Social media is an increasingly popular way to promote services and engage your customers, especially for smaller companies. Although many social networking sites are free, it is important not to waste time and money with a poor social media strategy.

The Betterprint team have put together the top five ways your business can get the most from social media.

Social Media for You

There is no need for your business to use all the social media sites available, which can be time consuming. In fact, it is much more beneficial to concentrate on the sites that fit with your business the best.

There may be a niche social networking site that is more relevant to your company than the obvious choices. For example, Flickr or Tumblr would be better suited to a business who requires images to promote their services.

Here are some social media sites to get you inspired:

•    Facebook
•    Twitter
•    Flickr
•    LinkedIn
•    Four Square

Research Your Market


Think before you tweet: it may appear easy to set up a Twitter account, but tweeting without researching your target audience could prove fatal (in a business sense, of course). Your aim should be to find subjects and ideas that will interest your customers. To achieve this you must thoroughly research your audience and truly understand what they want to hear.

Ensure your social media is effective by:

•    Knowing your customers: Research your target market and interact with the relevant people.
•    Analysing your competitors: Who are your potential customers engaging with? And what can you do to build on this?
•    Setting guidelines: Defining your sources and subjects will keep your social media voice cohesive and clear.

Build a Brand

When using social media it is important to carefully control the image of your business. Any misjudgements or mistakes will be seen by the entire online community. Your business should create a memorable 'social media brand' which will attract customers. Begin with by asking the following questions:

•    What do you want to be known for?
•    What do you want to achieve online?
•    What does your business value?

Find a Voice

Social media is an opportunity to showcase the personality of your business. This will help you to establish a distinctive voice that your customers can interact with.

Research your community: Like the subject of your content, your tone should suit your market; this is why it is important to apply the results of your research.

Listen to your customers: Track the success of your account by looking at the way your customers are engaging with you.

Be sincere
: Social media isn't always about self-promotion. Customers will be able to tell if you are simply pushing your services and offering no real online conversation.

Be Creative

Basic updates are often not enough to make people look twice. Finding creative ways to communicate with your followers is a vital part of social media success.

You could consider:

•    Competitions are the perfect way of boosting your popularity.
•    Topical Debate: Commenting on high profile news stories is a great way to attract interest, although this should always be kept within your brand guidelines.
•    Make Contact: Interact with those who are both criticising and praising you. This is your chance to put a positive spin on everything that is said about your business.

Business Cards & Social Media

Promote your social media accounts by having them printed on your business cards and stationary. Betterprint have thousands of social media business card designs available and ready to be customised to suit your needs. We can also print any personalised branding with our 'custom upload' option. For more information, visit us at www.betterprint.co.uk, where you can find our full range of business cards and stationary.

Good Luck!

The Betterprint Team