The long-time social question: What social network should my business be on? While having a presence on the right social networks can make all the difference, engaging with your customers in the right way is even more important.
By getting social, businesses often have one or more of the following goals in mind: customer engagement, lead generation, and thought leadership. Small businesses that are looking to stand out from the crowd should spend some time analyzing which customers are the best for their business, but more importantly, what is going to engage them.
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Read on to see what business.com is doing to engage their and how you can do it, too.
Engagement is how businesses can build long-term and loyal customers. At Business.com, you can find us on Facebook, connecting with those behind the advertisements or involved in the buying process. Facebook provides us, and other businesses such as yours, the opportunity to connect one-on-one.
In order to engage our fans, we share interesting blog content, photos, polls and comics. What's our most successful post? It's an afternoon poll about people who challenge you in business.
BDC Social by the numbers: While the average post earns about 3-4% of the possible impressions, this poll post received impressions from 30% and a large number of likes, comments and shares. Since then, we've begun using polls on a weekly basis. (Tweet this stat!)
- Test different types of posts -- photos, polls, surveys, links, etc. -- to find which appeals the most to your readers and make sure to incorporate these regularly.
- Facebook is getting visual. Use photos to increase engagement and sharing. You're more likely to appear in someone's Newsfeed if they comment, like or share a previous post. Photos are a way to connect with a new fan.
As a small business resource and lead generation company, we know that LinkedIn is one network we can't ignore.
BDC social by the numbers: Since becoming active on LinkedIn, we've seen an increase in impressions, clicks, followers and visitors. Over the past month alone, we've seen over a 60% increase in unique visitors to our LinkedIn page and a 15% increase in company followers. (Tweet this stat!)
- Make sure your products and services page is up to date and that each listing has a compelling image and corresponding copy. Provide a point of contact and a link back to your site with each different product or service.
- Post status updates on a regular basis. From your personal account, share updates with the groups you're in. While using your company page, share links, photos and news about your company to your followers.
- Make the most of your follower insights. You can find new companies or clients to reach out to and determine the type of content your audience finds the most valuable.
Related: Turn Leads into Sales with Video
Thought leadership should be a focus for both B2B and B2C businesses. At Business.com, we share guides, whitepapers, blog posts and resources via Twitter and Pinterest to establish ourselves as thought leaders and connect with customers, no matter where they are in the buying process.
BDC by the numbers: People who come to our site via Pinterest have one of the longest average visit duration times when compared to other social networks. (Tweet this stat!)
Use your business's knowledge to provide new information to others via social networks and become a thought leader in your space. Daniel Rasmus provided this definition of thought leadership:
Thought leadership should be an entry point to a relationship. Thought leadership should intrigue, challenge, and inspire even people already familiar with a company. It should help start a relationship where none exists, and it should enhance existing relationships.
This definition of thought leadership is important for those who are looking to become thought leaders in their industry via social media.
- Identify questions your customers are asking and the information they are actually after. Then answer the questions with content, not a sales pitch, across your networks such as Twitter.
- Think of the three E's: Educate, Entertain, and Examples. Educate and entertain your customers with content that features examples.
- Spread your content on social networks and don't neglect Pinterest as it is a big driver of staying traffic.
Professionals are constantly looking for ways to improve their business, make the best decisions, and gain new knowledge to give their company an edge over others. As your business determines which social platforms will yield the greatest ROI, be sure you aren't just jumping in and instead have a strategy in a place that focuses on customer engagement, lead generation and customer loyalty. After all, it's easier and cheaper to keep a customer than it is to acquire a brand new one.
Photo credit: Todayinsocial.com