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What the experts say about social media | NZBusiness Magazine


Richard Conway went to five highly respected social media experts to share their best advice for business owners.

Social media is an important and effective channel to engage with, and market to, your target audience. Whilst I’m not a professional social media expert, I manage to get inbound leads on a weekly basis through LinkedIn and have even had business through Twitter.

LinkedIn is my main channel for business-to-business social media. I have about 6,000 followers and I try and put up informative, educational, and positive posts for my audience to engage with. At no point do I post salesy messages or engage with keyboard warriors. 

This month I have reached out to five social media experts I know and respect for their top tips:

 

Melanie Spencer, co-CEO, Socialites Group

Social media can be one of the most cost effective and powerful marketing tools to build your brand and connections online but it must be done well to cut through the noise. Think of social media as a place where your community comes to be entertained and informed and where, as a business, you’re able to foster a direct relationship with past and present customers, whilst continually reaching new audiences.

There are some easy tips and tricks that create a powerful social media presence which should ultimately result in positive commercial outcomes. First, don’t try and please everyone. Find your niche and understand who your audience really is – take your brand on a date.

Always be authentic in your content and tone of voice and create content that appeals to that niche and audience. The litmus test is: would you like it, love it or share it with your friends?

Don’t forget – you have to pay to play. Only two percent of your audience see organic posts so it’s important to invest in your social media. It’s no different to placing an advert in your local paper – just a different format.

 

Chelsey Ritson, founder, Social Media Coaching

One of the biggest mistakes I see business owners making online is spending a lot of time, energy and money across many social media accounts in order to reach as many people as possible, without considering what end result they want. Always think about the customer journey. For example, say you want more customers (who doesn’t) so you create content that adds value to those potential customers. They are intrigued by what you do so they follow your account in the hope of knowing more, much like a potential customer knocking at your shop door. What you do next determines whether they come in or get stuck waiting outside until eventually moving on.

Make it easy for them to enter by getting clear on the next steps after social media. This may mean you send them a message to welcome them to your community; lead them to a landing page and offer them something there; or invite them to partake in a quiz or webinar that helps determine if they’re an ideal customer for you.

 

Iyia Liu, social media influencer, serial entrepreneur

Social media is always changing, and businesses must continuously adapt to keep up. Five years ago Facebook was the place to be and ad content was static. Now everything is video. Short form video (Instagram Reels, TikTok) and long form video (YouTube) are the 2021 platforms to be on and excel at. It used to be about aesthetic pictures, now it’s all about engaging and real content. Businesses need to create or post relevant content on the relevant platforms to stand out.

 

Nick McDonald, Head Honcho, Likable Lab

There are two major mistakes businesses make on social media. One is focusing on content only and not having a budget for ads. The way the algorithm works these days, business content just does not get shown organically (especially for a new business page) without an advertising budget behind it. An example would be a client putting their whole budget into an awesome hero video for Facebook and wondering why no one liked it. It’s because no one will see it without the ads and distribution behind it.

The second mistake is selling to cold audiences. If you walk into a store to buy a jacket, the last thing you want is a salesperson walking up with a pair of jeans, telling you the price and asking you to buy them. They need to engage you, gauge your interest, warm you up and then help you to buy whatever you need.

The same is true on social where you need to add value and engage your target audience first, earning the right to sell to them later. 

Jon Randles, Mosh Social Media

Social media is easy, until you start doing it properly.

 

Richard Conway is the author of ‘How to Get to the Top of Google’ and founder/CEO of Pure SEO.

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