New research by BigChange has revealed that nearly a third of Brits (27%) have selected a tradesperson or business because of their social media presence, which means business owners should be considering social media more than ever before.
Nearly 40% of Gen Z are now using TikTok or Instagram as their primary search engine over Google, and it’s clear to see that consumers’ search habits are changing.
To support trade professionals looking to benefit from the power of social media, Daniel Briggs, Director of Digital Marketing at BigChange, shares the do’s and don’ts of utilising social media to build their online reputation and win new business.
The three do’s
- Do place an emphasis on brand personality
Having a strong brand personality is vital in today’s market and if your business is easily recognisable, and your social media activity is visually appealing, you’ll be more likely to stand out.
Daniel advises, “Once you’ve defined what you want your brand personality to be, make sure you stay consistent.
“Regular updates on social media in a specific tone of voice will help you stand out, whilst becoming recognisable within your trade. Although it’s good to have a wide variety of content to reach different audiences, make sure it all has a common theme and design element running throughout so it’s instantly recognisable that it’s from your company.”
2. Do put a focus on your brands reputation
Reputation is closely connected to your brand’s personality. By using social media, you are able to quickly deal with any problems or complaints and resolve them efficiently.
Daniel comments, “Reviews and positive engagement on social media will help to keep your reputation high. Responding to reviews and comments, both positive and negative, in a professional manner will paint your business in the best light.
“You should try to check your notifications and direct messages at least once a day, so you can respond to any time-sensitive queries. The more people know about the good work you do, the more likely they are to use your business.”
- Do check out competitors in your industry
With so many businesses now using social media to interact with customers, showcase their work, and post regular updates, this is the perfect way to see what your competition is up to and make sure you’re staying ahead of the curve.
Daniel suggests, “Regularly check out your direct competitors’ posts, reviews and customer interactions to see how they operate and use this insight as inspiration to identify what you’re missing or could be doing more of.”
The three don’ts
- Don’t merge your personal and business social media
If your business is new to social media then ensure you create a business account that is separate from your personal account.
Daniel explains, “Not only will this help you maintain privacy, but it will also make it much easier for new customers to find your business and a separate business page will appear more trustworthy to potential new customers. It’s important to act professionally online when representing a brand and to only share work-appropriate information on your social profiles to help gain your audience’s trust.
“On platforms such as Instagram and LinkedIn, business accounts also have more advanced features meaning a business page may be easier to grow and promote, and an added benefit is that you can easily give co-workers access should they need it in the future.”
2. Don’t feel the pressure to commit to every social media platform
Consider which social platforms your target audience uses and which platforms you’re the most comfortable using and put your effort into those, rather than spreading yourself too thinly across multiple platforms.
Daniel advises, “Committing to just one or two platforms will enable you to stay consistent with your posting schedule and to keep on top of any messages or questions on each platform. It will also give you more time to think about posts and ensure you are only sharing top quality content.”
- Don’t be too promotional
Think about what kind of content your followers will want to engage with. Instead of focusing entirely on promoting your business, share posts that will provide value to your audience.
Daniel concludes, “Of course if your business has great updates or announcements to share, like deals, or new offerings then sharing these on social media is a good idea. However you can diversify your content and avoid being overly promotional by sharing educational videos or expert tips.”