Social media marketing is no longer optional for businesses as more and more people are using it and expect to be able to engage with their favorite brands on it. Customers prefer an easy way to communicate with the companies they do business with and social media is often the quickest and simplest way for them to connect with you. If they can connect with you quickly, they are more likely to come visit you, return to see you, or tell others about you. Your business really can’t afford to ignore this.
However, getting started with social media marketing can be very daunting. It’s not as simple as jumping on your social media platform of choice and telling the world about your latest sale. Before you start, you need to have everything in place in order to present your business in the most professional manner possible. Carefully consider what kinds of things you will share. You can’t spend all your time talking about how great your products are–even if they are life changing! First you must engage the interest of your customers by meeting them where they’re at and talking about what they are already interested in.
Decide which social channels you want to be present on. In an ideal world, you would probably be everywhere, but keep in mind that you will need to have a consistent presence on your accounts and all of that will take time. Where are your customers most likely to be? Choose a couple of social media platforms where you can find the majority of your customers to get started. You can always create more social media profiles in the future.
68% of adults with access to the internet in the United States use Facebook and the platform has 2 billion active users monthly. So you are likely to choose Facebook for your social media marketing needs and start there.
Facebook offers business pages which adds validity to your Facebook presence. Before you go to setup your Facebook page make sure you decide what you want to call your page and write a blurb about who you are and what you do. Prepare images to upload to your page. You will need two images–a profile image and a cover image. When your customers see you in their feed, the profile image is what they are going to see alongside your posts. So you want to choose something easily recognizable as you. Your business logo is a good choice for this.
The cover image is the banner your customers will see when they visit your Facebook page. Choose something that represents your business and is consistent with your message. Consider using a really nice photo of the products you sell or a photo of the outside of your store to help your customers find you.
It’s important to use images with the correct dimensions so that your Facebook page offers a professional appearance to visitors. For your profile image, the necessary dimensions are 170px x 170 px. And for the cover photo you want to use an image that is 820px x 312 px. Once you have your blurb and images ready, you can go to Facebook.com/Business to set up your page!
Did you know that 66% of Twitter users have discovered a small or medium sized business on Twitter? Or that 69% of users have purchased from a small or medium sized business because of something they saw on Twitter? With numbers like that, you can’t afford to be missing from the social network.
In order to be verified on Twitter you have to be an established user, so there’s no special profile to set up here. You will still need to have a few things before creating your account, though. Decide what username you want to use. Many usernames are already taken so make sure you have a few backup options in case your first choice is already in use. Your username can be up to 15 characters long. You will also need to choose a display name. The display name appears by your username and is how you are shown on Twitter and can be up to 20 characters long. Twitter also gives you space for a bio of 160 characters in length. Your bio is searchable on Twitter so make sure to include keywords about your business to help all the right people find you!
Just like with Facebook, you will also need a profile image and a cover image. The profile image should be 400px x 400px. Once again, this is the image customers will see by your tweets in their Twitter feed. It’s a good idea to use the same image you did on Facebook to establish your online brand. The header photo should be 1500px x 500px. This image will be what people see when they visit your profile page. One thing to keep in mind when choosing your profile image and header image is that depending on the user’s browser the profile image may overshadow the header a bit. The best thing to do is keep any essential part of your header image close to the center in order to avoid this.
Instagram has 700 million monthly active users and has the highest engagement rate in social media. If you have a particularly visual service or product, you can’t overlook Instagram. But even if you don’t, there are some creative and innovative ways to use the platform to spread the word about your business.
Instagram wants to remain a mobile app as much as possible, so for the most part, you must publish photos from your phone. You can set up your account on desktop, though. Before you get started you’ll need to have settled on a username which can be 30 characters in length. You will also need to have a profile photo that is 110px x 110px in size. You also want to have a short bio prepared that can be no longer than 150 characters in length.
Instagram profiles can be turned into business profiles by connecting it to a Facebook Business Page. So you must make sure you already have your Facebook Business Page set up since Instagram uses Facebook to verify that you are a business.
Other Social Media Sites
It’s not a bad idea to secure the name of your business and profile on other social media sites as well. It helps with reputation management to have registered your name across multiple platforms even you aren’t going to use every site right away. Additionally, you can redirect visitors to the sites that you are using on those profiles so they will follow you where you are active.
Setting up the accounts can feel like a huge task, so once you have it done, you should pat yourself on the back. This is a job well done! You’re still at the beginning of your journey with social media but you’re on your way.
It’s time to consider what kind of content you want to post and what sort of voice you want to use in your posts. While you do want to share about your products, you can also prepare to engage in the events already happening by keeping an eye on national days and using hashtags. (a hashtag is a tag starting with # –the pound sign which is used for searching and finding things on social media sites) These are techniques that will help you to attract and connect with more eyeballs. If someone leaves a comment on your Facebook page or mentions you on Twitter you will want to be sure to respond to them or at the very least like their comment or mention.
One of the most vital things you are going to need for all of your social posts are photos. Visual media drives engagement. Having a really nice image will help your posts stand out from the crowd. It can also help your company develop an online and noticeable aesthetic. When you want the information you are sharing to make an impact on your intended audience, you definitely want to include a graphic. Images help people retain more information for longer.
Each platform has different requirements for the sizes of images on their platforms. Make sure your images fit these sizes so they look sharp, professional, and eye-catching.
Facebook: 1200 x 630
Twitter: Minimum of 440 x 220 with a maximum of 1024 x 512
Instagram: 1080 x 1080
You are now armed with the most essential information you need to get started. It’s very exciting to use social media and discover a brand new way to reach your customers. But understandably, it is also a little bit overwhelming. You may simply not have the time to keep up with posting to your various accounts and run your business as well. Think Creative has developed some great tools to help you manage this process and keep an eye on what customers in your area are talking about. Contact us today to get started!
For your convenience we’ve included a handy image size reference sheet below!