There is perhaps just as many ways to manage Social Media as there are stars in our galaxy, or sand grains on the beaches. Experience gained from working with social media has lead me to several discoveries and conclusions. Some of them I will share with you in this post.
Important to remember is that everything written here may not be in line with how you should do it. Other things may not be applicable.
I intend for this to be more of a general tutorial towards anyone that is new in social media, and I will not talk so much about specific social media networks. I will however, suggest where you can start.
Where can I start?
It’s time to strengthen your brand by using social media. About time you do!
Your base will be Facebook and Instagram. If you don’t fancy a social network, at least reserve your business name for future use. Are you already established on both? Perfect. If you have the resources required to manage your social accounts and preserve continuity: the more the better.
Are you a B2B company? While you can still use Facebook and Instagram succesfully, you might want to start out somewhere else if you are looking to attract businesses solely.
Advantageous with Facebook and Instagram is that you can connect them so that posts on Instagram also are shared to your Facebook page.
My advice if you aren’t using social media yet but is about to start, is to start with one and after a while consider using more. Should you be successful in doing so of course. Social media usually takes a lot of effort if you want results as in leads and sales. Using your Facebook and Instagram accounts as a gateway for acquired followers, to join you in another network is easier than trying to start everything up at once.
That’s because you’ve already branded yourself and built trust on one or two networks, which makes it easier for someone to make the decision to follow you elsewhere.
Initially it should be about creating an active flow, marketing posts and keeping your pages up to date.
What should I write about?
First and foremost, I’d like to recommend that you always make a post when you have sales or special offers going on. You need to put a lot of focus into showing your daily operation, every day at work, what’s upcoming, customer references. This will build your trust and compassion that’s essential if you want people to like you on these networks. Use a picture in all your posts, preferably a video. Posts with only text normally get less attention.
To start a page that initially will consist of 0 followers it’s a good idea to:
* Invite your friends
* Market yourself with sponsored campaigns to your target audience (Social media networks offer their specific marketing tool within the network, which any page owner can use).
Before putting your soul into creating posts daily you need to get a couple of followers, or you’ll risk valuable content going unnoticed and without exposure. We are going to talk a bit more about the benefits of social media marketing later in this post.
Engage employees in social media
Encourage your employees to like and share your posts when you lack an active follower base to do so for you. Employees should of course not feel obligated to do so, but do explain why you want them to engage in your social media so that they better can understand why it’s important. A reason for them to do so that you’ll explain might be that you want to reach more people and create more interactions for your social media. Therefore, you need help internally to reach those goals. A goal might be that you want to increase interactions with 25% over the next three months.
If your employees understand why you are asking them to share and like your posts, they will feel better about doing it. Sometimes it can be tough getting your own to help you out in social media. Make sure you notify them every time there’s a new post up. Bring it up on morning meetings: that it is important to reach your social media goals (and what they are) and that you need the help of everyone.
It’s not always something new has occurred in the business that might be worth telling. Rather wait for something of value and about your business to post. It can have a negative impact going off-topic but nevertheless, don’t be afraid to pay attention to local events or wishing your followers a good weekend (but preferably in interaction with a business matter).
Focus on value in your content
To create good (even if short) content with intriguing pictures, moments, positive quotes and Monday motivation in correlation with your business makes for better conditions for your social media success. Create a schedule for when content should be posted and be strict about publishing when your interaction rates are the highest – at what hours do you notice the best interaction rates? Check up on statistics for your social media accounts.
How often should I make posts?
Users will most likely unfollow you if you make posts too frequently. Facebook’s algorithm makes sure that users who are not interacting with your content, is less likely to see it. At the same time, users who do engage in your content will see it more often. There is no ruleset for how many posts you should make starting up, you will get a feel for this. I’d start with 1 per day or every other day to build up my activity. It’s not unusual that businesses post only 1-2 times per week, but in a start up you want to show more effort than that.
I don’t always know what to say to this question. In the end, your results will be determined by what you are sharing. Interesting content, insights to your daily work, pictures of employees, contests, there’s always something you can post about and create value with for your audience.
It’s always critical to attract new and keep existing followers amused.
Talking to Your Followers
You will want to write in Second-person singular or second-person plural. As in “Only for You” “Are Your……” etc. It is more personal and creates a better bond between you, even if you might be talking to a hundred-different people. Social media builds upon direct communication, therefore it’s important to also answer comments and messages. Like or reply to comments you get, especially answer to criticism and help as much as possible. You’ll find your own touch in communicating directly to your followers, I’m sure.
Even if Facebook unlike Instagram allows us to make posts entirely without a picture/video, that’s not something I recommend. Posts with a picture/link/video get more interactions than those without. Having variation in what you post to find out what generates the most is also of importance to attract followers.
