Social media is no longer used just for personal chit-chat or uploading pictures of your holiday. It is now recognised as a powerful business tool to engage customers, sell your message and build your profile… and best of all it’s free!
It is so much more than simply highlighting your contact details, opening hours and location, it’s a great way to build relationships and loyalty with local customers and businesses. This simple, easy-to-follow guide describes how you can boost your sales by following these simple steps when it comes to social media.
Target the right audience
When it comes to followers, it’s quality not quantity!
Your aim is simple: to increase brand exposure and footfall for your business locally.
Engage with local papers, associations or groups online as they are likely to already have a large local following.
Target hyperlocal websites that focus on topics such as restaurants, community group meetings and car boot sales within your local area.
Stay in regular contact with any key local influencers – they may help spread the word when it comes to promotions,
charity events or beer festivals you are running.
Choose a relevant platform
Not all social media will work for your business, so choose wisely.
Facebook (30M UK users*) and Twitter (15M UK users*) are the biggest platforms, allowing you to share multimedia
content to an even gender demographic.
Instagram (14M UK users; 64% female*) is purely an image sharing platform with a large younger audience (39% aged 16-24 vs 16% for Facebook*). Ideal for gastropubs looking to attract customers using glossy filters on pictures of their high end food and drink.
Other available platforms may not be suitable for your business. For example the top topics searched on Pinterest
(10.4M UK users*) are DIY and recipes.
* Source: rosemcgrory.co.uk
Engage, engage…& engage!
Create a personality for your business.
Keep it light, fun and engaging – avoid spam like messages!
Stay regular yet relevant by posting content around key calendar activities such as sporting events, Mother’s Day
and Valentine’s Day – it might help to create a simple annual plan so you don’t miss an opportunity!
The use of popular hashtags that reflect current trends make your posts visible to users who aren’t even following you.
Images and video content help to make your posts stand out, improving reach and engagement with your audience.
Embrace the power of social media
Avert a crisis by following a clear set of actions.
Allowing customers to review you publicly can be a powerful business endorsement tool.
Not everyone however will be pleased 100% of the time – what do you do if you receive a negative review?
Don’t act too hastily. Take some time to formulate the correct response, otherwise you could make the situation worse.
Avoid argumentative or defensive language and perhaps get an employee to read your response before sending it.
Always offer excellent customer service and consider free drink vouchers for example, to resolve any issues.
Optimise your profile
Customise your output to suit your requirements.
Many social media platforms are now offering free tools to help optimise your profile further, so make sure you take advantage of these.
You can pin important tweets or post to the top of your Twitter or Facebook profile so it’s the first thing followers will see when they visit your page – this is an effective way of highlighting an upcoming event.
Facebook allows you at add a call-toaction button on your businesses’ profile page, taking people directly to your
website or telephone number.
There are also a number of ways to boost your content on platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. Ad creation or
Power Editor are tools that allow you to create adverts designed to promote your page.
Facebook also offers the chance to boost individual posts to a targeted audience based on location, age, gender and
interests, for a small fee.
Set up a business page by following these simple steps:
On your phone, tablet or PC visit twitter.com
• Click ‘Sign up for Twitter’ and fill in the required details
• To verify your phone number, twitter will send you a text message with a code. Enter the verification code in the
box provided on the sign up page
• Choose your Twitter username, which is unique to your account. We suggest using your business name so that
you are easily recognised
• Add an email address to your twitter account. This is not visible and is used only to send you notifications from
• Add a profile picture and header photo to your page
• Building up your followers to generate an audience:
• Search by typing a twitter username into the search bar or using the hashtag symbol, followed by your topic of
• Found someone you want to follow? Click the ‘Follow’ button on their profile
• To tweet, click in the ‘What’s Happening?’ box on your twitter feed. Type your message (up to 140 characters)
and click the ‘Tweet’ button to post
• To share photos or videos, click the ‘Media’ button on the ‘What’s Happening?’ box
• Download the Twitter app from the App store or Google play storeto update your page on-the-go
On your phone, tablet or PC visit facebook.com
• From the homepage, create an account by filling in the required details and clicking ‘Create an account’
• Once you’re logged in, click ‘Create page’ which is found down the left hand side of the webpage (on your PC)
• Choose ‘Local Business or Place’ to set your type of business page
• Fill in the relevant details and upload a page ‘profile picture’
• Click ‘Settings’ on the top bar of your page (on your PC)
• Click the ‘Notifications’ option to see when someone has liked, commented or shared something on your
• To post an update, click in the ‘Write Something’ box on your page. You can choose to post a video or image from here too – click the photo/video option at the top of the box
• Click ‘publish’ to see your message appear on your page
• Download the Facebook app from the App store or Google play store to update your page on-the-go
Have one or two members of staff responsible for managing the accounts. This makes sure they are monitored and checked regularly, and means only they have the passwords.