Social Media:

Take the think out of starting an
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Social Media: Take the 'think' out of starting an online conversation.

7th November, Author: Rachel

Have you ever been at a business event and you've met someone who is on full transmit; full sales mode. They are so keen (excited) to exclaim the virtues of their products or services that the volume rises as they continue to inch their way into your private space: there may even be spittle.

This demonstration of bad business etiquette translates into the online world as well.

You might be bombarded with social media posts from businesses that sell, sell, sell. Sadly, they may not even do this particularly creatively.

How can you avoid becoming one of these shouters? How can you nurture engagement and build relationships with your posts?

It comes down to having a process. Plan your posts in advance; incorporate relevant themes and then schedule them at optimum times.

What to write about.

Please find a selection of 31 angles of approach.Inspiration enough for a whole month. Remember: By keeping social media in mind you'll probably notice things pop up that you can use for the following week, so keep a file that you can refer to.

1. Book review

It might be a book that's helped you in business, your industry bible or a great holiday read. You don't even have to write the review. Make a choice comment and then add a link to Amazon.

2. Quotes

Inspirational, thought provoking or funny. And if you're feeling creative use the free photo editing tool Picmonkey or Canva to add it to an image.

3. National days/weeks

There seems to be a day or week for everything now, so find one that fits with your business and post out about it using the relevant hashtags.

4. Link to a related news article

The news channels are a never-ending source for content. Google a key word and use the News category to find a related article.

5. A day in the life of...

Your followers are interested in what it takes to be you so create a page on your website that goes through your typical day. You can do this for all the members of your team or ask your business contacts to share theirs.

6. Tips, hints and ideas

These types of articles work well as they are concise, quick to read and you're adding value for you readers. Hey, that's why we've written this one! Write your own or if you're short on time link back to someone else's.

7. Fact sheets and videos

Create fact sheets and/or videos to show how to use your product or even how not to use it!

8. Blog posts and articles on your website (new)

Adding content to your website is vital for SEO so when you upload a new blog or article use social media to drive traffic to the page.

9. Blog posts and articles on your website (recycle)

You no doubt took a lot of time and effort to write those articles sitting on your website, so don't let them collect dust. If they aren't time sensitive and the information is still relevant keep pointing visitors to the page.

10. Industry exhibitions and events

You might be exhibiting, attending or just want to make others aware of an event. Share the details with your followers and tag the organiser and use the event's hashtag.

11. Comment on a related news story

If there's a current news story that relates to your business, then show you are an industry expert by sharing your thoughts on the matter.

12. Promote workshops and events you are hosting

Post regularly leading up to an event that you're hosting. Make each post different and use them to reveal guest speakers, prizes and sneak previews.

13. Case studies

These prove that you can do what you say you do. Compose a series of questions for a select number of clients and add a page to your website to show how your service/product helped them.

14. Testimonials

Use the short, snappy testimonials from clients as posts.

15. Guest blog

Ask a supplier or business contact whose opinions you value to write a guest blog. Many jump at the chance to increase their profile by sharing their knowledge and making new connections.

16. Tease of a new product/service

There's nothing more that people like than the chance to be first to experience something new. Create a buzz by giving just enough away to get them hooked.

17. Meet the team

Introduce a member of your team each month. There's a good chance you've already got a page on your website, so no extra work needed.

18. Business awards and successes

Share your accolades and prove that you are the best at what you do.

19. #TBT

Throw-Back-Thursday (#TBT) is a weekly opportunity to look back at the past and share a moment with your followers. It could be a photo, story, article or event.

20. Your story

We all love a great story and your company's history is probably a best seller. Create a web page that charts the challenges and successes that you have experienced as well as what inspired you to start out and what advice you'd give to your younger self.

21. Finish the sentence

For a bit of fun encourage your followers to get creative and invite them to finish a sentence or fill in the blanks.

22. Set a poll

Not only are polls good for engagement but they also help you to do a bit of market research at the same time. Make them quick to answer by using multiple choice, A, B, C or Yes/No answers.

23. Discounts, deals and promotions

Highlight your discounts, deals and promotions so your followers can snap up a bargain.

24. Team news

Use every opportunity to celebrate your team?s successes. Perhaps they've achieved a qualification or done something amazing for charity. Make sure you let people know.

25. Post job adverts

By posting your current vacancies it shows followers and competitors that you're a growing business.

26. Live events

There's a good chance that at some point in the month you will attend a networking event, workshop, seminar or exhibition. Snap a photo, post it out with a comment and don't forget to tag the organiser and use the event's hashtag.

27. Infographics

These are a great way of quickly conveying stats and data. Share a relevant infographic or create your own using the free online tool Piktochart.

28. Share a link to your latest newsletter

Show that you are providing relevant and valuable content to your readers on a regular basis by sharing a link to your latest newsletter.

29. Share a link to a newsletter sign-up form on your website

If you're posts are anything to go by then your newsletters are going to be worth reading too. Encourage your followers to sign-up to your newsletter by sharing a link that directs them to your sign-up form.

30. FAQs

If you get asked the same questions on a regular basis then go back to your FAQs, pick a question and answer it.

31. Share an industry related YouTube video

YouTube is said to be the 2nd most used search engine so if you haven't got your own video to upload then there's probably a wealth of related videos for your sector that you can share. Just don't get distracted by those cute cat videos!

So, there you have it. A whole month's worth of tweets and posts to keep your social media accounts animated, up-to-date and worth following. Let us know how you get on.

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