Digital Garage can change lives

May King Tsang, digital coach at Sheffield's Google Garage.
May King Tsang, digital coach at Sheffield's Google Garage.
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Today, most of us are spending hours online, and nearly a third of this time is spent on social media.

Having the skills and knowledge to navigate the world of social media brings huge opportunity. As well as raising awareness of your business online, social media can now help to drive sales and increase brand loyalty as more and more people shop online. Here are our top 5 key tips on how to make it a big success:

The Google Garage in Sheffield.

The Google Garage in Sheffield.

Set clear and achievable goals

As with any business decision, you have to set clear and achievable goals that align with your overall business objectives. For example, if you’re looking to increase your customer base, your social media strategy should include growing your following and driving people to your website. Take some time out to think about what you want to achieve through social media and bear in mind that it’s better to have 100 engaged followers than 2000 that aren’t likely to buy your services or products.

Know which channels best suit your business goals

This ultimately comes down to knowing your customer and which platform they are most likely to be using. For instance, if your target market is over 50s, it doesn’t make sense to use Instagram since users of that platform tend to be much younger. It’s also worth considering highly targeted channels like TripAdvisor. TripAdvisor is a great platform to use if you’re running a restaurant or hotel, and it’s often the first place audiences will visit for reviews and feedback - before a Facebook page or even a company website. Local Sheffield restaurant, Thyme Cafe, is an advocate of the platform and enjoys an impressive 458 reviews and 4.5 star rating.

Engage with your audience

If you’re looking to grow your customer base and increase loyalty, you need to interact with your audience and make them feel valued. Using social media allows you to get direct feedback from your customers, without having to spend money on expensive surveys. Richard, from local business Moti-Labs, considered spending hundreds of pounds building a forum for customers on his website so that he could gather feedback, until the team at Google’s Digital Garage advised him that creating a business page on social media would be an effective way to start conversations. Not only is a business page on social media free and easy to set up, but it means you can reach potential customers on platforms they’re already using.

Say something interesting

Social media is a busy place and it’s hard to cut through the noise. Make sure you’re saying something interesting that’s going to grab a potential customer’s attention. If you can find a creative way to highlight special offers, or to share your expert view on a current trend, people are far more likely to engage with your business. Also, don’t feel limited to using only words; video is an effective way to get your business’ message across. It can feel a little daunting at first, but uploading to YouTube is more simple than you think.

Be consistent with your posting

To keep your audience engaged and your brand front of mind, you need to post regularly. Gauging how often can be difficult at first as it depends on the channel and your target audience, but through trial and error you can understand the best times to post for maximum engagement. If your target market is young professionals, posting during the working day probably isn’t the best way forward. Instead, aim to post during commuting hours, lunchtime or the evening.

Anyone interested in the free face-to-face coaching provided at the Google Digital Garage in Sheffield can register and see the full list of available courses at: https://goo.gl/UonmUV. Google Digital Garage can be found at 15 Barker’s Pool, Sheffield S1 2HB