|This post was originally published on OPEN Forum.|
Social media strategy is now an essential part of any business.
Unfortunately, many small-business owners don’t have the resources to hire someone specifically trained to do this task and it falls to existing employees.
Social media expert David Lee King has a few easy tips that will make any business’ social media campaign more appealing. From simple photography advice to producing better content, King’s advice makes any business’ campaign seem more professional.
“Visual-based social media, like photographs, graphic images, and videos, is becoming a highly useful tool for small businesses to use,” King says. “Visual media is actually pretty easy to create, too.”
Here are his five tips for making your small business’ campaign look more professional:
1. Show off your best products. “This part is easy,” King says. Just take photos of your best items and post them to the social networks your customers use, such as Facebook and Twitter. Which items should you choose? According to King, the best approach is to select new products that you’re excited about. Also observe the behavior of people in stores. Is there one product they’re gravitating toward? If so, this could be your answer. “Sharing that enthusiasm helps get your loyal customers excited too,” King says. If you’re not a retailer selling products, then King says taking pictures of your work is OK too.
2. Let customers get to know your staff via social media. Take pictures of your staff, explain who they are and what they do, and post to social networks. King says this is a highly effective way to help customers connect with your business. “No one likes to ‘friend’ a coffeeshop, but people do like to ‘friend’ Jenny, who’s really nice and makes that amazing soy milk latte for them every Tuesday,” King says. Introducing customers to your staff personifies your business and makes your social media campaign more legitimate. King says that it will look more professional if you take photos of your employees in their natural environments. “No suit and tie photos!” he says.
3. Take professional-looking photos with your iPhone. “You don’t need to use fancy cameras,” King says. But he recommends getting up close to the person or product you’re photographing. Fill the frame with the image you’re taking, and don’t let the background take over. In many cases, people view photos on social media sites as small thumbnails. That means that professionals get very close when they take the picture, so the focal point is clear. This will ensure that you get your customers’ attention on the site.
4. Take advantage of the lighting you have to make photos look better. Great lighting is key to make your photos–and therefore your campaign–look more professional. King has a few tips for making photos look better, even if you aren’t equipped with a photography studio like a bigger business. Turn the overhead lights on, no matter how brightly-lit the room seems naturally. And make sure the light is behind you when you take a photo. If you’re outside, take a photo with your back to the sun. If you’re inside, take a photo with your back to a brightly-lit window. Move a lamp close to the subject to take a picture.
5. Use social media to keep your customers updated. Do you have a new sales rep? Are you carrying a new line of products? Any development in your business could be an opportunity to connect with customers on social media. “Just the act of sharing photographs of products, services and staff is helpful, you are visually showing your customers the who and what of your organization,” King says. When customers come visit your business, they will already have a sense of where to look and who to ask for. This helps provide a sense of connection, building loyalty.
It’s easy for any business to connect with customers with a professional-looking social media campaign, according to King.
“Dust off that iPhone lens, get your camera out of the bag on the shelf, and start sharing visually with your customers,” King says. “You can start as soon as tomorrow.”
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