There is a never-ending conversation around social media and how businesses can maximise it to engage with their audiences.

With so many messages about how people should be using it, it can become even more confusing to understand what is right for your business. It is a hugely powerful tool and can transform businesses, brands and people through the power of sharing – if it is used in the right way.

Here, Verity Clarke at Approach PR shares her five top tips for using social media for your business.

  1. Plan: There’s no need to dive straight into your Tweeting or LinkedIn updates. Take the time to plan and build your content so you know your time spent using social media is going to pay off. If you follow the tips below you’ll be well on your way to the perfect social media plan!
  2. Understand your objectives: What does your business want to achieve from using social media. Will LinkedIn help you generate more business leads? How will Twitter help you increase website traffic? Be clear about what you want social media to bring to your business – it may be as simple as raising your business’ profile, but know that before you start.
  3. Know who your audience is: This runs across all PR activity; knowing who your audience is will determine the content you share, your tone of voice and the regularity of your communication. It is crucial to identify who it is you will be targeting otherwise your messages may go unheard.
  4. Know what you’re going to say: Content is the absolute king when it comes to social media. To build engagement you need to have something interesting to share whether this is about your business, the industry or local community, offering something new and insightful to your audience will help those all-important relationships.
  5. Use the right platform: Once your audience is established and you know what you’re going to say, this will help determine what social media channel you should be using. There’s no point setting up a Facebook account if you want to be targeting industry specific professionals who are active on LinkedIn. Take the time to research your audience and become familiar with your chosen channel. Once you are ready to start engaging, your messages will be much more powerful.

If you are considering how social media could benefit your business but are unsure how to get started, our Introduction to social media training course provides an overview of how social media can work for businesses. Our experts will cover what it is with best practice examples. The Approachability team will also look at the etiquette of social networking including how to make the initial approach, follow up and gain influence through sharing and interaction.