Our Social Media Clinic gathered some common issues from attendees about social media. We aim to set your minds at rest with these answers.
Procurious were lucky enough to attend the eWorld Procurement and Supply Conference in London at the beginning of March, where we ran a social media clinic. Despite looking like we were just having a good time (which we were…), there was a more serious side to our day.
We are huge advocates of social media in procurement, and we want to help as many procurement professionals get as much from social media as possible. However, professionals still have so many unanswered questions about social media, leading to many of them avoiding social media in their professional lives.
We were given a number of questions and issues on the day at eWorld, about all aspects of social media. We’ve done our best to provide answers to them here.
General Tips and Advice
Our first set of issues relate to general social media use, not specifically linked to one platform.
- Struggling to find interesting content
There is a world of great content on social media, you just need to know where to look. Procurious publishes new content to its blog daily, and there are other influencers and experts in procurement who share their knowledge across various platforms.
Check out Procurious’ top influencers list, as well as this one from Vizibl for suggestions on who to follow. You can also set up Google Alerts and get all the top procurement and supply chain stories delivered daily, straight to your inbox.
- Struggling to Attract, Retain & Interact with Followers and make my voice heard
There is no hard and fast rule on how to attract and retain followers on social media. The best thing you can do as an individual is to keep sharing great content and thought leadership, and people will be interested in what you’re saying.
If you want to make your voice heard, think about the topics that you are passionate about, or things that only you can say. Followers interact more with a genuine voice, rather than one copying what someone else has done. You can build influence by taking part in discussions and sharing your views.
Think about sharing content from followers, or people you follow, and using tagging on platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter to start a conversation with an individual or Group.
- Should I have all social media platforms for my business?
You’re probably better off working out which platforms suit your business best, and which ones you can make the most of. If you are sharing images, then Instagram is worth trying. If you’re creating video or audio content, then try Periscope or YouTube.
Try looking at one or two platforms to begin with and maximise your offering for followers. There’s nothing worse than a half-hearted effort on a social media profile. You take that risk by spreading yourself across all of the available platforms.
- How can I improve my LinkedIn profile?
Take a look at our top tips for social media profiles here. Make sure you have a good photo, that your information is up to date, and talks about achievements, rather than responsibilities. It’s worth investing the time in getting your profile up to scratch.
- Is LinkedIn just for job seekers?
Not at all. It’s a great tool for recruitment and marketing, but that’s by no means the only thing you can use it for. Make use of the site for global networking, connecting with like-minded individuals, and sharing content.
If you’re worried about it being too recruitment heavy, then a more niche network, like Procurious, might be what you’re looking for.
- Is it ok to ask people for advice over LinkedIn, if I don’t know them?
Absolutely. LinkedIn is first and foremost a networking tool. You can ask people for help, advice and their opinions. They will choose whether or not to respond. We’ve found that people are very willing to share their knowledge if you are asking for the right reasons.
- How to use hashtags (to find followers and relevant content)
Hashtags have been set up on Twitter to help you search more easily for content and people. Unless you are planning on using a hashtag a lot, it’s better to use existing ones, rather than creating your own.
There are hashtags for both #procurement and #supplychain which will lead you to good content, up to date news, and good people to follow. If you have a particular area of interest, hashtags can also help you attract followers.
- How many times per day is it acceptable to tweet?
This is up to you. Most advice will recommend tweeting between 5 and 8 times per day. Make sure you don’t just keep tweeting the same things, as this is likely to drive followers away. Keep it interesting, relevant, use the correct hashtags and maybe some images, and you’ll find the right balance for you.
- How can I use Facebook more effectively for business?
Facebook might not be a great platform for your business, particularly used in isolation. We’ve found that the best way to leverage the site is by using their advertising and targeting a specific audience to raise awareness of your business. There are good tips on Facebook itself, and you can have a look at these for information.
There you have it. This is by no means a comprehensive list of the questions people have, but hopefully it’s enough to allay some fears and get you started on social media.
The Procurious team would love to help you out if you have a question or issue on social media. Also, if you want to run a social media clinic for your organisation, get in touch!