Social media is all the rage these days, and unless you have been living in a cave you will know how important it is to socialize with your customers using networking sites. But in case you have missed the hype, here is a list of reasons why social media is important for business:
- Increased exposure
- Increased traffic to your website
- Reduced marketing expenditure
- Improve search rankings
- Getting InTouch and personal with customers
With all those benefits, social media marketing is definitely not to be overlooked. Every business (from micro-companies to large corporations) has to have a social media presence if they are serious about being competitive. There is a reason why people say ‘Your network is your net worth’.
So as a small business with limited resources to throw at marketing how do you make the most of it? Well, it is quite easy and there are many people who have managed to grow and expand their businesses using Social media. We have compiled a list of 5 things you can do straight away to kick start your Social Media strategy!
Here they are:
#1 Choose your weapon
There are many social media platforms out there: varying from the Big names like Facebook and Twitter to some less well known, none the less still popular Flickr and Tumblr. Being inundated with choice is a bit overwhelming for most of us. So what some people decide to do is set up an account with every single networking site. Experience has thought me that this is not the soundest of social media strategies and it is much better to choose only 1 or maybe 2 sites and develop a strong and consistent presence there before you move onto conquering the rest.
Facebook and Twitter tend to be the popular choice since they are the most renowned and established networks. Set up your accounts and really do try to make it there.
They say variety is the spice of life, but when it comes to social media, keep it simple. Better to focus on 1 or 2 profiles and really work on them than to have 7 different accounts for 7 different social media sites that you may or may not have posted.
#2 Complete your profile
Nothing says you are in it to win it quite like a fully completed and operational profile. Have your address, website url, telephone number, a short summary of who you are and what you do. Don’t forget to integrate your brand (logo, colour scheme, tag line) within your profile. This makes it easier for customers to distinguish you in the sea of social profiles and other businesses with similar offerings.
#3 Post good content
This one is a must. Sharing and posting interesting, engaging and relevant content is crucial if you want to keep your audience growing and interested. Having a good profile on an established network are only the building blocks of your social media strategy and having good content that customers can relate to is an absolute must.
And don’t be stuck with posting only promotional and salesy stuff. Keep people engaged by encouraging a conversation. Ask a question, post a picture, and get people talking.
Update your status frequently. Not too frequently, you don’t want to flood your client’s feedbacks with content. You will be marked as spam. Then again you don’t want to be too sparse. After all you want your brand to be kept top of mind. There will be a lot of trial and error until you find your voice and rhythm. Keep going anyway. As a rule of thumb a post or two daily should suffice.
Another mistake people commit more frequently than they should do is posting only their own content. Yes, you use social media for marketing, and yes, you would like content to link back to your website. However, flooding people with the same old content will not only bore them to death but it will actually alienate them. And this is the opposite of what we want.
In order for you to be on top of this Social Media game you timeline should be nicely packed with interesting content coming from various sources (including your own website).
To keep on top of thinks, I would suggest into creating an editorial calendar. You may already have one of these bad-boys if you have a blog, but for those of you who encounter this term for the first time, and editorial calendar is basically a calendar that tells you what content is scheduled for when. This way you will be always prepared.
#4 Respond to comments
Never let a comment go unnoticed. Whenever someone retweets, shares or replies to one of your posts, acknowledge it! Say thank you, reply or like. Every client is special and every client deserves to be made feel special.
#5 Add social icons
Once you have your profiles up and running, don’t leave it up to the customers to find you, you show them the way. Add social icons to your website, at the bottom of your newsletter, at the bottom of your blog posts pages. You can even include your @Name on any posters or in store if appropriate. Make it as easy as possible for clients to join your network.
So here are the 5 things you can do straight away to kick start your social media. Establishing a presence is easy, maintaining interest in your brand and engaging more and more people is the difficult task. Of course, there is no secret recipe or a universal rule that automatically guarantees success, however these are the building blocks. But as long as you have those 5 things right, the rest of it will fall into place.