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Ten Ways small Irish Businesses can use Facebook and Twitter

So you have the social media accounts set up, like everyone said you should – you have a Facebook page to show off your shiny products and services and you even set up a twitter account for your company although you’re not sure about tweeting for your company.

Social Media is now seen as the way to promote your business but don’t be fooled, it will take time and effort on your part to make it work.

Some things to consider:

1. It’s not about you, it’s about your followers – when you’re planning or writing your posts, think about the person that will be reading it. How can you help them, make their live easier or even just make them smile. What do they really want to hear about you and your business?

2. Plan –do try to make a plan for your social media activity, how often will you post, where and when will you post? What will you post? A plan starts things of and allows things to build naturally but always remember your audience.

3. Remember your #hashtag – the hash (#) sign turns any word or group of words that you use to directly follow it into a searchable link, for example #Halloween. This allows you to organise and track your posts topics based on those keywords. They are a very important tool to use for business.

Facebook, Social Media, Twitter, Hashtag

Hashtag Symbol

4. Photos are important – as the old adage goes “a picture paints a thousand words” and this is certainly true for social media. Photos are an easy way to catch your followers’ attention and followers are more likely to share photos with others. You can think cute and funny but it has it be true to you and your brand also.

5. Ask Questions – social media is meant for interaction, it is a two-way communication process. It is best though to start it off lightly maybe a more conversational question and build it up from there to maybe asking questions that can help your business.

6. Be personal but not too personal – it is after all, your business you’re promoting, not yourself. Post about the big order you got in or maybe some behind the scenes photos from your business. If it gives your followers a warm feeling about you, it’s good. There is no excuse though for posting about your personal life, your recent dentist appointment isn’t really going to thrill them.

7. Run Competitions – competitions are fun and they can grow your followers. They don’t need to be run very often but can be a good way to engage with and grow followers.

Facebook, Social Media, Competition

Facebook Competition

8. Piggyback on holidays and #hashtags – focus on holidays or any popular hashtags that could be good for your business. If you have a shop, maybe post gift ideas for Christmas. Using popular hashtags means your post might pop-up if someone does a search on it. This needs to be creative and quirky though and don’t over use it – it gets boring.

9. Don’t confuse Social Media with Advertising – your posts need to be genuine and reflect who are you are. People don’t follow businesses for a sales pitch, they follow you because they are curious about YOU. It’s your job on social media to present yourself and your business in a way that interests readers, so show them behind the scenes, struggles, problems, successes, everything, warts and all.

10. Remember, it’s supposed to be fun!  – people go on-line, in part to be entertained, for a distraction. Don’t be afraid to do that.