PR Blog

Getting the Most from Social Media

November 18, 2013, by Ruby Blue

iStock_000012524067XSmallOne thing I’ve found in my travels is that a lot of ‘green’ businesses are founded from a deep-rooted passion for the environment. When deciding to turn your passion for the sustainable into a business, I’m sure you’ve read about setting aside some dollars for marketing. Maybe a little advertising if your budget can stretch that far. But let’s be honest – we’re into changing the world, and the budget’s often more than a little tight.

So while media coverage and brand awareness are crucial to ensuring your campaign is a success, there are other factors which need to weigh in to the PR mix that don’t necessarily cost a small fortune. The key consideration here is social media – the fancy collective name given to sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. These sites are free to set up and can make a big impact in building an online community for your product or service. Social media PR encompasses many of elements that create your business’ online ‘persona’.

The key to social media PR is to realise that the business landscape has changed. Businesses can no longer just ‘tell’ their customers about their goods and services – they have to partake in an interactive conversation about it. Customers have never had so much input into brands and businesses – they can praise your staff on Facebook, vent their frustrations on review sites, network with you via LinkedIn, and ask questions on your blogs.

I thought I might take a few moments of your time to give you a few tips on how to make the most out of your social media profiles.

1.     Keep it Professional

A lot of social media sites are focused around two types of profiles – personal profiles and business profiles. I’ll tell you what – there’s a damn good reason for this. One mistake a lot of small businesses make in their social media profile is crossing the line between professional and waaaay too personal.
While it’s really important to have a ‘voice’ through your social media sites, you want to make sure that you’re not crossing any boundaries with your customers. Keep your sites light-hearted but informative, and leave any doubts or problems you may be having at the door. Truth is, your customers don’t want to hear about them. They want to trust that everything with your business is brilliant, and they can buy from you with ease.

Another thing you want to make sure of is that your images are the right size, not blurry, and look schmick – mainly because that oozes professional, and professional is what you are. You can find a brilliant spec sheet on my website here.

2.     Content is King

Ahhhh… content. This is an interesting one. You may have noticed that although your followers like to hear about your product or service, they don’t particularly like being ‘sold’ to. For my clients I find what works best is dispersing some product or service information in amongst more ‘fluffy’ content (pictures, quotes, and other material that has more potential to go viral on a larger scale).

A great place to find these ‘fluffy’ images is Google Images or Pinterest. Pinterest offers more stylised photos and there’s not so much rubbish to wade through to find the good images and quotes. There are no copyright restrictions on what you post on social media – as long as you don’t use the images for advertising, you’re in the clear.

3.     Pumping up the followers

This one can be a little tricky, and cost does factor in to building your followers. I’m going to focus on Facebook in particular here, but you can take this and use it through other social media platforms.
Facebook has a great feature called ‘Facebook Advertising’. You will have noticed the ads that come up on the right hand side of your page when you look at your newsfeed, and also ‘Suggested Pages’ that actually appear as you are scrolling down. As a small business with a limited budget, this is a great place to spend your advertising dollars.

The benefits of utilising Facebook advertising are that it is:

  • Extremely Targeted – you can choose exactly who sees your ads. You can narrow your reach to those of a certain age, gender, marital status with certain interests and within certain locations. For example, people who are within 5km of your local area, who have an interest in the environment as well as wellbeing.

    Facebook advertising is the best and most effective way to not only increase the ‘Likes’ on your Facebook page, but also to raise awareness of your brand and drive traffic to your website.

  • Cost-effective – In fact, you can dictate how much you want to spend on a month-by-month (or week-by-week) basis. Advertising works on a pay-per-click basis – the more you spend, the more times your ad will appear, and the more likers you will get. A budget of $10 per day is usually enough to get around 10-20 new likes in a day. Facebook can also time your ads so they appear when your target audience is online. It’s slightly scary what Facebook knows about its users!

This article also appeared on the Daily Organic website. Visit Daily Organic for information on finding your local organic, environmentally-conscious and sustainable businesses.

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