Has your business added social media to its content marketing strategy? Perhaps you are on the fence about participating, or maybe you have been active on social media but aren’t sure if you’re going about it correctly. Here are a few tips and tricks for those businesses already posting on social media, and perhaps some reason to convince other businesses to start the process:
Social Media expands your business visibility. Social media is a great place to stay top of mind among your customer base when they are ready to make a purchasing decision. If you are posting daily on social media, customers will remember your brand. Depending on what you share, you will be positioning your company as an authority in your industry, thus becoming a trusted advisor to your prospects.
- Social Media should not replace existing advertising methods. The tried and true methods of advertising may and should still work for your business. Don’t abandon your strategic marketing plan and put all of your “eggs” (budget) into the social media basket. Use social media in tandem with other marketing methods, and balance your budget accordingly. However, this also means you should select the right social media site for your audience. If they aren’t on Pinterest, don’t waste your time on Pinterest.
- The main cost of social media is time. Social media is surprisingly affordable. While there is no cost to create an account and post on social media, your time (or the time of an outsourced social media manager) is the main cost. The good news? The more time you put into social media, the more you’ll likely get out of social media, in terms of an increased following, web traffic, and brand awareness.
- Social media should not be taken lightly. You only have one social media account for your brand on each platform. This account represents your company and its reputation. So tread lightly when hiring a social media manager. In my opinion, an intern or $10/hour employee won’t have the same impact as someone who has years of industry experience or is a professional social media manager.
- Keep your business and personal pages separate. Many small companies don’t do this, but even a solopreneur should have a separate business and personal page/account – particularly on Facebook. I enjoy a good family or pet picture every now and then, but when I’m looking for business news, I don’t want to see these kinds of posts.
- Keep it 80% educational, inspirational and conversational and 20% promotional. This is the most common error of all business accounts on social media. They post too much advertising about themselves and not enough valuable content. Use your posts to share interesting or educational information about your industry. Promote others in your industry or re-post an industry association’s post (with attribution of course). Engage in conversations with your social media audience. Don’t just sell to them.
- Follow to be followed. Wonder why you don’t have followers on your pages? Try following others, and using some of the tips above to share and engage with others. I promise your number of followers will increase (advertising on social media is another way to do this).
- Post daily. The world of social media moves much faster than other types of media. To compete, you need to be posting daily, if not several times a day, to get noticed. Think about times when your customers might be online, and try to experiment with various times of day to arrive at an ideal schedule that works for your business.
- Automate but still show engagement. While tools like HootSuite and auto-scheduling features on some social media sites can save you time, make sure you are still logging in several times per week to respond to requests, engage with others and see what everyone else is posting. If you “set it and forget it” with your posts, you are missing out on the interaction that makes social media such a great platform for communication.