As part of our camping and glamping business series we have put together a collection of business social media tips for companies to use to help them make an impression on social media.
For any business it is important to have a presence on social media. However, this is particularly important for the leisure industry, which is a highly competitive space.
It also stands to reason, that where people spend a lot of their time being social on the Internet, they may also spend time booking their camping or glamping holidays or buying products they need for their next trip to the campsite.
Why do I need to get involved?
Social media accounts like: Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube and Twitter, are a places where you can share great content, connect with others, forge business relationships, drive traffic to your website or blog, create leads and establish yourself as an expert.
If done properly it can be one of the most enjoyable aspects of being online. It can also be a huge source of inspirations and research material. An engaged social media crowd can also be your friend and potentially customer too.
How Does It Work?
Imagine you are entering a room full of strangers at a party. Think about how you would interact with them by: introducing yourself, exploring your interests, highlighting snippets of news and freely offering interesting and useful information, tips and tricks.
You would not walk into that room full of strangers and immediately try to sell your work, product or skills. You should use the same approach for social media.
How Do I Start?
The most important first step is for you to think about your social media Strategy. You should consider:
What you want to gain from your social media activities, e.g. promotion of a product or service, project, skill, website or interacting with an audience, etc.
How much time you are willing to dedicate to it, e.g. are you thinking of 10 minutes a day, 5 hours per week, etc.
What Social Media Platforms Should I Use?
There are many platforms for you to choose from including Flickr, Instagram, Google Picasa Digg, Quora, etc., however, the following are some of the most popular:
- Facebook is suited to a broad audience on general topics. Users of this medium are reported to be the most loyal and spend the most time online and interacting through their accounts. This is a great place for discussing and debating.
- Twitter is suited to a younger and more cutting-edge crowd who like to move quickly and have access to current news and trends.
- Google+ is still being established by Google but it contains some great features, such as being able to freely market events, promote your product without paying for it (yet!), to chat virtually in hangouts and chat within established communities.
- Pinterest is an inspirational visual medium that has been shown can sell, engage and drive website traffic effectively with huge success. It is currently one of the fastest growing social media platforms.
- YouTube is owned by Google, which also happens to own the most used search engine in the world. Therefore linking this medium to your website and products is essential for improving search engine optimisation and access to audiences who prefer to be social, learn, interact and share through moving images.
- LinkedIn is a place perfect for businesses but many find it uncomfortable sharing their business details and contacts in such an open format. However, it can be a good place to set up a business page and interact openly with other business professionals if you are not worried about this.
There’s So Many…. How Do I Choose What’s Right For My Business?
When deciding what platforms to get involved with, analyse your competitors first to see what they’re doing, and where they’re having most success.
- The number of fan / followers / likes they have;
- The frequency of posting;
- The type of content they publish;
- How much content is theirs as opposed to sharing others content.
- Look at their websites and blog to see how many methods they have for social media interaction and where they are most successful.
- Consider how seriously they are taking social media and monitor over a period of time how well they are doing. Social media requires upkeep and not every brand is prepared for the long haul, so this information will be very useful for you when making your own decisions.
Are there any quick wins?
Yes, there are many and various. However, these are three of the most popular:
- Posting a message with an image or film gets the most likes;
- Including a personal message and referring to ‘I’ and ‘me’ tend to get the most attention.
- Drawing attention to key words with bold text, # tags or other symbols on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday have the best click-through rates*.
Finally, there are many quick wins, ways to make a big impression early and tools that can help you on your way. Most of them are free and all of them are immensely helpful at allowing you to take part in social media without it affecting the day job.
If you would like an opportunity to discuss some of these with Sarah Riley, Founder of Inspired Camping and to learn what has been most useful in developing her own business and equally how they may assist yours, then please do get in touch.
What valuable tips to you have to create an impact on social media?
We’d love to hear from you.
Other posts in our business series are:
- Great business ideas;
- Business brands and branding elements;
- Fundamental elements of the idea (i.e. what do you need to make it happen);
- How to become a social media guru with great strategies for success;
- How to get a well designed, styled and written website, including branding and professional photography;
- What to do if land is involved and what permissions you will need;
- How to make sense of procurement and service agreements;
- What you need to do to get good marketing skills;
- Basic office systems you will need, including: storage, maintenance, signage, email, stationery, bookkeeping and accounts, public liability coverage, reservations and administration;
- How you can develop a launch plan or re-launch plan to make the most of good PR and set your business plan rolling.