By Veronica Etherton
In today’s tech world it is hard to ignore the strong social media presence.
For businesses this is a huge market for new clients. Facebook alone has over 1.5 BILLION users.
Nearly 1/6 of the world’s population has a profile on Facebook.
Let that sink in. How can you afford not to be active on social media?
People complain; ‘its not personal’. Well, I beg to differ. This is an avenue where businesses are interacting with prospects on a platform with minimal cost and an open line of communication. Its a heaven sent for businesses in all actuality. They can connect with multiple prospects at one time. Businesses can provide their audience with all the information necessary for potential clients/customers to become familiar with their brand and most importantly the benefits of their products. They can introduce themselves to prospects with ease. In fact, many people use social media as a starting point when deciding who to buy from.
That’s right, social media is where everyone is “hanging out” and conducting a plethora of business.
It can be time consuming. So many questions; ‘What should I post? When should I post? I already have enough to do for my business how can I stay on top of all my profiles?’ Having a presence on multiple social media forums can be overwhelming initially but once you have a strategy in place it can become much more manageable and even fun.
11 ways you can ROCK Social Media for your Business.
- Do your homework. Who is your target audience? Where do they spend most of their time on the inter-webs? Stick to these areas (so you’re not wasting precious time) and create a business page for each one.
- Content, content, content. You must focus on the content you are putting out for the world to see. Make sure it is especially targeted for your audience and how it will benefit them after they read it. You want enticing headlines with enriched articles and blogs. Steer clear of hot button topics such as politics, religion, and any mature content. Nothing that could be potentially offensive to a prospect. A good rule of thumb is to keep content “PG”.
- Keep your personal accounts and business accounts separate. Keep things professional with a personal feel. Interactions need to be light, informative, and friendly.
- Reach out to people. Search for those who meet the requirements for your target audience and even branch out to other areas of business that are closely related to yours. For example, our service Broker Dynamix works with real estate brokerages. This falls under the category of real estate so I reached out to others under the same umbrella; agents, home decorators, contractors, lenders, etc. They may have “friends” or followers who could potentially see our page. Try brainstorming all the different types of people and businesses you can connect with and then get to work.
- Don’t just collect followers, actually become social with them. I try to message everyone personally when they follow our Twitter account and send them links to our Facebook page and our video. Do not attempt to “sell” them immediately. Grow a rapport over time, provide them with helpful content and then reach out to see if they would be interested.
- Have a video for your business People like to be entertained and this is a way to really engage potential clients and send them directly to your site. Video is becoming increasingly more important for businesses so be sure to have one as soon as possible. There are affordable programs to make it your self or you can hire out. Check out Fiverr to hire someone to create your marketing video for $5 and then add extra features for an additional $10-$20. If you would like to do it yourself you can try GoAnimate as it is a wonderful tool to make professional videos, easy to use and reasonably priced.
- Have an inviting and professional profile photo. People are more likely to engage with a photo of a person as opposed to a logo but it is important to display your logo somewhere on the page so your audience becomes familiar with your brand.
- Use the 80/20 ratio. 80% of your postings should be informative and beneficial to your audience and the remaining 20% should be used for marketing purposes. Use good judgement, do you like when someone floods your feed with ads for their business? I’m willing to bet no. You want to promote your business while having a human quality to your posts. Build a relationship with your followers before you start to sell or else you will only turn potentials off immediately.
- Hire someone to manage your social media accounts. If you can afford it, hire someone who can manage all of your accounts on a daily basis. If you have a creative and social employee currently you can add social media to their job duties. You want this person to be very social and a ‘go-getter’ as this personality type will most likely utilize this forum to its fullest extent.
- Plan Ahead. Have a plan in order for each week with what you are focusing on in your posts. You can even have a theme for each day (I.E. Customer Appreciation Day, Behind the Scenes, Promotions, etc.) Having a plan set in place for your social media strategy will greatly enhance your interactions and grow your following. Businesses need to be active weekly if not daily. A good rule of thumb is to post at least 2x daily at peak user times; the morning and evening. You can also purchase ads for some social media accounts to help further your profile’s reach.
- Have fun and be creative! This a place where you can not only promote your business but you can let your creative juices flow with content and images. Let these things shine through along with the rest of what we just discussed and you will be well on your way to becoming a social media rock star for your business.
Now go get social!
Veronica Etherton is the Business Development Coordinator for Internet Engine in Libertyville, IL.