Ten steps to embracing the power of social media

However, it can be difficult for businesses to make the transition from personal to professional. Some are not sure how much time they should spend on social media, or even whether it’s just a distraction. Others are not sure which tone to use, or what to post in their status updates.

There are ten aspects of social media to be aware of, before you can truly embrace the possibilities it presents.

Time allocation

It is extremely important when beginning your journey to ensure you do not invest too much time on social media, otherwise you could be completely consumed by it and not concentrate on running the business.

If you are without a social media profile, getting started on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn will probably take a day. After this you should say spend 5-10 mins on it first thing in the morning, then again around lunch and finally before you finish for the day.

This will ensure you don’t miss anything but maintain a healthy balance.

Be visual

You need to ensure that you stand out on social media you need to make a visual impact which is relatively easy to achieve, you should be using your current branding materials and bringing your profiles in line with the branding you use on your website, brochures and other marketing materials.

Using a range of images is important, because it helps followers to visualise the business, absorb more information (a picture really is worth a thousand words), and identify with the people working behind the scenes.


To kick start your social media it is key you invite people to connect with you as the first stages are the hardest.

If you have a database of clients or prospects, all of the social media sites will give you the ability to upload them. If a client or prospect has heard of you or done business with you in the past they are more likely to connect.

The more contacts you have, the better, as the domino effect will happen more quickly with their connections following you and then their connections and so on.

Be Social not a Seller

It is really key on all social platforms to portray you as an expert rather than a salesman. This is something many businesses struggle with on social media, certainly in the early stages.

No one likes being sold to directly so it is really important we engage with people on a more informal level, and listen to what they have to say.

It shouldn’t be one way traffic, so engage both ways and don’t expect people to engage with you.

Live it

Social media is not just a way we communicate but a way we live and is the breeding ground for the customers of the future so it is important to understand it not just using it for your business but to understand it on a personal level and how your customers will use it.

For example, LinkedIn is a tool people use while they are at work, so what they expect to see on that site is very different to what they’d expect on Facebook, where the majority of users are relaxing at home at the end of the day.


There is nothing worse than clicking on to any page on the web and seeing it hasn’t been updated for a long time.

When talking on social platforms you need to ensure you keep it constant and frequent enough for it to engage your users.

There are many social tools you can use, like TweetDeck and HootSuite, which will programme and auto post things for you, so if you are holiday sunning it on the beach you can still talk to your clients whilst relaxing back. They are also useful when you’re busy and on the go.

It’s important to strike a balance though and not over-use automation. People want to engage with other people, not robots, which is how you will appear if you just programme all your updates in.

For example, if they asked a question about your product, and you didn’t respond because you were relying on TweetDeck to do your posts, they could go to one of your competitors who is more engaging.

Use it for research

There are many tools available which can provide you with information for your other marketing activity.

For instance, Sprout Social can give you the exact demographics of your followers from the age, location, gender and the activity they have responded to the most.

Knowledge is power and will help you grow.

Use ads

Advertising on social media is more advanced than any other form of advertising, as you know you are going to get your message to the exact person who it is intended for.

This makes them more likely to engage with you than any other type of ad.

Understand the lingo

Effective use of your Hash tags and Video captions need to be in keeping with what is going on at the moment.

Look at starting your own tags once you are more established, and getting your followers to interact and use them in their own messages as this will start spreading the word.

Growth and Goals

Set yourself realistic goals and aim to achieve them. For example, in month one aim to get 20 followers and then double it each month until you get to a figure you are happy with.

There should be a real business benefit from social media, so consider what you want to achieve and build a strategy to suit. Your options could include attracting more people to your website, or becoming a trusted source of information in your field.