Does social media steal your time and make your head spin? Are you wondering how you’ll ever get the hang of using social media for business? Do not get stuck in the social media sink hole, help is here!
When executed correctly, a social media marketing campaign can bring traffic to your website and generate leads. And so many options, from Facebook, to Twitter, to LinkedIn, to Instagram… the list goes on and on.
However, this never-ending set of choices is part of the challenge. To many entrepreneurs, social media can seem like an overwhelming burden with no end in sight. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
If this feeling sounds familiar to you, keep reading to get a handle on using social media for business.
Why use social media for business?
This may seem like a silly question at first glance. But it’s a valid question that impacts your entire marketing strategy, and it should be the starting point for all of your social media efforts. If you don’t know WHY you should be using social media to market your business, you will not know how to use it, what to say, which platforms are best, etc.
Posting on social media for personal use is very different from using social media for business. When using any marketing platform, social media included, you must create a strategy, set tactics, metrics of success, etc. This means posting pics of your coffee runs and meals all day is NOT an effective marketing strategy, that is, unless you are a food blogger!
And no, the answer of “because everybody else is doing it” isn’t good enough if you’re going to invest serious effort into it.
Small businesses are always looking for different ways to show off their products to the public. If you have time and materials to network and market your business, you have all the resources you need to use social media. Don’t believe me? Ask me and I’ll show you how.
Social media alone is not a marketing strategy. It is a tool that should be a part of your overall marketing strategy. It has long been a part of our culture and lifestyle, and it is here to stay. It may take some work, but you can do social!
How do you decide which social media platforms to use?
- Are they looking on Facebook for your type of product or service?
- Are they searching Twitter for your industry keywords?
- Are they women who can’t get enough of the visual smorgasbord otherwise known as Pinterest?
- Is your product easily demonstrated, in which case your customer is searching for a YouTube tutorial?
If you don’t know where your customers are hanging out just yet…
Perhaps the best tactic of all is to look at your competitors. Which platforms are they using? Start with the most commonly used platforms and learn the ropes. Read some articles and how-to’s on each platform.
I regularly see questions and comments from business owners still trying to figure out WHAT they should be using. It’s ok to ask. Then you can check out some of the newer platforms and give them a try, but don’t be so quick to invest so much time on them. You have a business to run!
It doesn’t matter which social media platform you’re using, these tips apply to them all!
Top Ten Tips For Using Social Media For Business
- Stay consistent by providing high quality content regularly. Consistency is key! If you don’t think you can manage a consistent posting schedule, hire someone *raises hand* to manage your social media for you.
- Complete all bios and profiles with relevant, up-to-date information. Include your picture on your profiles too, because logos do not run businesses, us humans do. A picture of a person is more relatable as your profile avatar. The more information you can share, the better your chance of people wanting to following you.
- Don’t buy followers. I repeat, NEVER BUY FOLLOWERS. Instead of patting yourself on the back for high follower counts, define success metrics that directly relate to your revenue goals. Besides, fake followers cannot spend money on your products and services.
- Check your spelling and grammar. Auto-correct is a sure fire way to inadvertently post the wrong word choice. I know you’ve seen a few posts that made no sense because of auto-correct. Do a quick proofread before hitting any send/tweet/share buttons. You don’t look too bright when using misspelled words and poor grammar.
- Don’t create posts with the intention of going viral – create content your audience will find valuable. If your audience likes the content, they will share it.
- Host a contest, ask questions, post a poll, etc. to foster engagement and get the people talking. Be sure to adhere to the specific rules of each social media platform. Be sure to write a blog post about your contest with links and instructions to participate.
- Don’t talk only about yourself and share only your own content. Nobody likes a spotlight hog! Being social is about engagement, so actively engage by sharing other people’s content. The “me me me” mentality only works for celebs.
- Don’t share mass amounts of posts in a short time period – spread your posts out. Otherwise, you’ll flood people’s timelines. Or worse yet, your audience won’t see your posts because they aren’t active at that particular time.
- Be sure your social media buttons are prominent on your website and individual blog posts. You want people to be able to find you on the different networks, but you also want to make social sharing of your content as easy as possible.
- Do not write any post in ALL CAPS or with a bunch of exclamation marks!!!!!!!! That is, unless you are intentionally screaming at your audience. PLEASE DO NOT SCREAM AT ME!!!! I do not like being yelled at.
Have fun and be social!
If you’re still having trouble, and really want to learn what to post, how often to post, and how to develop a dynamic profile that generates business, consider hiring a marketing professional for help.