Humour can give your boring business a boost
Humour is a really good tool when it works out, and can potentially give your business a good boost. But think twice before publishing content with playful elements. Check with your family and friends before and get a feel for the response. Misusing humour can endanger your reputation and have a negative impact on your brand. There are examples of this throughout history that has made people react negatively leading up to businesses having to repeatedly apologize.
Think of what you can do in correlation to your area of work to post something fun that will sparkle people’s interest in you.
Attracting more and keeping existing followers
When your followers interact with your social media make sure you answer them. You will gain more followers quicker if people notice you are taking the time. Remember that it’s not about getting as many followers as you possibly can. It’s better to have a smaller circle of followers that engage with your business, than have a large base that doesn’t.
At the same time, you obviously want to share your social media in the extent possible. Except having links to them on your website, make sure you link to your social media in your e mail signature and other possible places.
Avoid making posts without text. Unless the other material is very clear in some way, it usually leads to people standing there as question marks not knowing what to make of it. The exception might be a profile picture or cover photo, but I’m sure you can think of some nice lines to add there as well – why not briefly explain your business.
Use relevant keywords on your pages and use these keywords in your posts and hashtags. You can use Hashtagify to see what’s trending and how used a specific hashtag is. Always aim for the most popular ones, and refrain from using too many so that your content won’t look cluttered/spammy.
Searches are performed on social media to find a specific service or product, community, etc. and that’s why you should be a relevant alternative here.
Another good idea is to connect with popular accounts within your business or niche. It can lead to primarily two good things:
1) You get a follow/like back from the account
2) Followers of the followed account/network might get their eyes on you
Don’t let yourself be fooled. Contests attract a large engagement but once concluded, that effect disappears completely. You will see people coming only for the sake of the contest, because they are simply interested in the prize and not what else you have to offer. Therefore, it’s important to set requirements on those entering your contests.
Requirements might be that they should like and share the post and/or follow your page. Once the contest has concluded you’ll hopefully get to keep some of that exposure and the new followers. All in all, the exposure gaining from likes and shares might very well be worth it.
Contests aren’t a negative thing, but rather a good strategy to gain increased exposure and more followers. Some might even be interested in what you have to offer besides the contest. However, not setting requirements on your contest, is a great loss.
In short: Benefits of social media
I found this list I’m about to share with you on another blog which I can’t seem to remember the name of, a while back. If you can help me find out, I will give credit. Anyway, whoever you are, thank you for this brief compilation.
- You get to know your audience and market through constant high value interactions.
- Direct communication – you have the possibility to answer customers directly and personally through posts and messages, it can save you time since you don’t have to make a call or talk person to person.
- You’re in the game, competition is also in social media, either you are ahead of them and if not you’re at least there too.
- You can expand your customer base.
- Increase sales through reaching out to people that previously did not know you existed.
- Reduce marketing costs, avoid high costs from traditional marketing and communicate freely and directly and combine this with a relatively low-cost sponsored campaign every now and then to increase exposure. You save money!
- Increase traffic to your website. In many cases, posts you make will have a link to your website, and all information about your company is on the social media page which makes it easier for customers to find you in case they don’t go on your website.
Marketing on social media
As mentioned in number six in the list above, marketing in social media is cheaper than traditional marketing (TV, radio, papers, etc). If your target audience is people reading the newspaper (generally an older audience) you might not be making a wise choice if you decide to move away from it. But you should at least try allocating some of the traditional marketing budgeting into social media, and see the effects of it. A common mistake made by advertisers is that they target a too broad audience and much of their budget is wasted on people that aren’t interested in what the ad has to offer. Make sure you’re strict with the settings and demographics for your campaigns.
Use the statistics you get from your advertising campaigns to improve your results in any upcoming campaigns!
Once again Facebook and Instagram are favourable with the interconnection since the Ads Manager tool offered through Facebook also is used to publish ads on Instagram. You can use the exact same campaign on your Facebook and Instagram account, saving you some time.
Use social media to collect feedback from your users to make improvements within your business. On your Facebook page you can open a vote to do so.
Speaking of asking questions, question marks are important. What are some questions you can ask your customers to get a better understanding of what they are looking for from you? Customer feedback is invaluable and social media has good potential to simplify access to this information.
It’s has a learning curve
Getting started in social media is a learning curve just as anything. This post explained and dug in to some of the things that can ease up your social media start up, but there might be more. What’s equally important as knowing how to make things for the best impact, is finding your own way of doing it and being different from competition. For me to tell you how to do so is next to impossible, but I am confident that after experimenting with social media for some time, you are going to be your own expert at it!
The post Starting Up a Business Presence in Social Media appeared first on AVONCY.