28 June 2019, 11:31 AM
  • Alison Battisby, social media consultant and founder of Avocado Social, gives her tips for how businesses of all types benefit from a social media strategy
How to utilise social media for business

As 67% of the UK population is now active in social media, it’s a great place to reach new audiences and keep your current customers loyal. It’s key for brands to have a presence where their audience are most active, so when creating a social media strategy, it’s important to carry out an analysis into your target audiences’ online behaviour. As many businesses have limited resources for social media, it’s important to choose the platforms which are going to drive you the best return. The most popular are of course Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

For brands - According to Facebook research people make an opinion of your brand within the first three seconds of visiting your profile. This means you have less time to explain who you are and what you do to a customer. Make it as obvious as possible where your customers can get their hands on your products, including the shops, markets and even the shelves and counters where you are stocked. You can do this through creative photography and video.
For retailers - Another way is to create exclusive offers and promotions which are only available within shops, either online or offline. Customers love a good deal, particularly if it feels exclusive to them via social media.

Responding to comments and feedback is a key way to drive stronger, more meaningful relationships with your customers. By being present in social media you are showing that you are listening, taking on suggestions and moulding your company on your customers’ needs. It’s a very successful tactic which brands including Innocent, Pip & Nut and Deliciously Ella all apply to their social media strategies. Set a process for doing this, such as 30 minutes a day, so that messages don’t get missed.

Utilising hashtags on your posts that tap into existing communities is very important for spreading awareness. Think about the hashtags your ideal customer might be following and engaging with, such as #glutenfree or #smoothierecipes. Ensure that the hashtags you use are relevant to your brand, and your story on that particular post. You can add 30, but many brands feel comfortable with 10-15 to avoid looking like spam. Curation is also important on Instagram. Creating a beautiful feed of your own images and customer images makes your brand appealing and memorable for new visitors. This does mean a little more organisation and planning but creating a posting schedule does save you time in the long run.