By Beatrice Whelan, Social Media & Content Specialist at Sage
Our Facebook community participated in our second live Facebook Lunch & Learn on 15th March. The theme of the chat was ‘Social Media For Small Business’ and we invited Amanda Webb from Spiderworking.com and Emma Kelly from Elevate PR to answer questions about social media for business. We had some questions submitted in advance via the Lunch ‘n Learn tab on our Facebook page that I was able to put to Amanda and Emma and I also offered up some advice myself. If you want to have a look at all of the questions and answers head over to our Facebook page and look in the timeline for posts on the 15th March. This was the first chat that we ran after switching our Facebook page over to the new Timeline layout for pages so at first it took a while to get used to but by the end of the chat we had decided that they new layout was better for live chats like this as all of the posts to our wall were gathered in one place over to the right of the page.
Here are some of the questions we discussed;
How often should you update your social media for it to be useful as a marketing tool?
The collective advice was that each social media channel is different and that you can update Twitter more often than Facebook. Because of the way Facebook works, not all of your Facebook fans will see all of your updates. You know your posting to Facebook too much or posting the wrong type of content if you start to loose fans when you update. Emma from Elevate PR advised keeping an eye on churn rate (this is the rate at which you are loosing Facebook fans) and what posts get the best reaction.
What is the benefit or not of using groups on Facebook for targetted business promotion?
Amanda pointed out that groups really aren’t designed for direct promotion. They only work on a person to person basis so you need to use them as a person rather than a business page. Amanda also recommended that you not add people to groups without their consent as this can really annouy people.
A really good question was submitted about discussion forums;
I’m trying to make sense of how to maximise our exposure on message boards and in particular places like boards.ie, rollercoaster.ie etc. Any thoughts with how to engage with uers on these forums without seeming to salesy and how can I actively encourage users to post discussions regarding our products and services?
Both Amanda from Spiderworking.com and Emma from Elevate PR recommended that the best thing to do at the outset was observe for a while to see how people interacted on the forum and what was being said about your brand. Elevate recommended getting commissioning an online audit. While this might seem a lot for a small business I was surpised to hear how affordable online audits were and I also agree that it is something worth considering especially if you feel that your business is being discussed online.
Lastly, we asked everyone to give their top tip for Twitter. Amanda Webb gave some really good advice to be generous to other Tweeps (people on Twitter) and share lots of relevant content from them. I would agree with Amanda that if you are generous on Twitter, people will also be good to you and will Tetweet your Tweets, especially if they have good content. Elevate also mentioned that they had great success when asking for Retweets to win a competition prize. We were discussing this off page also and I found it interesting that it is easier to run a competition on Twitter than on Facebook as you don’t need to use an app to run the competition and you are allowed to ask for retweets as competition entries whereas it is against Facebook Terms and Conditions to ask for Likes as a means of entering a competition.
Many thanks to Amanda and Emma for taking part in the Q & A and sharing their answers on the page.
What do you think about any of the questions above, have you any tips to share on how you use social media for your business?