You’ve heard it all before: ‘What do you mean you don’t have a Facebook page?’ ‘Did you just say you don’t have Instagram?’ ‘Wait… You’re not on Twitter?”

Social media is no longer a question of ‘should I?’ but rather ‘how should I?’ so jobactive has put together a list of 7 simple tips that will help you on your journey to social media glory.

1. Have a plan:

With a little bit of digital know-how, it’s pretty easy to jump in and start a social media page. It’s quick and free, however if you are serious about engaging with your audience, you need to have a plan. This sounds daunting but it’s not. A simple way to get started is to think ‘who, what, where, when, how, why’.

Who is my target audience? What content do they want to see? Which platform will I reach them on? When should I post to the channels? How do I do it (do I do it myself, do I get someone else)? Ultimately, why am I doing this? Is it to increase brand awareness, drive sales, increase website traffic or something else?

Answering these questions will give you a quick and effective social media strategy that you can refine over time. And remember—a good strategy is never finished!

2. Know your audience:

As a business owner, you’ll know the importance of understanding who your target audience is.

Whether you’re in business-to-business or business-to-consumer, you need to know what makes your audience tick. Who are they? How old are they? Where do they live? What are they interested in and how do you tap in to that?

Developing a brand personality can also be a useful way to make sure you’re talking to the right audience. A brand personality is basically the voice, tone, look, feel of your brand.

To do this, picture your typical customer and think about what you would say to them if you were talking face-to-face. Think about the type of content they’re likely to interact with on social media and go from there. With enough research and the right content, you’ll see your target audience grow.

3. Be aware that social media takes time:

Planning, creating, scheduling, posting, monitoring, responding and analysing takes time. This sounds daunting, but with the right planning you’ll be able to integrate social media into your daily or weekly routine.

If you’re reading this, we’ll assume you are considering getting your teeth in to your social media marketing. However, you should also consider whether you have the time to do it properly. A social media profile that misses the mark is as bad as not having one at all.

Part of your mindset should be to look at your business through a social lens. Consider what you’re doing that could easily turn in to social media content and always have social media in the back of your mind when you go about your daily work. Thinking ‘that would be a good photo or video for social media’ is a great way to keep your social channels in mind during your day-to-day work.

This can take time, but eventually it will become second nature.

4. Be responsive:

It’s important to understand that social media is just that – social! Remember that you are not posting on social media to talk ‘at’ your customers, but with them.

Research shows that brands being responsive on social media is the most important online action that companies can take to entice people to make purchases.

Social media is different to your website. People don’t expect to have a conversation on your website, they know what they’re there for. But on social media, your potential customers have different expectations and it’s important to understand before you get started that your followers expect a two-way conversation.

Social media is more than just a marketing tool. You should also be prepared to offer customer service on your channels. You will work hard to find your customers, so make sure you are listening to what they have to say or risk losing them.

5. Be mobile friendly:

Did you know that according to the 2017 Sensis Social Media Report, a whopping 81% of people use a smartphone to access social media? That’s up 9% from last year. The figures are understandably higher in the 18-49 age brackets, too.

Two-thirds of people who own a smartphone access the internet five or more times every day! With this in mind, make sure your content is optimised for when your brand is in front of them.

Mobile marketing is booming, so consider this when creating content for your pages. They say you have about eight seconds to make your mark before someone scrolls on by.

Think mobile first and the majority of your audience will be able to consume your content how you intended it.

6. Narrow it down:

Choose your platform wisely. Facebook is the most widely-used social media platform with over two billion monthly users around the world. That’s a staggering number, but it’s also a huge reason why you should consider Facebook. There’s 700 million monthly users on Instagram, 1.5 billion on YouTube, 328 million on Twitter and 255 million on Snapchat. We’re also seeing a huge increase in usage across messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. In Australia, almost 80% of us are on social media – up 10% on last year alone.

If you’re just starting out in social media, our advice would be to choose one platform and do it well, rather than spreading yourself too thin and trying to populate all the different social media channels out there.

Each channel requires something different in terms of content and approach, so if you’ll be managing your own social media, remember that it takes time. Stick to one platform and consider expanding your channels as you become more comfortable and experienced in it.

7. Schedule your content:

There is a lot of information out there about how to engage on social media. Another tip is to schedule your content to automatically post to your chosen platform. Facebook and Twitter, for instance, have great scheduling capabilities.

This is a great function to be aware of that allows you to automatically post your content at a predetermined time. This means that you can set aside some time on one day and potentially schedule all of your content to post for the rest of the week or month. The benefit of this is that you’re not scrambling to find content and if you are busy on a particular day, you can know that your posts will still go out.

As mentioned above though, just because you have all of your posts scheduled to go out automatically, doesn’t mean you can just forget about it all. Social media should always be seen as two-way communication. Your customers don’t just want to be spoken ‘at’, they want to be able to talk to you, so it’s important to monitor your pages and respond to their engagement.

Keep an eye on the news and make the most of current events. Just avoid social media faux pas, and consider the timing of all of your posts. You don’t want to come across as insensitive if you inadvertently post something at a bad time.

If you’ve got any questions or want to chat further, get in touch with on our Facebook page. We’ve got a great team of knowledgeable people who can answer all of your social media questions.