How to be social

Social media is one of the few tools that every business can use and you don’t need a big budget to do it well.

We live in an age when people can easily access the internet – anywhere, anytime. It has changed the way we work, socialise and make purchases. Just look at the facts – 62% of consumers use social media when they decide to buy a product or service. With such an important tool just a keyboard or smartphone away, using social media can be a great way to connect with customers, boost your business and win new work.

Of course you don’t have to put all your eggs in the social media basket – if traditional approaches work for you then it could be that using a mix of more of these tools along with social media is the way to go. All it takes to make the most of your social potential is a little bit of thought before you start.

YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA TOOL BOX

The starting point is to think about your customers and decide what the best ways of talking to them are. Where do they spend their time online? There are a number of social media tools you can access, each with their own set of advantages.

  FACEBOOK
It’s very easy to create a business page on Facebook. It’s completely free and can put you in front of a large audience. Plus, you can encourage your customers to review and share the work you’ve done for them – great for word of mouth!

  TWITTER
Another free tool, Twitter has hundreds of millions of active members – so is a huge audience for you to access. It’s all about sharing relevant and interesting content that your followers will engage with and in turn share. It’s a great tool to cultivate relationships with followers, and watch those relationships turn into sales.

  LINKEDIN
Great for professional networking, generating new leads and getting referrals. A company page gives you the opportunity to tell your company’s story, engage with followers and generate word of mouth marketing.

  INSTAGRAM
By using images you can showcase your products, projects and services in action and generate positive exposure. It gives you a chance to show off more of what you have to offer in real-time.

  PINTEREST
A bit like an online pin board, it lets you build a virtual scrapbook of images of your business. Allowing you to display your work to potential consumers and create an online portfolio filled with personality.

TOP SOCIAL TIPS
These are just some of the social media tools available. One way to get going is to think about what you already use yourself and start there. Once you’ve decided where to be social, you can use Russell Roof Tiles top tips for being socially successful:

  • Think about what time your customers will be online
  • Don’t try to ‘sell-sell-sell’. Write about things that people are interested in and that they’ll share – this is the best way to grow your followers
  • You can see the impact in real time, if it’s not working, adapt
  • Once customers see you’re on social media they will also expect you to respond quickly (one survey said that one in five customers will avoid a small business that is unresponsive to critical comments)
  • Work out how to handle negative comments, not everyone will be nice!
  • Using social media ‘share’ buttons means content can be shared quickly. The average Facebook user has 190 friends and an average of 12% see their liked posts. That means one message has actually been seen by 15 new prospects, so if some of them ‘like’ and share your message and their friends do the same, word can spread quickly
  • Be professional. If you wouldn’t say something to someone’s face don’t put it on social media!
  • Be honest and be yourself
  • Remember social media is just that it’s social – people talking to people

Russell Roof Tiles is the UK’s leading independent manufacturer and supplier of tiles and fittings used on pitched roofing for housing and commercial projects.