Published on September 16th, 2015 | by Guest0
5 Effective Social Media Tips for Businesses
Social media has been revolutionizing the world ever since it began. It brought people closer to than ever. Now you can potentially have a conversation with your favorite star, or even the President of the United States. People use it to connect to friends and family, and organize meetings and projects. It’s even been instrumental in organizing protests and providing people with unadulterated news. This kind of unfettered connectivity has given the business world a great gift… Free advertising. Shunning the social media boom is to miss out on an advertiser’s dream of people already engaged and undoubtedly interested in your product or service and much more likely to convert.
Set Your Objectives
The first thing you’re going to need is a game plan. Too many people just jump in and end up unable to produce quantifiable results. Setting clear goals lets you know when your plan isn’t working and allows you to pivot in a different direction to try something different. It also allows you to measure your success and proves your ROI.
What do you want out of your campaign? Do you want to be seen as a serious, no frills expert in your industry, posting about important shifts and innovations? Do you want to be relatable to the “everyman” with a more casual image or be known for your witty posts and meme-worthy sense of humor? These goals should be in line with your broader marketing strategy to keep things in line with the goals of the business. Make a list, and write down your social media goals as well as what that will look like when you reach it.
Optimize Your Site for Social Media
There are quite a few sites out there that aren’t optimized to supplement social media. One of the most common issues is failing to properly utilize social media sharing buttons; either by not having the buttons in the first place, placing them in odd places, or failing to make them use efficient hashtags and mentions. Failure to make it easy for people to share your site’s content can make people just refuse to take the extra effort. Ideally you want as many people as possible to share your stuff, and getting this wrong can hurt your numbers.
This may require you to start the potentially confusing process of refreshing your website in order to properly incorporate these things into your site if they aren’t already. It’s actually one of the things that’s a must have for business websites today as social media integration drives traffic just like search engines do.
Most webhosts have social media tools that make integrating social media rather painless. Some services will even set up a professional integration for you as per your specifications. Here are a few of them:
- WordPress – a free webtool that runs 18.9% of the world’s websites, has numerous widgets and mods available to integrate social media that you can customize yourself.
- Drupal – is a free software package like WordPress that allows an individual or a community of users to manage and organize content on a website. Drupal features many tweaks and mods as well and can be a good alternative to WP.
- Squarespace – boasts an easy to use interface that has a “drag and drop” approach to design. Much like WordPress, Squarespace is fully customizable with responsive design web themes and social analytics tools.
- YourMembership – a full service customer relationship management tool that will design your site to attract customers and features social media integration. Its service provides you with advanced analytics based on customer behavior, social shares and mentions as well as allowing you to engage your customers on any device. Kind of a one stop shop for businesses.
Understand Your Audience
Knowing what your intended audience is interested in is an important part of picking the platform you focus on as they aren’t all the same and appeal to different types of people. Consider also the shareability of your posts. Useful posts are more likely to be shared, so it’s beneficial to be informative in the content you share. Experts suggest the 80/20 rule, which says that 80% of your posts should be informative and shareable while only 20% is dedicated to your brand. The 80% should be things that are related to your industry and your work to give people an idea of who you are and what you’re about.
Find Which Platform to Focus On
This is actually a bit about knowing your audience too, as you’re going to want to focus on where your audience is concentrated most. All the social media platforms are different, and require different strategies to be effective. If you’re going for a more professional audience, LinkedIn and Google + are more suited to that angle. If you will posting visual content most often, Twitter and Pinterest are both a great fit for that type of content. If you’re looking for a more casual audience, or simply want to inspire a conversational atmosphere, Facebook is the way to go.
Making the Most of Your Connections
All throughout your campaign, you should be using your social media connections to drive your business toward your goals. One of the best ways to do that is through customer service. Responding to questions and concerns regarding your business is imperative, as 42% of Americans expect a response within an hour. Keeping on top of communications is a key part of any social campaign.
Luckily, social media is designed to make instant communication easy as they can be accessed from any internet capable device. There are even webtools that will alert you when someone mentions your brand, even if they don’t message you directly allowing you to resolve any issues before they turn into a headline in your industry. A caveat: addressing customer issues in social media can be hazardous given the never forgetting nature of the internet and the possibility of trolls. Here are some tips to help you navigate that potential minefield.
With the increased visibility offered by social media, small and medium businesses can potentially compete on the same level as the big mega businesses for the attention of customer. Getting along in the market today requires you to be social. Do you have any other tips for effective social media?
About the author:
Mordecai Hunter is a writer with aspirations to start his own consulting firm. He has traveled the globe and speaks 4 languages. In his spare time, he plays and repairs guitars and loves videogames. You can bug him on Twitter.