Starting

Using Social Media for Marketing

 Most businesses use social media as a part of their marketing strategy.  However, it can also be used as a fun and creative tool to increase brand awareness and build brand loyalty.  It is a valuable way to help build the brand of your business among your target audience by allowing customers and potential customers to be part of the community you are building.  Effective social media users use Twitter and Facebook channels to interact with followers, to have fun and to enhance the company brand in a positive and engaging way.

The key is to interact with customers in a fun and positive manner, remembering that your social media platforms represent the voice of the company.  So it is vital to establish what sort of voice you want your company to have.

A Business Facebook Page and Twitter Account:

A company can set up a business Facebook account where followers “like” your business page. The Facebook business page has some interesting features for its followers – for example they can post a review of your business, they can message your business if they want to make contact with you and they can post recommendations / feedback on your page (see right hand side of page).  Equally a business page has some interesting features for its users – you can analyse your page insights to see how effective your posts are; you can fill in the “About Us” section to share your company information.  You can also run competitions but do be aware of the strict Facebook Rules regarding these.  You must also familiarise yourself with the “terms of service” that all users must follow.  If a company violates these rules Facebook can delete or suspend the account.

A business Twitter account on the other hand is set up the very same as a personal Twitter account.  It is wise to have a link to the company’s website on the Twitter profile to encourage users to check out more about the business.

HOW TO GET STARTED:

As a team you need to sit down together and decide what way you want to promote your company on social media.

    • Find and observe Facebook and Twitter accounts that you find positive and engaging. You may pick up valuable tips and tricks from them. Analyse what kinds of posts / tweets receive the most interaction and response on these accounts and see if you can copy it in some way.
    • See what other companies you can link in with. Start swapping, sharing and promoting each other on social media. In this way you are guaranteed your posts or tweets will be like and retweeted.
    • Choose your Social Media Manager wisely. He/she must have a fun personality and thoroughly understand how Twitter and Facebook work.

 

DO’S AND DONT’S IN SOCIAL MEDIA :

Here are some Do’s and Dont’s to help you build your community on Facebook and Twitter.

Do spend time on working out your followers’ habits and when they are on social media – there is no point in tweeting something during the day if your followers are in school and may not check their Twitter or Facebook accounts until that evening.  Think of when they are on Twitter and tweet at those times.

Do think of what YOU like – keep in mind what you enjoy about social media and try to mirror that in your tweets and posts.

Do interact with other student enterprises – ‘like’ and ‘share’ their posts, retweet their fun tweets, especially if you feel your audience will enjoy what they are saying.  They in turn will probably interact with you and share your posts and tweets with their audience.

Do follow popular Facebook pages and Twitter accounts so that you can see what and how they are engaging with their audience and see what you can do similar to this to engage your audience.

Do interact with Student Enterprise Awards Facebook and Twitter accounts and share your business journey with them and other student enterprises.

Do retweet tweets that you feel your followers will like and thank people for retweeting your tweets as they are helping you to share your message and your brand with their friends.

Do set up a Hootsuite or Tweetdeck account to schedule Tweets and Facebook posts at the start of the week.  Schedule these posts and tweets for times of the day and evening that you know your audience will be on social media. You should still make it your business to interact with your audience outside of these scheduled tweets. Be sure to check in once a day to respond to these tweets/facebook posts!

DON’T….

DON’T treat Twitter or Facebook as a dumping ground for offers and promotions for your product/service.  This will annoy your audience and they will probably “unlike” and stop following you.

Don’t keep trying to sell your product/service on social media.  Again, your audience will stop following you. Use the 80/20 rule here – 80% of your posts or tweets should be interactive and fun with 20% of them being promotional.

Don’t be too serious – it’s all about having fun and being creative! Be yourself and share it through social media and your audience will respond to it.

 

What about a Vine Account?

Most of you have seen, liked and retweeted vines through Twitter and Facebook feeds.  These 6 second loops can be very smartly used by businesses to promote their product and enhance their brand. To get started all you need to do is to open a Vine account via the Vine App. And off you go!  You can then push them out via your Facebook and Twitter accounts too.

The above social media guidelines have been provided by Essential French, Cork, winners of the 2014 Social Media Awards for innovative use of Social Media in business.

Why not follow us on Twitter (@PetitTweetCork) and like our Facebook page (Essential French Cork) to share your experiences with us? 

For ideas on Vines check out our vine account – EFerVines.

 

Please note:

The decision to permit students taking part in the Student Enterprise Programme to use social media as a promotion tool for their business is entirely at the discretion of each individual school.

Under the Student Enterprise Programme Marking Scheme, a special ‘Social Media’ prize is awarded nationally and possibly at local Regional Finals also. However, if certain student enterprises are not permitted by their school to engage with social media, they will not be at a disadvantage under the general marking scheme for the competition.