In recent years technology has advanced at an incredible pace, and along with it the use of social media platforms has become an integral part of most successful businesses.
With such a diverse range of platforms available for people to use worldwide, an online business presence has become much more important when it comes to gaining new business and interacting with potential customers.
Social media has become one of the first points of contact for many people and businesses looking to find out more information about a product or service. When used correctly, it can benefit a business in a wide variety of ways. From driving traffic to a company’s website to increasing brand awareness, allowing engagement with target markets and increasing sales – there’s no denying that social media is becoming a favoured digital marketing tool.
But, when it’s not used well, social media can do more harm for a business’ reputation than good. So how can you be sure that you’re really optimising social media to its full potential to help your business succeed?
Pall-Ex's marketing team shares their top five tips:
- Make sure social media is right for you.
Social media can be a great way to engage with your target market, and is excellent for building brand awareness and showcasing your values and successes; but only if you’re willing to put the time in. An inactive or rarely updated social media page can be more damaging for a business than no page at all. If you’re not going to be fairly active and post regularly, there’s not a lot of point of having a page at all.
You’ll need to outline some kind of strategy – it doesn’t need to be complicated. We recommend a minimum of two posts per week. Don’t forget that you don’t have to just post original content either; even retweeted or shared content is better than none!
- Choose the right platform for your business.
You don’t have to be on every social media platform to raise your online profile and expand your reach. Some platforms will work better for certain industries than others; for example, Instagram is extremely visually-focused and works wonders for beauty and fashion industries – but it probably wouldn’t fare very well for the haulage industry!
The most relevant social media platform for the haulage industry is Twitter. It’s one of the best ways to interact with a wide variety of people, and the use of hashtags can make sure that your content is picked up by relevant audiences in relevant areas. Facebook is a great way for you to interact with your staff and your local community; whilst LinkedIn is the best platform for connecting with likeminded professionals.
You don’t have to be on every social media platform to raise your online profile and expand your reach."
- Be prepared for negativity.
With social media usage on the increase, people love to use it to vent their frustrations and grab a business’ attention in order to gain a fast response to their issue. You’ll need to be prepared to face the people who will complain about your company as much as the ones who will rave about it. As such, it’s imperative that any staff member who will be handling the account is fully educated on the way that they should respond to complaints. It’s always best to take the situation offline as quickly as possible; but most importantly, you need to ensure that you remain empathetic and professional throughout the process. If you’re seen as a company to have keyboard warrior staff manning your accounts, you’ll quickly gain a negative reputation online, which will affect your overall brand image.
Your staff are representing your company both offline and online; make sure they have the support they need to represent your company well.
- Content is King.
Creating high quality, relevant content is vital to any successful social media page. You need to have a clear message in mind that you want to communicate to your target audience, and it needs to be related to your business and industry. Content that isn’t relevant will confuse the message and your audience will automatically tune it out.
Try posting content such as: business achievements and milestones, award wins, key appointments within the business and charity work. Research hot topics within your industry and share your thoughts and comments on them. You can also follow industry professionals and share their posts if you think they’re important and interesting.
- Get creative.
People love visual and engaging content. They’re more likely to want to interact with your company and get to know your services better if you communicate with them as well. Try running competitions and using relevant hashtags, responding to posts whether they are positive or negative, and getting involved in relevant campaigns. The Road Haulage Association (RHA) runs an annual “Love the Lorry” campaign which promotes the hard work of people within the haulage industry and can get some great coverage for participating businesses.
You can also promote the staff within your company; try posting a new “get to know” feature each month, detailing the role of different staff members. You can even post pictures of any weird or unusual freight that comes through your warehouse!
The more creative you are with your content, the more likely you are to build momentum and gain interested followers with the potential to become loyal customers.
Pall-Ex's marketing team.