Did you know that there are over 3 million social media users across the world today?
Using social media for your business is a great way to reach existing and prospective customers. It also helps to build brand awareness and gives you a free platform for business promotion, generating leads and sales, directing traffic to your website and giving your business a voice.
Here’s some of our top tips to help your life sciences or tech business make the most of social media:
1. Understand the key differences between Twitter, Linkedin and Instagram
Twitter is the perfect social platform for your business to communicate and connect with your audience in a fast and reactive way. With a limit of 240 characters per tweet, Twitter is to-the-point, clear and direct. The news feed moves quickly, making Twitter a great platform for quick responses, customer service, speaking about current affairs and promoting business offers.
- Use Twitter to communicate with relevant customers, individuals and audiences
- Post engaging tweets that help build brand awareness and give your business a human voice
- Take a look at what’s trending, see what people are talking about, add value for your audience and what they want to see. See tip number 3 for more on this.
- Use Twitter as a continuous sales pitch
- Use formal business language. Twitter is an opportunity to give your business a human voice and communicate with people on a personable level
‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ and on this free photo sharing platform Instagram has the same concept. Share your business’ most exciting photos, videos, GIFs and animations, products or services to catch the eye of your audience. Instagram captions don’t have a word limit so you’ll still be able to get your business message across too with text. But be conscious that Instagram users are there to scroll. If you want users to pay attention to your photos and business messages then make sure it’s engaging enough to stop them from scrolling.
- Use high quality and interesting photography/ media to catch people’s attention: think about what your audience wants to see and what would make you stop scrolling and pay attention
- Add external website links in your bio and direct people to this link rather than adding it into a caption (as this will not click through to anything)
- Like Twitter, Instagram is a chance to give your brand and business a human voice. Try avoid formal business language and constant sales pitches
- Use low quality photos or media
- Although captions have no word limits, try to keep it short, concise and engaging
Linkedin is the largest social media network for business people and professionals. Linkedin can be approached more formally than Instagram and Twitter in this sense. Users will expect professional and informative information. Business accounts need to be linked to a personal account, so you’ll have to have this set up first. Linkedin Groups groups are a great way to communicate with people in the same sector and industry, make business contacts, offer thought leadership and more.
- Use a professional tone of voice
- Upload a professional photo of yourself on your personal account, and a high quality photo/ logo for your business account - visual profiles will get more recognition and look more credible
- Search for and join relevant Linkedin groups
-Update your audience with content about sector news, business growth, investment and business achievements
- Write long captions and posts: direct your followers to your website if you want them to find out more
- Use groups for a sales pitch: joining Linkedin groups is a chance for you to talk with other individuals in the sector and find potential customers, but try to avoid using groups as a sales pitch. People join groups for conversation, questions and answers. Try to add value to these groups rather than just selling your business
2. Who to follow?
Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin all provide you with a great opportunity to follow relevant people in the sector. Identify regional and national journalists and influencers in the industry and follow them across each channel.
This is a great chance to see what they are posting about and join in on the conversation or even make contact with them about helping to get your content out there. In our next top tips series we’ll be sharing tips on how to create and issue successful PR….
Use these free tools to find the most relevant and credible people to reach out to:
BuzzSumo: Find blog post titles on topics relevant to you and see how these topics are performing in terms of engagement. This will help you identify relevant people for your business and see what content is working well online.
Klout/ Brand24: Identify social and online mentions of your brand, pinpoint industry influencers, get sentiment analysis on specific topics and conversations.
Followerwonk: Analyse your Twitter followers in depth, find and connect with influencers, get visual reports on your Twitter activity and take a look at what your competitors are doing.
3. Increasing the reach of your content
Once you’re active and have started to build up your audience you can start to look at more ways to increase the reach of your content. Twitter, Linkedin and Instagram all have a hashtag function which allows content to be identified on a certain topic.
For example you could search for, and be findable under the hashtag #ManchesterTechStartUps #InnovativeMedTech #BlockchainTechnology. Keep an eye out for National and International Awareness Days that you can hook on to if they are relevant for your business. For example, if your business has created an app that helps employee wellbeing, then look out for National Wellness Weeks, Workplace Wellbeing days, stress awareness weeks and more.
Make your content relevant
If you want to make sure your content is relevant and valuable to your audience, use the free tool AnswerThePublic.com to check for the most searched for questions and phrases on a specific subject.
This will give you a good starting point for the angle of your content. For example, if you want to write a blog about innovative medical technology, you might find that the most popular question asked online is ‘what is medical technology’. This could help you with ideas for a blog or content.
Use graphics, photos and video
Make your content stand out by using graphics and photos where you can. Free tools such as Canva allow you to easily design and create social graphics which can be resized for each channel. You might want to use a Canva graphic to advertise a business offer, business statistics or customer testimonials rather than writing this information into a caption.
Video content has also been proven to increase brand engagement and interactions. If you have video content or want to produce some, be mindful of the length restrictions for each channel. For example, Instagram only allows for a maximum of one minute, whereas Twitter is allows one minute 40 seconds. It is best to keep video content short, to the point and exciting to ensure people pay attention and engage with it.
3. Use social media scheduling tools
Not everyone has the time to be constantly posting on social media channels so make use of free scheduling platforms to help keep your posts consistent and regular. Platforms such as Hootsuite, Tweetdeck and Later all help you manage and organise your social content.
4. Use analytics for insight
Each channel offers its own analytics and insights. Use these to see which content is most popular, what times of day your audience is most active, how many views your video has, audience demographics, which content gets clicked on, how many users click through to the website and more. Use this insight to inform future content and posting habits.
To monitor how successful your social activity is in directing traffic to your website and increasing conversions, create a free Google Analytics account. Google Analytics will give you a whole range of reports on how well your website is performing and how social media contributes.
To track the contribution of social media activity, use the Google Campaign URL builder to create unique URLs which you can link out to on social. Each unique URL is tracked and pulled through into your Google Analytics report. For more information on this visit this blog.