Social media can be a powerful tool for business growth. It drives traffic to your website, increases engagement and can help you create a community of advocates for your business. Social media allows prospects and clients to communicate directly with you and your business online. It makes the business relationship more personal to your “followers” and provides a platform for interesting content to spread rapidly.
The rules of engagement
It’s important to remember that participating in social media is not just about showing up where people “gather” (metaphorically speaking) on the internet and then pushing your message out. Social media is about genuinely connecting with your clients, families and potential customers. Making your business more social is simply a matter of creating an environment where people feel they can express themselves, and then giving them opportunities and encouragement to do so. In a social environment, your team can reach out to that prospect or customer and put a smile on their face by listening — really listening — to them. This will ultimately give them extra value, and make their experience with you worth telling others about.
In spite of the fact that many businesses are now participating in social media, most are not actually listening to their customers there:
- 95% of Facebook brand posts are not answered.*
- 71% of Twitter complaints are not answered.*
- 88% say they are unlikely to buy from a company that ignores their online complaints.*
The lesson here is that to be successful on social media, you must be responsive, courteous and authentic. Just as you don’t want to start a blog and then abandon it, it’s not a good idea to promote yourself on social media and then ignore those who try to interact with you. So when you start social, commit yourself to it wholeheartedly or don’t do it at all. Put your best into it and you just might find the world congregating on your business’ doorstep.
9 tips for social media strategies that work
For most of us, the goal of social media is to build relationships and send traffic to our website. These nine tips are applicable to all social media platforms and will help you make sure your social media messaging is aligned with your goals. (These tips are from @GerryMoran at MarketingThink.com.)
Shareable. Is your content interesting enough to be passed on to others?
Focus on your content’s form and packaging to maximize its ease of sharing.
Native behavior. Does your advice consider the reader’s native behavior?
Most people will not stay engaged with content unless it’s relevant.
Genuine utility. Does your content add value for the reader?
Ensure your readers walk away with a usable point of view.
Linkage. Does your message link complement the destination?
Make sure to match your landing page with your message.
Repeat business. Is your content interesting enough for readers to return for more content?
Sell you readers enough to get them to give you their email address.
Simplicity. Does your content focus on one idea?
Create multiple sets of content for multiple ideas.
Use video & graphics. Are you using video, photos, and graphics to drive reader engagement?
Promotion. Is your content’s call-to-action appropriate?
Make sure to add value with your promotional messaging.
Customer-centric keywords. Does your messaging use keywords and hashtags to maximize your content’s reach?
Use Google AdWords or HubSpot to help determine your keywords.
Do you have a tip or trick that you use to make sure you are putting out the best content? If so please leave a comment below.
* Statistics from SocialBakers, “Companies Respond to Just 5% of Questions on Facebook”; Sysomos, “Replies and Retweets on Twitter”