Social media is one of the most powerful, versatile, and far-reaching tools
Social media is one of the most powerful, versatile, and far-reaching tools the modern business owner has in their promotional arsenal. So why are so many Facebook pages and Twitter business accounts fallow wastelands with no engagement?
Despite the accessibility and low bar to entry with social media, many business owners don’t know how to manage it effectively. Properly leveraging your social media presence takes time, attention, and planning. Whether you’re a new business owner looking to establish your brand, or an established company seeking to overhaul your social media presence, these strategies can help you create engagement (and sales) with social media.
Post Early, Post Often
Too many business owners make a classic mistake. They start a Facebook page or Twitter account, then post to it once or twice a month (or year). They get discouraged at the lack of results, then abandon the account. The problem is, it takes daily time and effort to get noticed on social media. This is why so many companies hire dedicated social media personnel! Post to your pages and accounts multiple times daily, at the optimal times for engagement. Think of it as any other form of advertisement — success requires daily hustle!
Many newcomers to social media also expect the Internet to come to them. That’s simply not going to happen. There’s too much competition and noise to stay silent and get noticed. If you want your name (and brand) known, engage with other companies, post to popular hashtags, chime in (wisely) on trending topics. Don’t be afraid to talk to people… but don’t try to “sell” them either. A witty one-liner or friendly joke can go a long way.
Provide Value and Fun
Did you recently post a link to your latest sale or giveaway, only to find zero interest? When you use traditional sales tactics, catching the Internet’s eye can be tough. Generally speaking, social media doesn’t respond well to sales pitches. They enjoy fun, shareable content they can show friends and family. There are lots of free tools online for creating infographics, posters, image captions, and other fun material that will get shared and draw attention to your page. Just keep the humor accessible and in good taste.
Engage With Customers
Some of the most successful companies on the Internet have one thing in common: they find ways to engage with customers on social media. When a customer takes to your Facebook page or their Twitter account to complain about a company or voice a grievance, be there for them. Be friendly, offer to set the matter straight, and work to satisfy their needs. If they come to your page to say thanks or offer you praise, say thanks! People will notice. When you engage with customers in this way, you create a likeable image for your company, builds loyalty, and drives more sales.
This seems like an obvious lesson, but it bears repeating: when it comes to social media, there is such a thing as bad publicity. Keep your jokes and posts clean and accessible. Respond to every customer and complaint with courtesy and respect (even when you don’t receive any back). Avoid political and religious topics whenever possible. Create a plan for dealing with inevitable crises. Most of all, never get in a fight with your customers or random strangers on the Internet! You don’t want to become the next social media horror story.
Building a social media presence isn’t easy. It takes time, effort, and dedication. But savvy business owners who learn to use this tool stand to reap major rewards. Put these strategies to work for you, and you’ll soon find your likes and shares skyrocketing.