The use of social media as part of a long-term marketing strategy is now considered to be mainstream amongst UK businesses, providing an online medium to engage with users.
When used strategically, social media has been proven to:
- Raise brand awareness
- Boost sales
- Increase engagement with customers, both new and existing
- Reduce overall marketing costs
Here we have produced a short ‘how-to’ guide for the most popular channels to help get your brand online.
The most widely used social platform with an excess of 1billion users worldwide. It is free, with the option to create paid-for advertising, for which you can select both your target audience and your budget. It is a great platform for engaging with customers new and existing and you can post on a range of topics centred around home improvements, post aspirational photographs, show off new ranges, direct traffic to your website, run giveaways, competitions and promote special offers, all to increase awareness of your brand and gain followers, who, if engaged will push your post out further by engaging with likes, shares and even comments.
The first thing you’ll need to do is set up a personal account from which you can create and administrate your business page.
Setting up a Facebook Business page is quick and easy, but it is important to be prepared in order to have your page looking professional and ready to use as quickly as possible after going live.
You will need:
- A short description of your business (limited to 155 characters)
- A profile picture (this should be recognisable and unique to you – for example, your company logo) This needs to be 180pixels x 180pixels. Be aware that all profile pictures appear as a thumbnail image on newsfeeds, and therefore should be easily identifiable at this size
- A cover photo. This should represent your business or the products or services you sell. This should be sized at 851pixels x 315pixels
- Consider your preferred page audience. During the set-up process Facebook offers the opportunity for you to select your ideal demographic. This includes, location, age, gender, interests and languages spoken
Once you are ready to begin, click here and follow the steps to set up your page.
Twitter has in excess of 300million users, and is known primarily for short and snappy ‘tweets’ which are limited to just 140 characters. Your post will automatically appear on the news feed of any individual who has followed you and the aim is to make your post stand out from the rest – interesting, aspirational or topical images often draw the eye. Twitter is also known for the use of hashtags to group tweets that are perhaps discussing the same topic or event and these can be utilised to further promote your brand to new audiences. For example, you could tap into #kitchendesign, promoting your business within this niche, ensuring it is categorised correctly.
Prior to setting up an account, be prepared with the following:
- Consider a username. This begins with an @ and is limited to 15 characters. This should reflect your company name
- You should have images prepared. Again, a profile image is required and a company logo, unique to you is recommended. This should be uploaded in one of the supported formats, JPEG, PNG or GIF and be sized at 400pixels x 400pixels
- A header image should reflect your brand, product or service, perhaps a particularly stunning kitchen or bathroom you have provided to a client? It should be sized at 1500pixels x 1500pixels
Click here to set up your account.
Instagram is all about images. This is the perfect place to post aspirational photos or videos of kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms and home studies in a forum which is based on visual storytelling designed to inspire imagination and thought. Followers see your photos and are able to interact by liking or commenting. As with Twitter, Instagram also supports the use of hashtags to categorise images and ensure that they are seen by users browsing that particular field.
Instagram provides fantastic information for businesses thinking of setting up an account, to view click here. The set-up process with Instagram simply requires you to follow the on-screen instructions, ensuring that you have your profile picture (your company logo is recommended, and sized at 150pixels x 150 pixels), and a few sensational images of your products ready to show off on your account.
Once you are ready to sign up for an account, click here. Note that as it is a business account, you should sign up afresh with an email address rather than linking to your personal Facebook account.
Houzz is a brilliant platform which has been developed specifically with homeowners in mind, and research has shown that 74% of users have remodelling or renovation projects in mind over the course of the next two years. It offers professionals such as yourselves, the opportunity to post images relating to your products and services to promote your business and the ideas you have to offer. One of its features allows the creation of ‘ideabooks’ which can then be shared with both existing and new clients. These ideabooks are a great way to offer inspirational ideas.
When you are ready to set up your profile, we recommend that you have your logo and a set of images (a minimum of five) ready before you go to the Houzz website.
Pinterest is again, image led and is the perfect forum for aspirational images of the stunning ranges your brand offers. Users are usually looking for specific ideas and are able to ‘pin’ images they like to create a virtual mood board. This is the perfect way to direct traffic to your website as images are directly linked to your website, so if a user likes your picture and wishes to find out more, with just one click on the image they arrive at your website.
Signing up for an account is simple. Head to over to the Pinterest website and follow the on-screen instructions. We recommend that you have a selection of images ready to post to your account as soon as you have completed the registration process.