“It’s no longer a question of “if” you should get on social media, but instead “what” social media you should focus on.” – Amy Dalcanton, Marketing Specialist at Unlimited | Sotheby’s International Realty. Today, our world is hooked on the idea of social media. The ability to explore virtually anything at any time has allowed different social media platforms to grow, not only for regular users but businesses as well. Social media is one of the cheapest and most effective ways for companies to attract customers, develop their brand image and create revenue. Across the world businesses are making it their priority to advertise, engage and promote their company in a way that makes them stand out from competition.
Here are a few tips to successfully get your business involved with the nearly 2.77 billion social media users around the globe.
- Start with Fundamentals. Beginning a new social media page can be quite overwhelming so you’ll need a plan. Create a strategy that allows you to stay true to your company while exploring your new online possibilities. Ask yourself, what exactly is my company’s objective? What would I like social media users to know about my company? What are my goals? What can make us stand out from other small businesses?
- Pick Your Platforms. If you’re just joining the social media world, it’s probably a good idea to choose one or two platforms until you have a large following. Each site has a different focus so before assuming one is right for you, take time to conduct research. See which site your target market is actively using most. Get a better understanding of which platform will allow you to share content in an efficient way while meeting your goals. Although you may want to be on every site, it’s much more beneficial to begin your focus with fewer networks.
- Focus on Content. Your post quality is essential to your account success. Realistically, social media is not the place where people go on in the hopes to read a list of advertisements. Your content needs to be relevant, entertaining and valuable. If users feel like your content relates to them, they’re going to like your page, share your page, follow your page, etc. At the end of the day it’s better to have a few quality posts that will attract customers than a bunch of low-quality posts that don’t relate to your brand.
- Create Brand Personality. One of the most important tips for businesses on social media is to be authentic. Focus on infusing your company’s personality into your social media marketing strategies. Brands with an identity are easier to remember and attracts users who have similar values. Make content that is relatable to the average user; create posts that will get them to actively interact on your page. Give your company a voice, a story, and a noticeable image.
- Engage. An important focus when creating your social media content should be if users will be able to engage. Social media is all about building relationships and conversations. Don’t allow your platform to be a form of one-way communication. Respond to users, listen to what your customers are saying and simply get involved! End your post with a question, reply to comments on your posts or actively use a hashtag. By cultivating engagement strategies you will create and deepen relationships with users.
- Maintain Your Presence. If you’re posting too frequently, followers will get irritated with you. If you’re posting too infrequently, you will quickly be forgotten. It’s important to find a balance that keeps your page relevant without being bothersome. Check in with current trends and data to see how often you should be publishing on social media. Each site has different norms that you will want to focus on.
- Monitor Others. One of the great things about social media is that you’re able to see what other people are doing. A good tip is to follow other brands that relate to your company, check in on businesses who have been using their accounts for years, or you can even observe your competition. This will help you generate new ideas and understand what is working for others who are trying to do the same thing as you. Learn from them. Their great ideas and their mistakes will benefit your page.
- Track Your Progress. In order to measure the impact of your social media efforts, it’s important to document your progress. Track the timing of posts, the type of content, the number of followers, the number of likes and the amount of engagement. This will allow you to see what is working and what is not, to decide which sites you should focus on, and to help meet your goals. Measuring your results will allow you to optimize your social media efforts.
- Make a Commitment. Successfully creating and running a social media page is a challenge. Know beforehand that it will take time to get into the swing of things. Generating content, creating a personality, making yourself stand out- these things take time. Make a commitment to focus on your posts and put in all of your effort, no matter how long it takes. Set goals, get creative and have fun with it!
These 9 tips will help your small business thrive on social media. Good luck!