In today’s world, social media marketing and engagement is a key piece of any business growth strategy. That’s why we’ve compiled seven of our best and easiest social media tips for social success.
As a business owner, you’re always looking to grow. Whether it’s building your brand, engaging with your community, promoting products and services or anything in between, social media platforms have essentially become the town square when it comes to:
Becoming a social butterfly and growing your business is easy with these seven simple social media best practices:
Right off the bat, it’s important to know why you’re engaging on social media. Have a vision of how you’d like to see your business grow, then set social media goals that are specific, realistic and measurable for your overall growth strategy. What constitutes a win for your business? Brand awareness and customer loyalty are key to consider when you’re setting these goals. How can goals help you build on these two cornerstones?
Establishing mini milestones is a good place to start. Start with something simple like more followers, likes, comments or subscribers to your platform. Once you hone in on – and ultimately achieve – those goals, then you can move to the next goal and knock them out one by one. This will feed customer loyalty (they’re coming to expect active engagement with your business) and brand awareness (the tone, consistency and timing of your replies to comments and posts is everything). Think of it like a mini funnel; by accomplishing each mini milestone, you’re funneling more customers and brand awareness toward your business!
Once you narrow down your business’s social media goals, it’s crucial to get to know your audience. What makes them tick? What keeps them up at night? Remember: Social media is a great opportunity to tell your story and humanize your brand!
Show customers that you’re so much more than some random bot or corporate message. Captivate them in a way that will make them feel comfortable engaging with (and hopefully patronizing) you! Start by completing your “about” section. Be sure to include a brief summary that explains who you are as a brand, and include basic information, such as standard operating hours and a link to your website. Try to avoid including personal views on hot topics or negative statements about other businesses as this sometimes can turn your audience off to receiving your brand.
Thank followers for engaging with you. Respond to individuals promptly and directly anytime questions arise. Establish a good balance in tone and messaging – and find your business’s voice in the process! The idea is to connect with people on an emotional and authentic level.
Social media algorithms are getting better at detecting language that’s considered overly “salesy” or disingenuous by users. Do your best to avoid this type of language, so social platforms will be more likely to boost your content, allowing more people to see it. For example, avoid language like “doorbusters,” “deals,” “on sale now,” “hurry in,” etc.
It’s important to know how each social media platform is different, and find out which ones your customers/followers are active on. You’ll also want to consider which networks are best suited for the content you intend to share. You don’t necessarily have to use all social media platforms; you’ll want to find the right ones – and use them in the right context. Consider the functionality and features of each.
The idea is to help you feel strategic in what you post – and when. Set up regular pulse checks to find the right posting frequency by tracking your social media analytics within the platforms themselves. You’ll want to track things like follower growth, pageviews, likes, shares, impressions and clicks.
Another good way to go about this could be to use an automated social media calendar vendor, many of whom make suggestions on which of your messages would be appropriate for which social media platforms – and when – leading to greater efficiency. Ultimately, however, your business’s look and feel – your core identity – should be consistent across all channels.
Internet trolls and negative feedback are part of life. No matter what people post, remember to stay positive and not get discouraged! And since social media is a public space, perception does matter, so stay calm (as much as it may sting). If a customer raises a complaint, graciously apologize. If a follower is having a rough day and venting on your page, show empathy.
Remember that sometimes even negative public posts or feedback can help humanize your brand. For example, if someone states that they had a bad experience at your location or with your product, it may be a perfect place to address that you’re working on developing better training or a solution to that issue. Don’t underestimate your followers’ desire to want to read your posts – and the comments section.
All in all, be genuine and understanding – and have patience. Know that sometimes there’s no winning with a negative user, and in those cases, perhaps it’s best to just back away. Aim to respond to inquiries in the most positive way you can.
When sharing content, more isn’t always better. Continually ask yourself, “Is what I’m posting relevant to my audience? Is it something they’ll appreciate? Will they learn about my brand’s products and services from the information I’m sharing?” You’ll want to avoid posting anything that could be considered as unnecessary noise. When in doubt, don’t post just for the sake of it.
Additionally, don’t use too many hashtags. They’re great for grouping social media content, but the more hashtags you use, the less engagement you’ll likely get. Evolving algorithms for the various social media networks are suggesting this more and more because too many hashtags can come across as annoying and over-the-top.
More location tagging, however, is good! People love to see activity happening at local places, especially those they frequent, so geotagging makes sense in many cases. Posting from an event, conference or your business’s front door? Consider tagging your location.
Don’t forget to research your competitors. What are they doing that you aren’t? Is it working well for them? What can you try that they haven’t thought of yet? Chances are they’re vying for the attention of the same audience as you are, and they’re also researching you. Imitation is the biggest form of flattery, so if you see them copying something you’re doing – that’s great! Consider reaching out to them for clever ways to partner or offer complimentary specials as a package deal. Your customers also want to see you playing nice in the sandbox!
Posted the wrong picture? Dealing with the fallout of a faulty product or service? Need to let people know you’re closed due to bad weather? Regardless of what headaches may emerge, it’s important for your business to have a social media contingency plan in place in case things go wrong.
Put a plan in place for those “just in case” instances. This should include a way to let customers know how to contact you. Have answers ready to roll for hypothetical questions from followers. The more you’re proactive in preparing for the unknown, the more prepared you’ll be for times you’re likely not thinking about social media – but your followers are.
Remember: Social media success doesn’t happen overnight! Ultimately, engaging your business on social media takes practice – and time. Don’t be afraid to dip your toes in the water. If you follow the above best practices, you’ll be on your way toward a consistent voice, prompt replies and a plan to build your following – and your business!