Social media is a powerful ‘shop front’ tool. You can use it to grow your audience, bring your brand alive and showcase your products and services.

Just look at the latest datareportal figures…

57.6 million

social media users in the UK

1 in 4

social media users mainly use it to find things to buy

Over half

of all Facebook users use the site to follow or research brands or products

In this lesson, we’ll share practical tips to help you write content that is appealing, relevant and useful.


  • Use social media features and tools to encourage people to visit your site
  • Learn how to write and schedule engaging posts
  • Use analytics to learn about your audience and turn them into promoters

Read time:

9 mins

A sole trader who uses Instagram can earn up to £40,000 extra per year

Data from UK Business Digital (PDF, 3.6 MB)

Chapter 1

Simple steps to grow your following

Read time:

4 mins

My social media platforms are my online portfolio. Potential customers search for services we provide and can see what we are doing and our reviews before they book.

Sophie Carter, Glam-Iris Hair and Beauty

Business Digital Index (PDF, 3.6 MB)

Why we use social media

Where do you look for gift ideas, check trending holiday destinations, or find out about upcoming events near you?

People use social media for so many reasons. It's quick and easy to use. This chapter shows you how you can use the appeal and ease of social media to encourage more people to your site.

Let’s explore the following ideas…


Connect with Influencers

An influencer is someone who promotes products, services or events to their social media followers. If you connect and talk with key influencers, it can help you to build your reputation and reach a larger, more engaged audience.


Find key influencers: use a search engine or the social media search function. Look for trending posts, groups or people related your topic.

Use relevant hashtags

Keep up to date with the relevant hashtags in your field. Make sure you use them in your posts. You can also track these tags to see what people are saying and the type of audience they’re attracting.


Be visual

Don't just rely on text posts - most people don't engage or learn this way. Add good quality photos, videos and any other visual content that will grab the attention of your audience.


Be responsive

Take the time to respond to anyone who reaches out to you. Whether it's a statement, question, compliment or complaint - it doesn't matter. If they're taking the time to speak to you, chat with them. It's a chance to turn their good or bad experience into an even better one.


Select quality over quantity

So you know that posting regularly is important. But it's more important that you share high-quality content. Don't post any old photo or rush a post that you know isn't your best work, just to have something on your page. Your posts show people what they can expect when they talk to you, so you should always give them top quality content.


Share your knowledge and expertise

Sharing useful advice and insight will help you to grow your audience. You’ll be adding your voice as an authority in the field.


Your audience will start to trust you as a source of knowledge and will return to you for future support.

Involve other people's content

Don't just focus on your own content. Be social: seek out, share and comment on posts from those you follow, key influencers and other important users on the platform. This builds engagement far more than just throwing your content out there.


Use keywords and industry terms

When you post and comment, use key words and phrases that relate to your organisation and industry. This way, when people search online and use relevant terms, they’ll see your content first.


Be relatable

Think about a brand you find engaging online. What is it about their content, messaging, tone and approach that appeals to you? Often, it's because you can relate to their content.

Think about your audience when you create your posts. Find out their preferences. This helps to make your tone and style approachable and relatable.


Aim to keep your audience involved in your brand. They’ll only do this if they trust and connect on a real level.

Use calls to action

It's tempting to create posts for the sake of 'being engaged', but your content should always drive your audience towards a particular action. You might find this hard at first, but there's always something you can encourage your audience to do. Just make sure your calls to action aren't too time consuming or unrealistic for your audience or they may become disengaged.


Why not ask your audience to:

  • Sign up to an e-newsletter
  • Download an e-book
  • Buy from you

Chapter 2

Turning visitors into promoters

Read time:

2 mins

Welcome your audience

From the moment someone visits your social site, it's your job to turn them from a visitor into a promoter. You'll want to give them engaging content and create a community. This way, you’ll bridge the gap between you and your audience.


Creating an online community will help you:

  • Build relationships
  • Encourage referrals
  • Create awareness
  • Grow your online identity
  • Value your customers for their investment in your brand

This is all about making sure people don’t just move on. You want them to stay, engage, respond to your calls to action and go on to promote you to others.


Top Tips

Let’s look at some ideas to boost online support…

Create unique content

So you share your content regularly. That's great, but it needs to be useful and interesting for your audience. This way, they'll want to get involved. Why should they respond to your posts more than others? Why should they talk to you? What's your unique selling point?

Make your content unique - this will bring in visitors and turn them into promoters.

Make your content shareable

Would someone share your content? Before you post your video, image or blog post, think about how people could get involved. Does this content encourage others to respond, comment, share ideas or mention on their own sites? When you create content, think about how useable it is. Now you can start writing posts that will really engage the community and spark conversations.

Be social

Social media is a great platform to track conversations and give a focus point for your community. But don’t just watch these conversations. Be active: share, ask questions and chat with your followers, so you can create your community.

Develop your brand's personality

Giving your brand a personality really encourages conversation by having a real community vibe on your site. You could include ‘day in the life of …’ pieces for one of your team, group photos or regular team takeovers of the social pages.

Remember the saying 'people buy from people'. It's important that everyone knows you're not just a logo but a great team of people too.

Show you value your community

If people are taking time to talk about and get involved with your brand, show them respect and appreciation for their efforts. Respond, interact and start building your relationships with your most important asset! Why not use competitions, coupons or free giveaways to make your followers feel valued? They're much more likely to be loyal and become a promoter too!

Chapter 3

Managing social media posts

Read time:

2 mins

Tools to help

You can easily spend a lot of time posting every day, especially if you have many different accounts. Think about using a scheduling tool to help. These tools help you schedule, manage and analyse your social posts - often for a low cost or for free. They can also help with social listening, helping you learn what people may be saying about your brand.


You may want to consider:

A set day or time each week when you sit and schedule posts

How many posts you want to schedule for each week

The type of content you want to share

The balance of product and purely engagement content


This content should be your standard such as blogs, offers, top tips, videos and other interesting information that keeps your profile active and engages users. Don't fill your profile with anything and everything. Remember the earlier points: calls to action, be visual and - most of all - be relatable.

Test post times and content

Use your scheduling tools to trial posting on different days and times. Vary types of content to see how your followers respond. If you use a scheduling tool, you get to test and improve this work without having to keep taking time out of your day-to-day activities. The tool does the work for you.

Once you've run a few tests, you’ll get to know the times and content that work best for you and your audience.


Review your analytics

Make the most of the site's tools to refine your activity. Most scheduling platforms offer analytics. These help you work out how well your posts are performing and how users are interacting with them.

Each week, look at how followers have interacted with your posts and content. This will help shape your plan for the next week. It’s a good idea to track how things perform at key seasonal or peak times too. Measure what happens before, during and after your social media activity. Then compare to your last peak time so you can check progress.


Bank of Scotland Academy is committed to providing information in a way that is accessible and useful for our users. This information, however, is not in any way intended to amount to authority or advice on which reliance should be placed. You should seek professional advice as appropriate and required. Any sites, products or services named in this module are just examples of what's available. Bank of Scotland does not endorse the services they provide. The information in this module was last updated on 21st March 2023.