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If you’re not familiar with social media the prospect of having to use various platforms for business may seem daunting! However social media can be an incredible tool for generating leads and serious traffic to your website; it’s valuable for businesses of all sizes and professions. It’s also a great way to reach new audiences and see direct impact on your sales, so you don’t want to be missing out. That is where we come in with this complete guide to social media for UK companies, to ensure you hit the ground running! This guide includes tips on what to post, how often to post and which platforms you should be posting on.

Q. What is the Best Way For a Business to Use Social Media?

A. As previously mentioned social media is a great tool for connecting with a wider audience! Therefore it’s important that when you are thinking of posting, no matter what platform it is you are using (we will get to which ones are best for your business later on) that your social media is an extension of your company and its values. What we mean by that is all your posts should follow the same tone and show an authentic and real-life insight into your business.

Secondly, it’s important to know that you don’t need to have a huge following for your business to create the impact it needs on social media; you just need to be reaching and communicating with the right people. You already have a good idea of your target audience based on research you’ve done for you company, this is  very important when using social media as your posts are designed to reach and communicate with more people of the same demographic, who will hopefully turn into future brand ambassadors.

Top tip: Before you get started it’s a great idea to check out the competition, particularly if they have a good social media presence already, just to get an idea of the kind of posts they create. You don’t want to copy what they are doing and posting of course, but it is great for some inspiration and to see what has worked and hasn’t for them based on engagements.

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Q. What Social Media Platforms Should My Business Use?

A. Not every platform is suitable for every type of business. Unfortunately, one size doesn’t fit all and it’s important that you don’t use all the platforms out there just for the sake of it as you will be wasting time and money. It’s better to concentrate on a smaller number of relevant platforms that will be beneficial to your business and target the right people.

Post Planner offers a great guide for businesses on what platforms they should use, with the main platforms for the vast majority of businesses being Facebook and LinkedIn.

Facebook is ideal for most businesses simply because of the amount of people that are on it, even if you don’t use social media at all personally, everybody knows what Facebook is after all. Also this platform is effective as you can use geotargeting quite specifically and engage with your target audience (AdEspresso on Hootsuite have a great guide for this).

LinkedIn is important as your business needs to communicate and connect with other likeminded people. It may not be an obvious choice but this platform is great for networking and connecting with a wider audience of professionals and involves commenting on or sharing relevant posts or articles to your business.

Instagram is also a very effective social media platform, with over 50% of 18-29 year olds using it. If this is the age demographic your business is targeting then it’s a good idea to implement the use of this platform into your social media strategy quite early on.

Twitter is a great tool for listening into conversations and can provide valuable insight into the mind of your target customer. Engaging in conversation and showing your presence on Twitter is also a great way of creating conversation around your company.

Pinterest can be a very powerful too but only for specific industries, such as; food, travel, DIY crafts, health, beauty, fashion and interior. These types of businesses can really thrive and generate a lot of engagement and build a loyal following on Pinterest.

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Q. How Often Should My Business Post On Social Media?

A. When using a combination of social platforms it’s important to understand the true nature of each platform and what it was originally designed to do. For example, posts on Twitter have a relatively short lifespan therefore it is best to publish short posts more frequently. With this in mind, here is a guideline for how often to post on the different platforms previously mentioned.

Facebook: Most studies agree that once per day is optimal, with a maximum of two posts per day being scheduled. At a minimum, you should post to your Facebook page at least three times per week.

Twitter: With this platform, general guidelines range from 3 to 30 times per day, however you will be able to judge once you get started with Twitter what works best for your company and how much engagement you get from your audience. Remember, it is quality not quantity that matters!

Instagram: Around 1 to 3 times per day is suitable, again you can always build up to posting three times per day depending on your audience engagement.

LinkedIn: This platform is slightly more low maintenance than other platforms, if you can post on here at least twice a week and the maximum amount of once a day, you’re optimising this platform well.

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Posting different content on each of these at the recommended rate per week may seem overwhelming and sound time consuming. However, the key to managing multiple platforms is to use a post planner. There are various different types out there, however we personally love to use Hootsuite. It’s free to use and allows you to post across multiple platforms all from this one application. It also lets you schedule content in advance, saving you a lot of time!

Overall, with all new ventures, the key to truly optimising your company’s social media use is planning and organisation. Make sure once you’ve done your research and know what you want to be posting on each platform, you create a plan and then schedule your posts following this. The plan doesn’t have to be set in stone, in fact it’s good to keep changing things, especially if the performance and results of your social campaigns require tweaking of your future strategy. Following a structure and managing your time based on your plan to start off with will really help you to remain in control and organised. A well-structured plan will also help you to see clearly the benefits of using social media for your business and watch the positive results be revealed right before your eyes!

Want more tips on what you should be posting on social media and how it can benefit your business? Read how to create a social media style guide to better your online presence or explore our blog for more digital marketing insights and advice from the experts.