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15 Entrepreneurs Share Their Tips for Social Media Success

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Social media goes hand in hand with entrepreneurism. It’s the best way to connect with customers from all over the globe, instantly. Being on social media is vital to growing your company. While being involved online is a good step, there are certain measures to take if you want to be a social media superstar. There is etiquette to be aware of, tips on getting people to notice your brand, and a million other little tips and tricks to put you at the front of the line. We asked entrepreneurs and business owners what their tips were for solid social media.

#1 – Engaging Posts

Photo Credit: Mark Ferguson

Photo Credit: Mark Ferguson

If you hire a company to do social media for you, make sure you check their work. Many companies simply spam out messages and comments that make no sense. It makes the companies look very bad. If you spend money on social media and have people engaged, make sure you engage back. People love to feel like someone is listening to them. Like their comments, respond back, let them know you care. The more comments and engagement the better your posts will do. Post interesting things. Some companies are interesting and others are not. If people like posts that promote your company keep posting that material. If people don’t care about your company, post other interesting things and eventually the audience will find the company.

Thanks to Mark Ferguson

#2 – Provide Value

Photo Credit: John B. Dinsmore

Photo Credit: John B. Dinsmore

Probably the single, most commonly overlooked thing about corporate social media is the companies need to provide value to their audience in each of their posts. Too many companies assume that because something is important to the company that it will be important to the customers. People are overloaded with blatantly promotional information at every turn. Check out our new <> <> <> will result in unsubscribes and-even worse-animosity. Instead, companies need to give things away-samples, products, information valuable to the customer in their posts. Consider your customer’s needs before your own when contemplating a social media post.

Thanks to John B. Dinsmore

#3 – Facebook Advertising

When we first started trying to build our following on Facebook, we had quite a scattergun approach. And although we managed to attract a few hundred likes within a few days, this was mainly from friends and family who we had begged to like our page. It wasn’t until we started investing in Facebook advertising that we noticed significant growth for our page. Because your Facebook adverts can be targeted to only appear for users in certain locations and with specific interests, you can ensure that all of the followers that you accumulate are relevant to your business and could potentially convert into paying customers.

Thanks to Sam Williamson, Fife Man Removals

#4 – Know What You’re Talking About

Photo Credit: Izzy Squire

Photo Credit: Izzy Squire

Posting about your own product or service on social media isn’t likely to get you anywhere unless you’re a huge established business with a mass following…and even those businesses don’t have promotional posts constantly. Think of it like this, do you believe a company who is yelling ‘WE’RE REALLY GOOD! LOOK AT THIS PRODUCT/SERVICE OF OURS’? No, you wouldn’t, because there’s no evidence to suggest that they’re good other than their own word. You’d need proof! So, prove to your social media audience that you know what you’re talking about. If you’re a restaurant owner then post a video on how to make your own beef seasoning, if you’re a children’s day care then post a link to an article about music therapy for toddlers. Anything that suggests that you can prove that you’re an expert in your field. Don’t just share your own stuff either, share videos, pictures, articles etc. from other professionals in your field to show your audience that you know who the other experts are and you’re always growing your knowledge base and learning about your industry. By nature, people love others who are proactive.

Thanks to Izzy Squire, Quba

#5 – Define Your Voice

Photo Credit: Nishadha Silva

Photo Credit: Nishadha Silva

Defining your social media voice at the beginning and documenting is an absolute must when doing social media marketing at any level. This will make sure you message will be consistent whether you hire a new person to do social media or whether you change the agency that handles your social channels. If you’re a small business owner you might be handling the accounts for now, but eventually you need someone else to handle them and then this will be very important.

Thanks to Nishadha Silva, Creately

#6 – Have a Goal in Mind

Photo Credit: LisaMarie Dias

Photo Credit: LisaMarie Dias

The best advice I can offer is to have a GOAL in mind when using social media for business. Whether it is to increase brand awareness, establish your firm’s expertise, to build your network or to find leads, you will be most effective if you craft your content and posts with this goal in mind and include calls to action to encourage your community to take the next step. This single-minded focus will help clarify your branding and messaging across platforms and make it easier to define, find and connect with your target audience.

Thanks to LisaMarie Dias, LisaMarie Dias Designs

#7 – Social Media Monitoring

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Venafro

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Venafro

Social media monitoring can provide you with unique customer insight and a competitive advantage. To be most effective, you will want to acquire some sort of social media monitoring tool (there are both free and paid options available). This will provide you with alerts when someone mentions your company or products and analytics on the sentiment related to each post. You can also follow what people are saying about your competitors. When appropriate, you may want to engage with these individuals to show that you are listening and want to solve any issues they may be experiencing.

Thanks to Elizabeth Venafro, Konvergent, LLC

#8 – Recruit Talent

Social media doesn’t just have to be used as a way to communicate to your customers, it can be a valuable tool in recruiting the best talent for your business as well. Hashtags like #jobsearch and #jobs combined with your area is an easy way to get in front of potential employees on Twitter. Encourage your existing staff to share your vacancy posts on their own social media channels, like Facebook. Usually good people know good people in the industry. And don’t forget Linkedin – a great way to actively scout out your desired talent and another route to advertise your upcoming vacancies.

Thanks to Hannah Haworth, Nublue

#9 – Check Analytics

Photo Credit: Ali Din

Photo Credit: Ali Din

In the world of B2B, marketing via social media is a very time consuming activity, and sometimes hard to measure the ROI. The key is analytics and tracking measures. There are numerous sites that help do this including Google Analytics. Only if you have these in place, can you measure the effectiveness of your efforts. For us, Facebook is not very beneficial since we are seeking to engage other businesses. LinkedIn on the other hand is a good source of traffic to our site. Social media will only help you get traffic. The rest lies on your ability to convert visitors to inquiries via online forms, online chat, or a phone call. With Twitter, decide if you are going to be a consolidator of information, a resource to others by re-tweeting and collecting the best of the tweets out there, or if you are going to be a thought leader and build out your credibility with insights into key trends. Don’t look for social media to bring YOU business – look at it to build your brand, build awareness, and develop your credibility online. Research happens online – make sure they come across your name a few times, so when they decide to engage, they have a favorable opinion of you already.

