Social media is an essential tool for any business in the modern world. However, as with any tool, it must be used in the correct manner if it is to work well. You have to get to know your audience and what they are looking for.
Here are some effective ways to promote your business be more successful with social media:
Plan your social media strategy
A scattergun approach will not be as effective as planning will, so work out a social media strategy. You need to identify what your audience will be looking for, and what will grab their attention. Look for the keywords that they are likely to search for, and work on ideas for content that they will want to read.
Consider the most useful ways of reaching your target market, conveying your message, and persuading potential customers that they need your product or service.
Engage with your followers
An effective social media account encourages followers to engage with the company. Give them opportunities to ask questions, and respond when they tweet to you. Encourage them to provide you with feedback, and make them feel as though you are really interested in them.
Social media is a great opportunity to find out what your customers want, so run polls, look at what gets the most significant number of likes, and see what your followers are posting about. Take as much interest in their ‘negative’ posts as their positive ones. It will show you what is not working in their opinion, and allows you to improve your service or products.
Giveaways and competitions can be hugely useful if you ask people to share the giveaway in return for being entered into the draw. It can also help you gain more followers quickly.
Use a social media manager
Not everyone uses a social media manager, but for larger companies, in particular, it is a necessity. Your decision to use one may depend on whether it would repay the investment, and whether there is sufficient work to justify employing someone for this role.
However, a social media manager will have the knowledge necessary to run effective campaigns.
With a smaller business, it will allow you to focus on other aspects of the company instead of having to update your profiles. The decision is yours, but you may be losing money if you’re being diverted away from other tasks.
Delegating responsibility for your social media activity to someone else might also allow you to concentrate on building your business, as well as enhancing its reputation.
Create great titles
A great title will have an impact on your followers. Yes, it’s click-bait, but you want people to read your content or click through to your website, don’t you?
A title that is eye-catching will be far more effective than a factual but boring one.
Consider the following:
Vegans live longer than meat-eaters
Vegans: healthy, happy, & heading for 100?
The first title may be referring to studies that suggest vegans live longer, but you’ve already summed it up in the title. There’s nothing that will really draw the reader in. The second title, however, is asking questions that could make the reader want to know more.
They will wonder if turning vegan will help them live longer and healthier lives, or if there’s any truth to the claim. It will make them want to read more to see what the conclusions of the article are.
Keep your brand strong
Your social media style and the content you post should always conform to the style of your brand and your reputation. Posting content that is witty and entertaining, but that has little or nothing to do with your brand, can detract from the message you want to give.
Bear your brand in mind at all times and make sure that your content fits in with it.
Make use of images
It goes without saying that Instagram is for images. But you should also make use of them on the other social media platforms, as images increase engagement. Videos can also be immensely effective. Of course, they need to be relevant to your brand if they’re going to work well – don’t just post an image because you like it.
Concentrate on the platforms that are more ‘profitable’
When you first begin to use social media for your company, it’s better to start with one or two platforms and build your social media up once your business grows.
Eventually, you should aim to have accounts on every social media network. The bulk of your time, however, should be spent on the platforms that offer a greater reward for the time invested, and that best fit the profile of your target customers.
Customize your content
You may be posting essentially the same material on each platform, but the same approach may not work for each one. Tailor your material to suit the platform, For instance, Instagram and Facebook offer greater scope for visual material, whereas Twitter is largely a written medium and should be used to encourage your followers to click through to your website as well as share your content.
Twitter is also a great way to present a ‘human’ side to your company, but try to keep it appropriate to your business.
Changing your posting style could be very confusing for your followers, so try to be consistent. In addition, if you start off posting several times daily and then slack off, your customers may forget about you or grow tired of waiting for new content.
Consistency is best. It’s better to post less frequently, but regularly than to switch between posting all the time and hardly at all.
Have a LinkedIn profile
A LinkedIn profile is essential for any business nowadays. It’s a good way to connect with people who could be useful to your business, and explain what it is about.
Use a social media content calendar
As essential as social media may be, maintaining so many accounts can be stressful and demanding. The answer is to have a social media calendar. It will allow you to organize and plan your social media for the coming days, weeks, and months, decide who will be responsible for each task, and when each task should be carried out.
Pick the best time of day to post
The time of day you post can be crucial. If your company is based in the US, but a lot of your customers are in the UK, you need to bear in mind the time difference when you post. If you post while your clients are asleep, you risk your posts being lost in their timeline. Check when your followers are online and schedule your tweets or posts to be sent during that time period.
Monitor what people are saying
For a business, using social media is an essential tool for ascertaining what your customers are saying, both about you and about other companies. Negative publicity can quickly spread and damage a company’s reputation, so you need to be monitoring your social media continuously.
The sooner you are aware of a problem, the sooner you can act to reduce the impact on your business. Equally, responding to appeals or customer queries can quickly gain you extensive positive publicity. There have been many examples of companies that delight children by replacing lost toys.
Keep an eye on your competitors
It’s not just your customers that you need to monitor; you should keep an equally close eye on what your competitors are saying and doing. This will allow you to keep ahead of them and be forewarned about their plans. It will also show you what customers think of them; for example, if they’re receiving negative press, you could seize the opportunity to jump in and offer a superior service.
Ensure your social media activity is positive
We’ve all seen examples of a business social media account getting into a very public argument with a disgruntled customer. This nearly always reflects poorly on the business and should be avoided. In fact, it is possible to turn the situation to your advantage if you politely accept that the customer is upset and offer a solution that will mollify them.
A business that argues with a customer on social media will give a negative impression, whereas one that does everything it can to demonstrate a willingness to keep their customers happy can win itself a great deal of public goodwill.
It’s not enough merely to have a social media presence; it must be used in the most efficient manner. Reputations can be made or ruined thanks to the rapid response enabled by social media.
You can be entirely sure that a bad experience will spread much faster than praise will. So, good management is essential. You should also keep up with changes in the social media field, and adapt your response accordingly; what worked last year may be entirely unsuccessful from now on.