Hi! My name is Hayley. I work in the NHS and have a BA Hons degree in Media & Popular Culture. I am volunteering with Hannah (aka Q. Konomi) on a few projects and when she asked if I'd write a blog post, I jumped at the chance!
Starting up social media accounts can be a bit daunting, especially if you’re a small group/charity/business with no social media experience. There are lots of tips out there to help you, so I’ve put together five key steps to think about to help you get started.
1. Brand Image & Identity
It’s really important to first think about your brand identity before setting up social media accounts. A way to start this is by thinking about questions such as:
· What do you offer?
· What makes you different?
· Who are your target audience?
These questions should help you get a better understanding of your brand identity. For example, a flower delivery service has the option to be more creative and fun than say a prescription delivery service who would want to take a more serious approach. Your approach can be reflected in your colours, font, images, and text, and even down to how you engage with others on social.
2. Consistency of Account Names
Once you have an idea about your brand identity, you want to ensure that your potential audience is able to find you across the different social media platforms. Those who find you on Instagram may also want to find you on Twitter, so a key point is to make sure that your social media names are consistent across platforms. For example, using @a_great_business_idea on Twitter but then using @business_ideas on Instagram has the potential to make the audience confused as to whether you are the same business. This is not such an issue if you have a website which has the links to the profiles but be aware that your audience will not necessarily find your website first. Before setting anything up, try typing in versions of your business name into the Instagram and Twitter sign up pages as they will advise if the name is already taken.
3. Credit Others
If you are sharing someone else’s work or posts, please remember to credit them, or use stock images where this is not needed (unsplash.com is a great website for free images). This not only promotes a good relationship with those whose posts you share, but it also makes it clear to your audience that you are being transparent and not trying to take credit for other’s work.
Engage with your followers. If you don’t, they have the potential to get bored and unfollow you, or could call you out on their account for not-responding, which ultimately hurts your business or service. Some ways you can engage are:
· Respond to their comments and questions on your posts, and direct messages, even if it’s just to ask them to message you privately to discuss something in more detail
· Comment on posts by other accounts
· Follow other accounts
· Share/re-tweet posts
· Comment or ‘react’ to comments on your posts
But remember to always think before responding. Remember, the internet is a place where followers pick up on mistakes very quickly, so be sure to think first.
5. Use Different Content Across Platforms
Try to create different content to use across social media platforms. Your audience like the variety of different content, and it shows that you’re actively managing the accounts rather than relying on one set of content for all. Also, what works on Twitter may not work on Facebook. This is not to say that you can’t use the same content some of the time, but try to keep it to a minimum.
I hope that has helped you start up your social media. Any questions, you can follow me on @bellsofstclements on Instagram.