I get asked a lot whether businesses should have a Facebook page and if they need to allocate time to creating posts and being social.

My thoughts on this, are that social media is simply just another platform to get your message out there. Like radio or television, you need to decide whether your target audience can be reached through social media and then work out how you want to reach them and what you want to say.

If we look at Facebook as an example, you don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of time on a business page. You could use paid advertising to reach your customers and still get an excellent return on investment (ROI) without having to create regular content, spend hours each day posting or trying to generate engagement.

Another strategy might be to use social media to share posts from your blog if you want to be seen as a thought leader or influencer in your industry.

Something else to consider is that the more you exist throughout the Internet the better it’ll be for your SEO, so that might be another reason to create a social media profile.

So if you’re wondering how to get started, here are 5 tips:

  1. Set up profiles on the platforms where your audience hangs out
    If your target customer doesn’t use a particular platform, don’t spend your time on it.
  2. Complete your profile
    I’ve seen businesses start a profile and then they don’t finish it. Potential customers then arrive at their page and think they’ve abandoned it or gone out of business.
  3. Commit to maintaining your profile
    Whether you decide to update or post daily, weekly or monthly, commit to maintaining your profile. Being consistent will also train your followers to check in for updates regularly.
  4. Put social media buttons on your website
    This allows people who visit your website to then go and check out your social media pages.
  5. Be social
    It’s social media after all. So if people engage with you, take the time to respond to them.