Can Social Media business pages replace a Website?

Promoting your small business is essential to making it a success but you may ask yourself whether the plus points of having a website are cost effective as employing a web designer and developer to build a business website can cost anything from a few hundred pounds upwards. If you are able to set up a business page on a social media platform yourself this is usually free and quite easy to do.

Most social media platforms such as Facebook have good marketing capabilities allowing you to advertise and sell products, receive and comment on reviews and make money from advertising revenue. Tracking of visits to the pages can be scrutinised giving an insight into what is working well and what is not bringing in any business.

Many businesses prefer however to have their own website so that they can control the content and any changes are made by them or their web designer but if you have a web presence on a social media platform, it is possible that they can make changes which may have an impact on your business. For instance, advertising links may be inappropriate for the audience you are targeting, or negative customer reviews may be posted without giving your business the opportunity to resolve issues.

Promoting events via social media

If you have an event coming up that you want to promote or share then social media can be a great platform in which you can do so. You first need to have active social media accounts on sites such as Facebook and Twitter. With Facebook, you will need an individual account but this can be linked to your business account.

Facebook allows you to create events within your business page. These events can be easily added to people’s calendars and can have links to sites where tickets can be purchased etc. They can be shared easily amongst friends and have an option for the viewer to show that they are interested or going to the event.

If you are trying to share the event on to another group page then you will need to post it under your individual account by sharing the event on the wall of other groups. You need to read the rules of the group carefully before doing this as some groups do not allow business type posts and will remove them.

Twitter ca also be a great tool for social media as you can very quickly build up a community of followers. There people will then often help by retweeting your posts and events so they reach a wider community.

Managing social media accounts for your clients

If you are within the marketing industry then you may need to manage social media accounts for your clients. Often many social media profiles will need to be linked to an administrator and this is often a personal profile or one for the business owners for example. This can become an issue when you are asked to start to manage it as not many people will be happy about giving out their personal social media login details. Facebook have set up a site called Business manager which allows you to link multiple accounts to access. The admin of the Facebook business page will allow you access to manage it without having to give you their passwords details.

There are other software programs available that can make it easier to manage social media accounts especially if a company has accounts on multiple social media platforms. Software such as HootSuite is relatively low cost and can save a lot of time when it comes to posting on multiple sites. With this application you can monitor and engage with Facebook, Twitter Instagram etc. all from one place without having to worry about logging in to different sites. You can even schedule content to be posted another time which is useful if you are going away.

 

Is social media marketing affected by GDPR?

On the 25th May 2018 a new legislation will come in to effect which is called the EU General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR. This will apply to all the members of the EU and before you start to question as to whether Britain will have to abide by it after Brexit, the answer is basically yes and the British government have drafted a protect bill which is almost identical which will come in to effect following Brexit.

Social media marketing is huge for many businesses so it is of no surprise that many business owners are worried about how this will affect them and what they need to do in order to adhere to it.

As far as consent and data use, social media sites will cover this in their own terms and conditions and the users will have to agree to this to use their site. If however you are going to be taking information from the social media sites to use in your own marketing then you will need to get permission from each individual user and have evidence of this.

If you are at all concerned about how you are using or storing data taken from social media sites or your website then it is advisable to seek help from a professional who will be able to advise you of what you need to do.

Keeping your social media accounts positive

There is no doubt that social media can have a fantastic impact on a business. It an build up brand awareness, increase enquiries and increase sales but if not used correctly it can have a negative impact.

You may find that people have started to leave reviews on your social media accounts or that they have mentioned your company in one of their posts. IT is always a good idea to acknowledge any activity on social media. If they have put a nice comment on about your company then a quick thank you to them can go a long way, but if they have put something negative on there then it is important to think carefully before responding. Arguing with a member of the public on social media is never a good idea and not only will you upset that person you may find that you get a lot of bad press from the other people reading or commenting on the post too. If you do receive negative feedback then it is best to acknowledge it and then ask the person if they can contact you or you can contact them directly to discuss it.