Social Media For Business: What To ‘Say’ On Social Media

For all its promises of riches, social media can be a tough egg for small businesses to crack. With potential pitfalls at every turn, there’s much more to it than creating a profile page and watching the money roll in.

One of the biggest problems many small businesses face is figuring out what to say on social media. With no hard and fast rules to abide by, and with few blueprints available to nudge you in the right direction, knowing what to say can quickly become a trying task that sinks your social media campaign. It needn’t be though.

Below we’ll take a look at some of the things you can ‘say’ on social media to help your business flourish. Hopefully these helpful will assist you in kick starting your campaign and shrugging off any residual apprehension you might have.


Know Your Social Media Platform

Before we start learning the basics of what to say on social media, it’s important to identify the differences between the various social media platforms out there and how these will affect what you eventually choose to say.


Facebook: As far as social media platforms go, Facebook is an all singing, all dancing site that attracts more than a billion users. Here you can post text, pictures, videos, links, polls and a world of other content. Variety is truly the spice of life when it comes to Facebook. Having fun is compulsory too.

Twitter: This is where the cool kids (and grown-ups) hang out. With more than 200 million users signing up in the last six years, this is still one of the fastest-growing social media sites. “Tweets” can be used to link to other online content, including blogs, websites and other social media platforms,  but ultimately it’s less diverse than Facebook.

LinkedIn: If Facebook and Twitter are where you go to have fun, LinkedIn is where you go to work, or network at least. Considered the professional’s social media platform, LinkedIn replaces apps, games and memes with portfolios, résumés and job opportunities. If you plan on using LinkedIn, you’ll need to take a more straight-laced approach.


The three sites listed above are currently the most popular social media platforms. There are, of course, plenty more sites you can experiment with. Google+ is very similar to Facebook, with many of the same principles applying. Pintrest is an up-and-coming picture-based site that is starting to make waves. Instagram, now owned by Facebook, is a photograph-based site. Also similar to Facebook, MySpace is gradually returning to the fold with a new business model after losing its place as a market leader a few years back.

All of these social media platforms have their own nuances. In most cases these are fairly easy to pick up, and once you’ve spent some time experimenting, you’ll get a feel for it all. From there it’s just a case of knowing what to say.


What to ‘Say’ on Social Media

Believe it or not, there is no secret behind what you should say on social media. There are no strict rules that must not be broken. Likewise, there are no golden rules that will guarantee you success. What is successful for one company may not prove so for another. The trick then is to give everything a try and see what engages your followers and fans most.

Here are eight of the most common things you can ‘say’ on social media.


1. Talk About Yourself, Your Company

The most obvious thing of all is to talk about yourself and your company. That’s why you’re on social media in the first place.

Explain what your company does and why it does it. Describe what products/services are available and where your followers can find out more about these. Try not to overdo it on the marketing side of things or you’ll risk losing followers quickly. You can mention who works for your company, providing those you mention are happy for you to do so, and more specifically who is overseeing your page. This helps build a personal relationship.

Also talk about who you have worked with in the past and who you’d like to work with in the future. Again, if you’re looking to mention other clients or customers, seek their permission first. Also share any future plans you may have, although if these are considered ‘top secret’ you’ll want to strike this one off the list.


2. Hints & Tips

Social media for small business isn’t about bombarding people with advertising. It’s about setting yourself up as a market leader, an expert or a valuable commodity within the industry. One of the best ways to do all of this is to provide your following with a variety of hints and tips. In most cases these should relate to your industry sector, but there’s no harm to providing everyday hints and tips that might be of use to others. This adds to the human element of utilising social media for business (see below).


3. Link to Blogs & Websites

Social media can be quite restrictive in what it allows you to post in terms of length. While Facebook allows you to post a status update that is fairly long, few people read anything longer than two sentences as they scroll down their newsfeed.

You can use most social media platforms to link to other blogs and websites. If you’ve written a blog that you’re proud of, share a link to it. If you’ve read someone else’s blog and think your followers could benefit from it, share a link to it. If you’re running a special offer, post a link to your own website. If there’s something useful out there, link it. Just try not to overdo it. Too many links will fall on deaf ears.

Social media links actually play a large role in Search Engine Optimisation. Without going into it in huge depth, the more links there are to your blog or website via social media, the more ‘visible’ it is to search engines like Google, which means sharing links serves a dual purpose.


4. Share Videos & Images

Links aren’t the only thing you can share on your social media profile. Studies show that social media users pay closer attention to a post if it features a video or image.

