4 Simple tips to get your business stared on social media

By Gabrielle Stannus

Trying to stay ahead in the social media game? In this two-part series, we speak with Ben Peacock from the Republic of Everyone about how you can use social media more effectively to boost your business. This month, we look at how to select the right social media platform and content to promote your business. In August, we will look at how ‘influencers’ can boost your business’ profile on social media.

With the advent of social media, anyone with an Internet connection can now be a media entrepreneur. Social media platforms including Instagram , Facebook , YouTube , Snapchat , LinkedIn and Twitter provide accessible, affordable channels for businesses to promote goods and services.

Ben Peacock is the Director of Republic of Everyone , the leading brand, sustainability and innovation company responsible for delivering 202020 Vision and Plant Life Balance on behalf of Greenlife Industry Australia and Hort Innovation. Ben provides the following tips to help you choose the right social media platform and develop creative content to better promote your business.

1.Pick the right platform
‘When you are using social media, the big mistake so many people make is to go ‘Right, we have to be everywhere’. You are really better off picking the channel that is right for you and doing that one channel well,” says Ben, “There are a couple of ways to consider which is the right platform for you.”

Know who and where your audience is
“Wherever your audience is spending their time on social media is where you should be spending your money and time on social media,” says Ben.

First identify who is your ideal customer with enough detail so that you can locate them on social media (e.g. ‘Couples aged under 30 with no children living in inner-city apartments). Then determine your desired audience size; if you want to pay for Facebook ads to boost your posts to your ideal customer, this will help. You can also survey your existing customers to find out where they spend time online, so you know which platform to focus your efforts on.

Understand how well your product fits different platforms
“Instagram is all visual. It is just about the picture or potentially the little fast video. You will notice on Instagram there are a lot of ‘how to’s’ or little product demonstration videos now. If you have got something that has a little video that can show within three seconds something thumb-stopping or just has a beautiful aesthetic because it is a beautiful picture, then Instagram is going to work well.

“If you want to talk about something that has technical details behind it, you might be better on Facebook, which has more time to explain because it is not so visually focused. If you are talking about plumbing supplies or similar products, you might be better on LinkedIn or YouTube where people really are looking for a business solution. If you are looking to explain to your customers how to set up an easy watering system or the like, YouTube is great for ‘how to’ guides,” says Ben.

Pick a platform are you comfortable using
“There is no point trying to get on and use Snapchat without really understanding the culture and dynamic of that platform. You must enjoy spending time on the platform you are going to use, or this is going to be a burden in your life. If you enjoy going through beautiful photos on Instagram, then you are going to enjoy putting up beautiful photos on Instagram. If you enjoy watching ‘how to’s’ on YouTube, you are going to enjoy making them and putting them up,” Ben says.

2.Create ‘thumb-stopping’ content
Once you have your platform, you then need to create what Ben calls “thumb-stopping” content to stop people through their feeds when they see your post.

“Say you are a retail nursery; we are going to upload beautiful photos of the look you could get if you come and bought from us. We are going to upload the latest in latest things that have just arrived. We have only got ten of them. Come get them. We are going to upload ‘how to’s’ such as how to pot a plant. We are going to upload little interviews with the people who work here and their favourite plant. Then upload ‘did you know’ facts about plants and before you know it, there are five or six content streams,” says Ben.

3.Bring the ‘social’ into social media
“The digital world creates this vacuum for things to happen in the real world where people still do want that real-world connection. If you are a retail nursery, put on a little re-pot day on a Saturday morning with coffee or a Thursday night with wine. Invite your followers to come on in, bring a few plants, we will give you good prices on the pots and we will provide the soil mix for free kind and we are all going to just repot and learn how to do it,” says Ben.

4.Measure your success
Knowing who is viewing and sharing your posts is one of the real powers of social media. “Social media channels allow you to see instantly what your people like. When you have your content, run it through your channels and see which ones your audience likes and comments on the most. Do more of that and less of the stuff that they are not liking or commenting on,” Ben recommends.

The next step?
So now you have real, authentic and interesting content on a platform you feel comfortable using, how do you get more people to read that content? In the August issue of National Nursery News, we take a closer look at how the right social media influencers can help you share your content, thereby increasing your business profile in what is all too often a saturated marketplace.