How to use social media for your business
There are millions of people on a variety of social media platforms every day. But knowing social media is valuable for your business is one thing; knowing how to use it is another. Here are 10 suggestions for improving your social media marketing.
1. Use the right social media platforms for your business
Find out which social media platforms your customers prefer, and strengthen your presence there. As you know, each platform is different, so you'll want to craft your message to span across multiple platforms if possible.
While it's useful to have a presence on all platforms, spend the most time and energy on the ones that best reach your target audience. And if your time or resources are limited, focus only on one or two that will make the biggest impact to your bottom line.
2. Follow a strategy and a plan
Don't just throw stuff out there and say you have a social media presence. Take the time to create a meaningful social media plan for your business, including which platforms you'll use and how often you'll post.
Be sure to establish measurable goals for the year—what is it you want to accomplish? Maybe you want to boost website visits or increase sales. Whatever you decide, create a calendar to schedule your strategy, and do your best to follow it.
3. Don't forget who you are
Develop a specific voice on social media that reflects your company's brand, interests and values. Make sure you're reaching the right people and speaking their language. Your customers should identify with your message.
4. Be consistent
Post regularly—but don’t overdo it! If your social media strategy includes posting at certain time periods or intervals, you should be able to create maximum impact without turning people off. Consider using a social media scheduling tool to post when you're busy, or think about outsourcing this part of your business so you can ensure consistency.
5. Quality over quantity
Your followers would rather read high quality content than have their social media feed overflowing with meaningless posts. Give your customers informative, engaging content that serves their needs. If your content is intriguing, your followers will want to visit your website to learn more about your products and your company.
6. Follow your competitors
You may want to follow your competitors' social media platforms to see what they're posting. This could also give you ideas about of the type of content your customers may be interested in.
7. Make access a priority
Include links to your company website on all your social media platforms and posts. You want customers (and potential customers) to head to your website via your social media posts, so make it easy for them.
8. Create visual excitement
Use eye-catching photos and short video clips to encourage consumers to stop and explore your site. You could attach a how-to video about something relevant to your business or take a few pictures of an event at your office—or even a new employee. Whatever it is, the more flair you can add, the better.
9. Respond to comments
When customers or followers ask questions or make comments on any of your social media platforms, you need to reply—and quickly.
Think of social media as a conversation. Keeping the back-and-forth exchange alive makes your company seem active and connected. This also means you need someone (either you or an employee) to regularly monitor your social media platforms for interaction.
10. Measure your results
As with any type of marketing, your social media strategy is only as good as its results. So you need to measure the impact that social media makes on your business.
Use analytics to measure audience response, including when the optimal times are to post and what posts received the most action (whether clicks, likes or shares). Then use this information to create your strategies for the future.
Use your strategy to engage customers
Utilizing social media to spread awareness of your company, your products and your vision is a powerful and inexpensive marketing avenue. But a strategic plan will help you use your business’s resources efficiently while engaging your consumers online.
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