The likes of Facebook and Google+ are geared up for this type of sharing. All you need do is copy and paste an image or a video URL and it appears in your feed. Twitter users may need to use special software, which is generally free of charge. Alternatively, the likes of Instagram and Vine can be connected to your profile for direct publishing.

The videos and images you share should in some way be relevant to your business, although this is not a rule that is hard and fast. In fact, simple images created depicting a motivational quote are currently all the rage. Why not give your followers something to smile about?


5. Run Competitions

What you say on social media serves one grand scheme: to generate engagement with your followers. One of the best ways to increase social media engagement is by running a competition. Your competition can be as easy or hard as you like, although easier contests generally attract more engagement. The prizes needn’t be out of this world. A discount on your products, a free item, or even a shout-out; you’d be surprised how many people simply like to see their name illuminated by the bright lights of social media. This goes double for companies, so don’t be afraid to promote one of your follower’s business pages.


6. Ask & Answer Questions

If you’re to achieve any kind of success on social media, you need to understand that this is a two-way street you’re walking. You cannot get away with broadcasting your messages and not listening to the response.

One of the best ways to generate two-way conversation is by asking your followers and fans questions. This also doubles as a solid method of market research. So, ask your followers what they think of your latest product. Ask them what they would like to see in the future. Ask them how you can help. The poll functions on Facebook are a great extension of this.

You needn’t restrict yourself to professional and business questions either. There’s nothing wrong with signing in on a Monday morning and asking how everybody’s weekend was. Likewise, it’s Friday afternoon so go ahead and see what people have planned. Social media is about being social so go ahead and be social, but not too social.

It’s vital that you acknowledge any responses you receive. A quick ‘like’ or ‘favourite’ will suffice but you can get involved with a comment if you so desire. By responding, you’re again adding to the human element of social media, which can only be a good thing. It’s also worth noting that you should at least try to answer your followers’ questions, if they post these. Again, this draws away the curtain and lets them see there is a person behind the profile.


7. Respond to Feedback

Responding to feedback is a pivotal part of what to say on social media. If somebody has written something positive, you should thank them for it. If somebody has written something negative, you have the chance to interact with them and see how you can improve things. Many companies now rely on social media to learn how their customers really feel about them. They also use it to show that they are caring and understanding. If somebody sees you respond favourably to negative criticism, they will have more faith in your company. Nobody’s perfect. We all know that. It’s just nice to see somebody striving to be better.


8. Chit Chat

What you say on social media doesn’t have to be restricted to ‘work talk’. It’s quite acceptable to chat with your followers about, well, anything. Feel free to tackle current affairs, sports, hobbies, entertainment, or anything else that gets your followers engaged. Of course, it’s vital you steer clear of controversial topics or anything that is likely to offend. Keep it shallow and you should be okay.

Before you head of and start gossiping with your followers though, be sure that this is the best way to spend your time. While you want to interact and let them know that you’re one of them, so to speak, don’t spend all day chatting away. You’re using social media for business purposes and it’s unlikely you’ll get a return on the time you invest simply by chatting. A little chat here and there is fine. Anything more is counterproductive.

Now you know what to say on social media you’re ready to get started with your campaign. Before you do though, here are a few other pointers you should consider.


The Human Touch

Regardless of what it is you want to say on social media, how you say it can have an even bigger impact, for better or for worse.

Social media users do not want to interact with faceless companies and corporations. If you post content that sounds like it has come straight from an advertising firm, it’s unlikely you’ll make much of an impact. If you post content that lacks personality or sounds robotic in any way, your campaign will be sunk before it’s even started.

Always, always lather your posts with the human touch. Be friendly. Be interesting. Be approachable. Be helpful. Welcome those that visit your page with a smile, and a smiley. Leave those you engage with feeling like they’ve received the best customer service ever. Let everybody you come into contact with online know that there is a person behind the brand and behind the screen.


Planning Ahead

Simply knowing what to say on social media and how to say it is no guarantee of success. The content you share with your followers and fans could be dynamite but if it is not seen by anyone you may as well have not bothered in the first place.

A huge part of any social media campaign is forward planning. Knowing the best times to post updates is a vital component of social media success. Likewise, knowing what you’re going to post in advance can make all the difference.

We’ll take a closer look at social media planning – including Content Calendars and scheduling software – in a future blog post. For now though, play around and experiment with what you want to say on social media and see how far it takes you.

Free Presentation: Attract 20 Ideal Clients in the Next 60 Days


Click here to Watch