Over the years of working with small and business owners, there are some traits that I have noticed in businesses who successfully use social media and I wanted to share them here.
- It doesn’t matter what size you are – you must commit resources to creating content and engaging in social media on a weekly basis. if you are the business owner and you don’t have time then make sure to collaborate with someone else who does.
- Plan for and generate regular content using blogs, Twitter, Facebook or other social platforms. If you are not sure what to write, do some research online or talk to a professional.
- Not every platform will be right for you. Depending on how much marketing time you have and whether you are a B2B or B2C business, you may not need Facebook, a blog AND Twitter (or whatever else). Try and work out where your customers are and what will drive business.
- Measure your activity – make sure you have some way of understanding how social media activity had an impact on business results. Try things like tracking keywords on different platforms to see what people are naturally talking about. You can also find out who the main influencers are on Twitter. This could be done for free via Google analytics, NutshellMail.com, MarketMeSuite.com, Hootsuite.com, Klout.com, Peerindex.com or for a small fee via Sproutsocial.com, Viralheat.com, Trackur.com
- Set clear expectations for customers regarding frequency and types of social media interactions that the company is willing to provide. E.g. if you say you are going to past a series of articles on something, make sure you follow through, or make a posting schedule that is on the same day of the week, every week.
- Leverage social media to position the company as a thought leader within its industry. By writing blog posts or articles on your area of expertise, it shows people how you approach business and inspires confidence in your product or service.
- Provide clear calls-to-action and opportunities to generate leads and new customers using social media. E.g. if you are running a competition or giving away an e-book, make it really clear what people have to do to participate.
- Don’t forget that you can use social media to drive participation in offline events. Holding an event is a great way to meet people & get new customers. Social media can help build anticipation and provide opportunities for follow up.
- Use information and data from social media to drive business strategy. Make sure you listen to your customers’ comments – for example, if people are really liking a new product then maybe you can push it harder, or if people are not happy with your customer service, you can fix it quickly.
- Balance paid and organic search engine traffic. My own feeling is that you will get a much better long term gain by creating amazing content that gets shared online and builds a community around your brand. ‘Paid for’ search leads like Google ads are good to get things started, but could be expensive over time if you are in a very competitive category.
So, there we have it – a quick round up of strategies for your business. Each one of those topics is a blog post in itself – however it’s good to have an overview. See you next time!
Thank you to Tim Rabjohns for this Guest Post.
The Social Insider – freelance support for online marketing.