Social media marketing can boost traffic to your website, and keeps your company top-of-mind. The value in this alone can be enough to boost your business to the next level. Is your business taking advantage of the opportunities that social media offers?
One of the key tips I give business owners who are unsure about social media is to create a (separate) business account and start snooping around. You can gain a lot of information about how the social media site works simply by joining and following others.
How can you find followers?
A successful social media site has lots of followers, or fans. To start gaining fans, search and follow your top clients, vendors and colleagues on social media. Next, use the built-in email tools to connect with people who are already on your contact lists. Search for people you’ve met while networking, or follow national brands or industry leaders. You can also get fans by putting links to your social media pages on your website, in email signatures and newsletters, and in ad campaigns. If you’ve exhausted all opportunities for fans, and you still aren’t getting any followers, consider doing some targeted paid advertising, targeting specific demographic information about your ideal fan.
How do you know what content to post?
Pay attention to the kind of information other businesses are sharing on their pages. Sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s promotional, informational or conversational. What type of posts best fit your company’s brand? What posts resonate with you or make you think of the company or person positively? Social media marketing is not simply about promotion. It’s about brand-building and awareness. If you think of social media as a kind of virtual business networking event, it will seem less intimidating. Here are some post ideas:
- Share relevant industry articles
- Mention an event, tradeshow or seminar
- Link to company press releases or blog posts
- Share a quick, educational tip
- Pose a question or survey fans
- Mention new followers/fans
- Recommend or endorse a partner’s product
- Highlight an employee
- Celebrate a special occasion
- Share your company’s charitable efforts
- Offer social media-only promotions
When and how often to post on social media?
When you start posting on your own social media pages, do so a few times a day. As more people see your posts, you’ll increase your visibility and followers, as well as engage with others online. Keep in mind the audience for whom you’re writing, and also the times of days that they would potentially be browsing social media (during the day, on the lunch hour, in the evening, etc.).
Finding Time to Post on Social Media
Now that you are more comfortable on social media, you and your team must find the time to post regularly in order to maintain visibility. This is often the biggest challenge for businesses, which often start on social media with good intentions, and then find that other priorities get in the way. If this is the case, consider outsourcing social media to a consultant or agency, who can keep you visible online, but still allow you to supplement with your own efforts as you have time. Get your team involved in social media marketing training in order to ensure that they maintain consistency while representing your brand.