Pinterest, Yelp!, Google+, Yammer, MySpace (Yessir! JT’s putting it back on the map!), the list of social media sites just goes on, and on, and on, and … on.
When you utilize social media for business use, remember there’s a site for just about everyone, and competition is fierce. So whether you’re a sharing photos on Instagram, checking in on Foursquare, or connecting with the business underworld on Vampirefreaks.com, you better know what you’re doing to see any traction!
So, how are you supposed to get your social media sites to work for your business?
Let’s take a look at some social media best practices for business.
1. Establish Your Expectations
Defining goals and establishing what is and isn’t possible is imperative before launching a social media campaign. And remember that social media success is not the typical definition of success. Measuring ROI on social media is measured with concept of exposing new and relevant communities to the brand, rather than in conversions or dollars and cents.
If you are just starting out, your goals can be as simple as the following:
- Raise brand awareness through reach and impression numbers
- Get x number of followers using paid social promotion
Once you become more immersed and skilled in your social platform of choice, you can qualify and quantify your skills accordingly.
2. Monitor Your Competition
Keep tabs on what your competition is doing. Learn from it and develop your own campaign that highlights the strengths of your own brand.
And, always remember the golden rule: Never duplicate thy competition’s content.
3. Create Content Calendars
Content calendars help you stay organized and allow you to develop the best strategies. Plan and organize your social media posts at least a month in advance, and stay on top of the seasons and the holidays. This will help you to plan out your year and not scramble for last minute ideas.
4. Keep up with the
Don’t forget to sprinkle these in with your pre-planned posts throughout the month.
5. No One Likes an “Oversharer”
You know that friend you kind of stopped paying attention to because all they do is talk about themselves? It’s the same in social media.
Posting the right amount of times on each platform is key to avoiding oversharing. Posting more than once a day on Facebook is inadvisable, and will usually lead to ‘unlikes’ or ‘unfollows.’ Tweeting multiple times a day is okay – but make sure it’s for conversation-sake, and not for sales-sake.
And whatever you do, make sure your posts are interesting! The only thing worse than an oversharer, is a boring oversharer.
6. Follow the 80-20 Rule
People are not on social media to be the target of a sales pitch, they want to be social and interact with others.
Make sure the majority of your content (80%) is conversational, fun, engaging and helpful. The other 20% can be about your products, sales or offers related to your brand.
7. What’s in it for Me?
Exclusive offers, discounts, contests and giveaways are great ways to keep your fans and followers hooked.
8. Getting to Know You
The whole goal of using social media for business is to connect and resonate with your audience. You might have to try several different strategies and push some boundaries before you hit a jackpot. Tools such as Facebook’s Page Insights will help you identify user demographics like location, age and gender. When you find a topic that resonates with your audience, for example, cleaning tips – be sure to include jokes, questions, memes, tips and facts about cleaning in your content calendars.
9. Social Buzz
The best way to increase positive social word of mouth is to attract and motivate social influencers with incentives, and to then continually interact with these users. Maximize buzz by driving word of mouth from relevant social influencers to their followers and fans.
10. Color outside the Lines
Creativity is noticed, shared and talked about – which is the entire point of social media for businesses. Identify relevant and compelling hooks for the audience, create content around the hooks and incorporate that into social platforms. Make sure you boast unique content that you would want to read and share on your own.
As it turns out, there is an art and a science to everything; including the world of social media. Need more tips? Contact the experts at Volume Nine!