sound like a broken record!
- Plan some of your content in advance, for example:
- Promoting other people who inspire you
- Sharing industry news/promoting industry events
- This helps to build your profile as a trusted advisor in your field
- Announcing news about your own business
- The 80/20 rule says that only 20% of your posts should be self-promotion
- Connect and engage with others (especially influencers in your market):
- Like/favourite other posts
- Reply to/comment on other posts
- Re-tweet/re-post/share content
- Pose questions to get a conversation started
- Regularly check your notifications and act on them (e.g. replying to posts which mention you)
- Don’t be personal or critical if you’re using social media for your business (you don’t want to alienate your target audience or come across as negative)
- Before you press the post/tweet/publish button, check:
- Will it be interesting for others to read about?
- Are there any typos (spelling/grammar)?
- Have you included an appropriate hashtag? (best practice is no more than 2 # per post)
- Consider using a social media organiser (tools like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck) to schedule some of your posts in advance
As with all business development tools, remember it will take time to build up your online presence – in particular, the number of people following you.
But the great thing about social media (even for business) is that it’s also about having fun! If you don’t enjoy it, it will show in your content. So don’t let it become ‘just another thing that you have to do’. And if you feel you’d like some advice and support with social media planning and management, you can always Contact Us because we’re here to help.