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How to start using social media to advertise your business

Recently I have started managing social media for a new business and it quickly made me realise how different your social media strategy should be if you only have 50 followers compared to 500. I haven’t started a Facebook page from scratch for a while so I had forgotten how social media marketing can be hard when you’re posts are only getting seen by a few people. This experience has highlighted to me that your social media goals should change as your follower count does and how to best utilise social media at each and every stage of your business being online.

Level 1: Creating your social media pages

The first step to advertising on social media is, of course, to set up your accounts.

If you are creating a Facebook Page make sure you get a profile picture that fits nicely into a square and is of an okay resolution (pixelating will just make your page look tacky and no-one wants that!).

Next, create a cover image, this is the picture that sits at the top of your page when people access it on the computer and on their phones. It is a great chance to show potential clients what your page is about. The measurements are slightly more tricky than the profile photo however as the dimensions are different from the computer to the phone. When creating your cover photo you’ll want to create an image that is approximately 6cm wide by 3cm (300 resolution). You’ll then want to avoid putting any important information on the outside of the image as this won’t show up on phones and a lot of people use phones to access social media these days. You can use the diagram below to help you visualise this, feel free to save it and work over it to get the right measurements!

You should be able to use the same profile picture that you use on Facebook as your Instagram account’s - if you would like.

To finish off the creation of your accounts you will need to add in some information about your business! For both Facebook and Instagram you should be able to put in your website and any other contact details you would like, such as an email or a phone number. You can also place an address on your socials if you have a store front. On Facebook you can put in a decent ‘About’ section to let your followers and potential customers know who you are. On Instagram your ‘About’ section is limited to a shorter amount of characters but it is still worth filling this out!

Lastly, on Facebook you can add some photos to your albums if you would like. Having photos can be a good way to help potential followers know that your business is legit and that your social media account is current despite low follower numbers (at the moment).

Level 2: Finding followers

Alright, so we all know the whole ‘if you build it, they will come’ is pretty much a sham. Without marketing, your audience has no idea that your business exists and this is the same online. The good news is chances are you will already have a strong network of friends that you can reach out to and ask for help in getting a bit of exposure onto your new accounts.

You can start the ball rolling by creating a post and sharing it to your own personal account (on Facebook). This will help let your friends know that you have created a page for your business. You can also let friends that you think would like to support you know about it and even ask them if they would share your page to help spread the word.

As you gain a few more followers, these people will see your posts and be able to engage with them which will help get your posts seen by more people that you eventually won’t know.

Your goal at this level on your social media journey is to try and get your follower count up to help you reach more people who could be potential customers.

Getting assistance from friends can help you when you start your social media accounts!

Level 3: Connecting with customers

Before you start selling to your customers you want to help them get to know you and your business. You can do this by creating posts and being consistent with your socials.

At this stage on your social media journey you want to be gathering impressive but more importantly clear images that you can share with your new followers. These images should reflect your business, what you do and your branding style.

You can also play around with the other options that many social media platforms offer including video, polls and stories. Don’t be afraid to ask your current followers questions or show some of yourself on your accounts (people love meeting the face behind the business, especially on Instagram!).

Your goal at this level is to create content that gets engagement from your current following. Engagement can includes likes, comments and interactions like voting in a poll.

Level 4: Selling services

Now that you have built up a following you can start selling your services to your customers. You may have heard that you don’t want to ‘sell’ on your social media accounts. This is correct to an extent. Value adding and interesting posts are important to keep your following engaged with your account but you also need to let new followers know what you do to increase your chances of sales with them.

When creating a sales post make sure you add in an image that will draw in potential customers. A strong visual is the best way to get people to stop and read the description of your service or product. Next clearly explain why your customers want what you’re selling. How can this product or service help them? What makes your product or service unique? Lastly, remember to add in a website link that customers can go to for more information or to buy your product or service. If you don’t have a website make sure you let potential customers know they can message or email you to find out more.

Your goal here is to let your followers know what you are selling and hopefully pick up a sale or two while you are at it!

Level 5: Trialling adverts

The last step when building up your social media accounts from scratch is to start including some paid marketing into your digital strategy.

At this stage you may find that you are using paid advertising to sell your services or product OR you may just use it to help spread the word about your business and gain new followers who may become clients. It is really up to you.

I waited until I had 100 followers and a website that I could direct customers to before giving Facebook any hard earned cash.

Since you are just starting out with your socials you can also start small here in terms of money spent on advertising. You can just boost posts to help you become more comfortable with paid advertising or dive into managing your ads with ads manager.

Boosting a post can be a good way to start using paid advertising (image from Chlo & Co Creatives Facebook page).

I hope this little explanation on how to start using social media as an advertising stream has been useful to you!

If you are a little more advanced in your social media strategy you may like to check out my posts on ‘How to create content for social media’ or ‘How to increase your organic reach on social media’.

If you have any other beginner social media tips you would like to share with me to add to my post click here!

If you’re over the idea of trying to run your socials, click through to see some of the digital marketing services I can help you with (spoiler: it includes social media management!)


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