Thanks to Ali Din, dinCloud

#10 – Be Real

Photo Credit: Annabel Annunziata

Photo Credit: Annabel Annunziata

My best tip for social media is to be a real person and interact with others on it. Talk to your customers and potential customers. Get to know them, become their friend. Find out what they want. Interact and show them who you are. Show them you are a real, genuine person. Give them tips and posts they would benefit from. Always have them in mind. Social media is your way to get to know your customer. Keep interacting.

Thanks to Annabel Annunziata, Beauty At Its Finest

#11 – Different Steps

Photo Credit: Sebastien Dupere

Photo Credit: Sebastien Dupere

1. Interact with people who you have already done business with. When your clients and customers get a follow on Twitter, they’re significantly more likely to follow you back. Moreover, you need to narrow down and eliminate the people most likely to ignore you on Social Media. Ashton Kutcher will not be your friend online, nor will Kim Kardashian. BUT, the local bakery owner will. Your sister, best friend and family will. You need to do whatever its takes to get a base. This base will allow you to successfully publish content while tapping into the networks of that base. 2. Take stock of where your company has exposure. Were you lucky enough to be featured in a local newspaper? Have you been donating to charities and nobody knows about it? Is your business listed on Local Search Networks? These are all questions that you need to ask yourself. Ultimately, when you know where your brand is located online and in the real world, you are able to verify what people are saying or feeling about it. This knowledge is so powerful, because you will likely be able to influence the tone of this conversation. 3. Going viral is easier than people think it is – you just need to offer something of value. Whether it be comedic value, financial, advice or otherwise, if you can offer something specific to a clustered audience, you’ll likely be able to penetrate that group. We actually have used Social Media to grow our business in places where our brand was not noticed. Social Media provided us the opportunity to get noticed by people and in places where we really had no footprint. Take a look how we went viral in South Korea. We actually didn’t even have any employees in the country when this happened. We were just active on Twitter, and managed to interact with a well-connected super fan.

Thanks to Sebastien Dupere, Dupray

#12 – Consider the Dynamics

I would advise business owners to really consider the dynamics of their core product. If for example, you have a physical product or service such as interior design—you need to capitalize and focus on platforms that are visual in nature I.e. Instagram and Pinterest. If however your business is more of a service industry, I.e. Software, dentistry, legal services—look to focus your efforts on creating informative (long form) and insightful content around your niche. When it comes to social media, this latter group will have to focus on providing informational value over visual entertainment. If they are to use visual platforms like Instagram, they need not focus on their product, but highlight the people behind the product—I.e. Where do they eat? What’s the office like? What’s the company culture? Who are the people providing me service? Etc. This is not to say that either type of industry, necessary be exclusive to one type of content over the other—brands should always hybridize when possible. However, when it comes to “focus”—brands need to put their eggs in the right basket. Not every company should have an account with every single social media platform possible, especially in the beginning stages. Know your company, know your product, know the strengths of each platform.

Thanks to Austin Miller, Bookly

#13 – Incorporate Content Marketing

Photo Credit: Adam O'Leary

Photo Credit: Adam O’Leary

The best social media tip we can suggest is to incorporate content marketing in your strategy to make your customers interested in engaging with your brand. One of our clients, Supper Solutions, is a food service company that has a unique business model. Customers visit their retail locations and put together meals from a pre-prepared menu to take home and freeze for later. The social media campaign we have started is based on the content marketing model where we not only photograph and post pictures of their meals, but we pair wines with their meals and post them on their pages. This content marketing strategy is working on the premise that Supper Solutions will be the complete resource for the family dinner. We have also put into place other marketing promotions such as coupons to local stores to get discounts on these wines.

Thanks to Adam O’Leary, Encite Marketing

#14 – Implement a Strategy

My best social media tip for small businesses would be to implement a strategy rather than posting just to post. Sharing completely irrelevant information will limit engagement and you will have no results to tie back to your marketing goals. Take the time to understand social media first as a social platform, and then as a marketing tool. Don’t post content that has nothing to do with your business; or content that cannot be related back to your business or an experience your business is having. Your content should interest your audience but always, in some way, relate back to your business and marketing objectives. In terms of frequency, remember that it’s better to produce three solid, valuable posts over the course of a week than seven posts that will confuse your audience.

Thanks to Alex Duffy, David James Group

 #15 – Facebook as a Starting Point

Photo Credit: Tim Maciejewski

Photo Credit: Tim Maciejewski

As a provider of marketing products and services, the lifeline of my business is lead generation. Facebook provides an effective, inexpensive (and often free!) way to generate leads. Great content gets shared. I post an interesting article, a funny image, or a motivational quote, and these items get shared, placing my brand in front of thousands of potential clients each and every day. Each of these Facebook posts has a link back to my website. A portion of these Facebook users will click the link, wanting to learn more about my business, and what I provide. When viewing my website, visitors are again provided with more great content, and a variety of free downloadable pieces of content (e-books, infographics, etc.) which allow me to capture their e-mail address in exchange for this content. This places the potential client into a sales funnel which allows me to engage with them consistently, and automatically, via a drip e-mail marketing campaign. This entire process was initiated with a Facebook post! Use Facebook as a starting point.

Thanks to Tim Maciejewski, Maciejewski Group, LLC

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