How you can make use of social media to boost brand awareness

This month’s iNorthumberland Business Support Initiative column looks at the importance of social media.

Social media utilises various online platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube to create and share information in a conversation style.

The most important thing to remember is that you must have a strategy for social media in place.

Alan McGee.

Although social media originated as a personal tool for interacting with friends and family, businesses have embraced strategies to incorporate them within their overall communication plans for reaching out to the online community.

Alan McGee, a social media and management consultant at South Tyneside’s Say Consultancy, has prepared an in-depth training module that offers essential tips to optimise your social media strategy as part of iNorthumberland Business Support’s fully-funded programme of digital training.

Here he shares tips for getting social media savvy:

“The most important thing to remember is that you must have a strategy for social media in place,” he said.

“Opportunities in social media can seem endless, but you must remain focused if you want to see a real benefit for your business.

“Take time to plan a strategy, considering your existing business goals and how best to showcase your brand’s strengths online.

“When selecting social media tools or platforms, consider what you are trying to achieve by promoting your business on social media.

“Also think about your own business and how best to reach your intended audience. For example, if your business is visual, tools such as Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube might be most suited to you, but if your business caters mainly to other businesses, Twitter or LinkedIn might be more suitable.

“It is important to update and maintain social media regularly so as to keep your online audience engaged. Think about how and where you will use social media.

“This can be time-consuming so stick to your social media strategy to avoid wasting time.”

He added: “It can be helpful to ensure that one person in your business is responsible for co-ordinating all social media activity. Social media jargon can be confusing and prevent people from getting involved if they feel they do not understand.

“It is useful to ask yourself if you know your followers from your friends and connections, or a like from a favourite? Using jargon incorrectly can instantly mark you as a novice to an experienced social networker so make sure you get to grips with these terms.

Register online at www.inorthumberlandbusiness.co.uk for online training courses to help you get up to speed.

Eligible businesses are invited to attend a free digital day and masterclass with Mr McGee on Friday, July 10, at St James’s United Reformed Church in Alnwick. Email business@archdigital.co.uk to book your free place.