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Setting up your social media

According to the latest research conducted by ‘Social Firms’, Instagram is said to have 30.6m users in the UK, and Twitter has 19.6m UK users. With this kind of reach, social media can be utilised as a free source of marketing for your business, and, as with any platform, it is important to understand a social media app’s core purpose to experience the benefits.

Although there are many digital platforms available out there, we are going to focus on how Instagram and Twitter differ, and how you can approach the platforms.

Twitter is a fast, text-based and news led platform, which makes the app the perfect platform to share your business news, updates, and links to your website. Twitter also provides a simple and easy way for you to respond and engage with your followers.

Instagram, on the other hand, is a heavily visual led app, where users can only post photographs or videos alongside a caption.

This app provides users with the opportunity to create a profile where you can showcase your work and projects, many working within the industry have benefited from the attraction of a significant following, and enhanced business credibility. Examples of this include Garden Club London @gardenslondon, and Bowles & Wyer @bowleswyer.

Given the importance of visuals on Instagram, ensuring you post great and high-quality photographs could be critical in capturing potential client’s attention. Photo editing apps rated highly on the App Store include Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom, but similar editing tools are also available on the Instagram app. You can use these apps to edit and improve your photo quality; lighting, contrast, tone, saturation, etc, can all be altered. A few things to focus on when creating your Instagram post include: adding a location, ensuring you don’t over filter/edit the photo, following a consistent pattern in the editing of all your photos.

Instagram and Twitter both work on a ‘like’ and ‘comment’ basis, though they each have additional and unique features. Twitter offers a ‘retweet’ and ‘quote’ option, which both give you a direct route onto another person’s newsfeeds – this is perfect for reaching new clients. Your interactions are added to the Twitter newsfeed or ‘timeline’ – this means your followers can view your interactions, and join in too if they wish. While Instagram offers a ‘story’ option, a temporary photo or video post lasting up to ten seconds that you can post separately from your feed. Stories offer a creative and alternative way to post, enabling you to gain instant feedback and interaction with current and potential followers.

As a result of this variation in purpose, a key factor to bear in mind is the difference in lifespan of a post. According to CopyPress, tweets have the shortest lifespan compared to other social media posts, averaging at around 18 minutes per post. Whereas on Instagram, a post’s lifespan averages at around 48 hours, although engagement tends to slow down after the six-hour mark.

Learning this, may raise the question, how often should you be posting on social media?

According to digital marketing agency RevLocal, a digital internet marketing company for small and local businesses, you should be posting on Instagram once per day, and one to five times per day on Twitter.

Ultimately, ensuring you are present on social media can provide a host of benefits to you, and your business. According to Socialnomics, correct usage is proven to encourage business growth, company awareness and personality, and opportunities – whether it be creating profit increases, widening network opportunities, enhancing your credibility, or just being able to reach a wider audience and keep in touch with your current.

Six things to consider before launching your business on social media:

  • Identify your brand guidelines and establish your tone – will you approach social media in an informative or personal way?
  • Make sure you click ‘create business account’ to gain access to useful analytic tools such as the number of visits to your profile, audience demographics, and other promotional opportunities
  • Set goals to help track and monitor your success on social media. This can involve; reaching 500 followers on Twitter, ensure you are posting once per day on Instagram, creating content ready to post in advance, etc.
  • Set up your bio. Be sure to include information about who you are as a business, and a ‘link tree’ (a tool that allows you to share more than one link in your bio) to your website and other social media pages.
  • Know your audience – who exactly are you targeting? Establishing this will help you produce the right content, and, will help you build an engaged, online community.
  • Consider a social media manager –  this can help you gain consistency, online customer service, a boost in  online engagement, and this can allow you to focus on other initiatives.
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