Social media is now deeply ingrained into our daily lives. Research shows that approximately 70% of people will pick up their smartphones before even getting out of bed. As a business owner placing your brand into the consciousness of your customers has never been so accessible.
We have already discussed the pros and cons of websites versus Facebook for reaching your audience and with all of this in mind, if you are running a business of any kind, you will definitely need to consider your social media presence and devise a social media marketing strategy to help your brand stand out among the rest.
SMO (social media optimisation) might seem relatively simple. However, it isn’t as easy to put into practice as you would think. Time and thought needs to be put into crafting your message, goals and strategy.
Using keywords and relevant images is important and it is absolutely worth putting in the effort to get your social media profiles absolutely spot on before launching your brand, especially making sure all the relevant information is completed before going live. All of your profiles should have at least a link to your website if you should have one. If not then contact details and office hours should be displayed.
Here we have listed some of our simple but effective ideas to help your business shine out among the crowd.
1. Include Social Media Icons on your website & email signature
This is a given. Once you have set up your social media accounts you need to let people know about them. The best way to do this is by linking them into your website and adding them to the email signature on your business account. Every time you have a visit on your website and every time you send an email, the information is right there so everyone to see. With a simple click they are taken right to your profiles without having to go to all the trouble of searching for you or tracking you down. It’s a great way to improve your social media presence.
2. Keep on sharing
This one can be a bit tricky. You definitely do not want to spam people with your content but don’t be afraid of sharing either. People who visit your social media profiles want to see new content be it about newest developments in your business or relevant amusing content. Sharing relevant posts from similar organisations help grow your presence too and can encourage cooperative sharing.
Encouraging business partners, colleagues and friends to share content will also help distribute your message to a wider audience and while you won’t have control over who can see this, but it is a great way to reach a wider audience and it’s likely that you will reach people who are interested in your message, thus encouraging more likes and followers on your profiles.
3. Don’t make it too ‘business-like’
There’s nothing quite as off-putting as a really impersonal post. Of course, you want to make sure people know what services you provide but followers love to engage with posts that humanise the team, that show the people behind the brand. And you don’t need to invest in expensive equipment. Most people have smartphones and they come with pretty good cameras. And on the plus side they are always on hand.
Images are great for catching the eye and there are so many opportunities to catch a great picture to help put that personal voice into your posts and by doing that you will instantly connect with the client base you are targeting. Always keep an eye out for good posting material and opportunities.
- Had a new sign put up outside the office, great. Add a picture of the boss smiling and pointing to it in a really cheesy way.
- The team are out for a work meal, perfect. How about a picture of everyone raising their glasses, having a good time (with their approval of course).
- A customer is satisfied with the work you have done for them, brilliant! How about a picture of them with the finished product, and while you’re at it, how about encouraging them to leave a rousing review on your Facebook page?
4. Don’t leave customers waiting
If you chose to open up social media channels for your business then you must see that this isn’t a one-way street, you don’t just engage with the customers, but they can also engage with you in a very direct and sometimes very public way.
Social media channels are a great way for people to instantly get in touch with you and if dealt with promptly and efficiently, can be a great way to encourage good customer satisfaction. However, ignoring them is a fast track to losing followers, and therefore potential clients.
If you do happen to get a complaint from someone pop up don’t ignore it. Get in touch as soon as possible and try to answer questions and resolve issues as quickly as possible. People are generally understanding that not everyone is perfect, and businesses are run by people at the end of the day. It’s how we deal with errors and issues that become the problem. Answering and resolving any issues raised quickly and helpfully will not only show that customer but also all of your other followers that you put the customer first and they can trust you, personally, with your business. Good customer services drives repeat custom.
5. Build a schedule and automate posts
Here is an example schedule for social media posts:
- Facebook: 3-10 times per week
- Twitter: 5+ times per day
- LinkedIn: 2-5 times per week
- Pinterest: 5-10 times per day
- Google+: 3-10 times per week
Ok, that can seem overwhelming but don’t worry, we would not expect the average small business to post at these levels. Mess around with the schedule and find out what works for you.
It’s a good idea to get into the habit of spending a bit of time each month putting together a list of content to post after first deciding where and when to post.
If the thought of taking on all possible social media channels is intimidating, perhaps consider working on one main forum and then use others to compliment it. You can also track and improve your posts with social media analytics so you can see what types of posts are more engaging, so you can tailor the types of content you post.
There are some great online tools to help you with your posting schedule, SEMRush, Hootsuite, Socialoomph to name but a few. Some services require monthly/yearly fees, and some have issues with some social media channels such as Instagram but we recommend putting in a bit of research and finding the right one for you.
Do you have any other ideas on how to maximise your social media presence. Why not comment below or share with your friends?