Social Media is the most important client channel for my company.
In fact, it drives more than 50% of our total client engagements. I am by no means a social media expert.
Rather, I'm just a business owner who learned (through trial and a lot of error) how to make social media work for my business.
Here are 5 tips I learned along the way that helped grow our social media presence.
1. Get Started
If you have been on the outside looking in or are new to social media, start with Facebook.1.5 Billion people access Facebook daily and 1 out of every 7 minutes spent on the internet is spent on Facebook. No other platform comes close to that. Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+ all have value and can be added later. I recommend that you build (focus) your initial presence around Facebook.
2. Get Liked
In order for the platform to deliver any value, people need to “like” you. For a Facebook business page a “like” is simply a passive subscription to your content. Once people “like” your business page, Facebook will deliver all, or some, of your content to their newsfeeds. This is the most basic form of engagement. Once your customers like you, you can become part of their daily social media experience.
So how do you get liked? Here are 3 easy, and free, ways to build likes:
- From your personal page, share your business page with friends and family and ask them to “like” your business
- Add the Facebook logo to internal and external signage and ask customers to like you – maybe provide a sample of the kinds of content you intend to share
- Ask your newsletter subscribers to follow you on Facebook, the major email platforms like Constant Contact and Mail Chimp have this feature built in
3. Get Serious
If you are using your kid, the neighbor’s kid or the babysitter to manage your social media presence – stop! It’s more than likely your social media posts get more eyeballs than your print ads or direct mail. You need to start taking this seriously. I am not kidding when I tell you more than a third of business owners I talk to have a teenager or very junior employee managing social media for them.
This is your business, your brand, and your voice. There should be a plan. It doesn’t need to be complicated, but try to accomplish a specific goal through social media engagement. For most, the goal is to drive traffic – either into the store or onto the website. Social media allows you to have a conversation with your customers about who you are, what you do, and why you are special. It allows you to answer both the emotional and rational questions a buyer may have. Social media is more than just reposting a pretty picture or clever quote.
4. Get Organized
Once you start posting to social media regularly, you will be hungry for tools to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your posts. Whether you use only Facebook, or a variety of platforms, an aggregation service like HootSuite can be a huge help. Services like this allow you to schedule posts in advance and post across multiple platforms at once.
They also provide a single dashboard to view and measure engagement on a real time basis. I happen to be a fan of HootSuite as they have a great FREE option that allows users to grow with the service, but there are many such services available today.
5. Get Going
The saying, “A picture says a thousand words” has never been truer than on social media. Pictures and videos of the products you sell, the creations you make, or the jobs you do are incredibly influential. They speak directly to your skill and passion for your work.
No matter what your business does, you can share pictures and videos of both the finished product and the process of making it. Imagine a landscape design firm that regularly posted updates of a large project. Customers will come back to view updates like tuning into HGTV. Or a restaurant that not only posts pictures and recipes of its food, but also shares a weekly 5-minute video of the chef preparing a special dish.
Any smart phone is capable of producing social media ready pictures and videos. Even better, the content can be shared directly from the device itself. You should never struggle to come up with content; your business is your content. What do you sell, make, or build? Start sharing it with the world. Someone out there is looking for you.