If you’re new to using social media to promote your business, you may be in need of some basic guidance and support to help you find your way around. Even if you’re an old hand you might find your skills are a little rusty, or not quite producing the results you’d hope for.
Fortunately there are plenty of resources out there to help you learn more, and so many of them are free!
Check the help pages
Facebook and Twitter have some really excellent help pages to explain how all their different functions work. The easiest way to find what you need is just to search ‘Facebook’ + the thing you’re trying to do. Substitute ‘Twitter’ for ‘Facebook’ where relevant of course.
You can also go direct to the Facebook Help Centre or Twitter Support, where you can browse topics or search your question directly. Other social media platforms will also have support pages online, so you can find whatever you need.
Sometimes searching can bring up results for other forums offering advice on how to use a social media platform. These may offer more specific advice, or you may find someone else who’s experienced the exact same unusual problem. However be wary of any site that encourages you to download things or pay to access their advice pages!
Take a course
Free courses are all over the place at the moment, it’s really just a question of finding ones which suit you.
If you’d like to go to an in-person evening class to look at social media, online marketing, SEO, etc, look up the Business Gateway in your area and see when they next have a space.
If you’d rather learn at your own pace, an online course might be better, and they can often go into more detail than you can cover in an evening class. GFC Learn Free offer a range of introductory modules for you to get started. Hootsuite is a popular tool for managing social media posts, but they also have their very own Hootsuite Academy, which lets you take some of their courses for free. There are even some, like HubSpot, who offer their own certification, entirely for free, if you have the time to invest in that level of learning.
This isn’t even close to an exhaustive list of all the courses out there, but again, it’s really easy to search for what you need – ‘free online social media courses’ should have all the key words to help you find the best tools for you.
Read blogs and articles from professionals
I’ll let you in on a secret – by reading this blog, you’re already getting ahead of the game. Good job, go you! Professional blogs like this one can provide you with a wealth of information on social media marketing, although some are packed full of industry jargon. Smaller companies can sometimes do a better job of targeting their content to small business owners and others who use social media as just a small part of their job.
Sam Dounis, of The Write Angles, blogs a lot about blogging, and how to use a blog effectively in your business.
Pure Matter have a whole section of articles dedicated to social media.
Be Good Be Social is aimed at charities and third sector professionals, but their blog has a lot of ideas which could be applied to an ethical small business as well.