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 – Easy Social Media
As someone who does not enjoy social media personally, and finds it a necessary evil professionally, finding a tool that will automate much of the process for me was key. I started using Buffer several months ago and I'm hooked. You can use it for free or for a small monthly fee depending on your needs. I splurged on the $10 a month plan and it's worth it's weight in gold for me. I am already reading tons of blogs and articles daily, and a social media scheduling tool is really key to easily sharing this, so my social media profiles stay active with fresh, interesting content from around the web. It's also great for quickly sharing and setting up many scheduled posts for new blogs I've taken much time to write and edit for my company blog. It's one of my biggest tips for someone looking to up their social media game. Social media can really become a time suck, so any tool that allows you to automate will save you time and let you do social media easily.
Thanks to Asaf Darash, Regpack
#2 – 80/20 Rule
One of the most important things an entrepreneur can do to get the most out of their social media is to remember the 80/20 rule. The secret to success when engaging your audience is to ensure that just 20% of the content you put out to your audience is to promote your brand, be sure to include calls to actions within these posts. Social media is a great platform to engage your followers on topics related to your brand that are in line with your audience's interest, this should make up the other 80%. Find content that is very shareable and your audience will continue to engage and grow.
Thanks to Victoria Christensen, Digital Visibility Group
#3 – Facebook Pixels
Utilizing Facebook pixels and custom audiences are incredibly important when executing a social media campaign. A pixel code can be implemented across all of your web pages and will track users as they move around the site. This connects to your ad account in Facebook, and from there you can segment audiences based on the different web pages visited, and the different topics of content viewed. If your company has an email list of leads or current customers, Facebook also allows you to upload that, and it will automatically match up those email addresses with their corresponding Facebook page (if that profile uses the email). You can then create a Lookalike audience, where Facebook will create an audience of profiles that are similar (through interests, demographics, behaviors, etc), giving you a whole new group of people to target with ads.
Thanks to Andrew Choco, Directive Consulting
#4 – Researching Targets
One way social media is underutilized is when businesses use Twitter only as a tool to broadcast information, rather than to actively make connections with the media. Businesses should be researching the types of news media/outlets that they want to target. Just about every publication, large or small, has a Twitter feed. Often reporters have their own, separate Twitter feed. Once you identify the publications that you want to target, find out the reporters that write about your industry. Follow them. Engage with them. Retweet their work. Also, when you post their articles, don't just include the Twitter handle of the publication; include the Twitter handle of the reporter. That will get their attention. Likewise, when you post on Twitter, think about information that would be of interest to your targets in the media. Get them to follow you by providing content that is relevant to their interests and areas of expertise. Provide targeted reporters useful information and seek to build a relationship.
Thanks to Eric Wall, Equivity
#5 – Best Platforms
The social media landscape can be very overwhelming, and my best advice for business owners is to pick the right platforms for your business. Be aware of your resources and time and don’t overextend yourself by trying to be everywhere all at once. For example, if you don’t have a content strategy and traffic back to your website is not an important metric for you, then don’t jump on Pinterest right away. Does Snapchat overwhelm you? Then stay off it for now. Pick the top 2-3 platforms for your business and do them really well. I’m having a lot of success with my clients right now who are focusing specifically on Instagram and Facebook.
Thanks to Lindsay Mauch, LTM Digital
#6 – Know Your Customer
Next to email, Social Media is the best marketing and communication tool for my business. Using this tool effectively, however, is not so straight forward. Knowing your customer and speaking their language is a fundamental ingredient for success in business. This knowledge is also vital for social media success. Simply ask your customers where they hang out online, and be there! Share how you and your business satisfy what's important to your customer. The sale or promotion is usually not what's important. The way your business and product make your customer feel is important! Success with this tool is right there in the title…Social! The ‘good old boy' network does not find success using social media. The abundance community does! Share, Tweet and Like right along with your customers, and they will trust you enough to follow and buy from you.
Thanks to Mary Kathryn Johnson, Parent Entrepreneur Power
#7 – Consistency
Keep it consistent. There are all different ways to attract your customers through social media tools, but the most important rule across all platforms is to make sure to stay consistent, not just with the messaging and the branding, but in the content delivery overall. It's great to have an audience, but with social media, the audience is ephemeral and fleeting and to keep their attention, posts need to not only be well crafted, but highly regular so that people can trust there will always be new material being generated. Consistent, informative content also shows you as the authority on the subject in your respective field.
Thanks to Eric Bustamante, 911 Restoration
#8 – Collaborate
My tip for social media is – collaborate. We have a fantastic creative team here at Roman Blinds Direct, and our copywriter and interior stylist work hard on a weekly basis to bring our customers the latest trends and room inspiration. We outreach these articles by asking for expert comments from interior designers and stylists from other businesses, who are always happy to be cited as an expert by another company. In return, we link their site within the article and also tag them in our social media posts, which they are only too happy to re-tweet and share, giving us more than twice the exposure we would be getting otherwise on social media. It is also a fantastic way to build relationships with companies in the same industry as yourself, not to mention that they may well come knocking on your door, asking for your expertise in the future.
Thanks to Darren Green, Roman Blinds Direct
#9 – Three R's
Consider these three R's: Reuse, Reach, and Repetition. Be sure to reuse (or repurpose) your good content and publish it across all of your social media channels. This could include PowerPoint presentations, videos, audio clips, case studies, newsletter, etc. If your content is lengthy, break it up and publish it as multiple posts to get even more mileage out of it. Expand your social reach by looking beyond just Facebook and Twitter. LinkedIn is a great social media outlet for B2B companies. SlideShare (now owned by LinkedIn) is also a great way to share your presentation content in an online searchable format. Tumblr is a good social channel as well, especially if you don't have your own blogging platform. Lastly, increase your social repetition by using tools like Hootsuite to schedule multiple iterations of your content in advance. A good social media strategy takes time and persistence. Follow these three R's and your successes will eventually come.
Thanks to Scott Frederick, Logistics Plus Inc.
#10 – Build a Connection
Social media is a wonderful way to build relationships. For customers/clients to see a different side of you and learn more about your business. They learn to like, know and trust you. A few ways you can build this connection is to make sure people can easily find you in a multitude of places with the click of a button. So often I see an interesting page and I want to learn more about the person or business and there are no links to learn more.If you have a Facebook profile, make sure links to your Facebook pages and groups are in the about section. Make sure your page links to your website and your profile. This makes you easier to find and learn about. Also your webpage URL should be in the about section on any Facebook pages.
Thanks to Robin O'Neal Smith, Be Social, Get Success
#11 – Front Page News
As a CEO and a social media enthusiast, there are a few guidelines I feel business executives should follow. First, is it ‘Personal' or ‘Professional?' It's something I tell Media Minefield clients all the time: know your audience. If you want to post pictures of your kids, your pets and your food, then consider your Facebook page personal. If you’re only interested in discussing the business climate and your latest sales figures, keep it professional. Trying to address both audiences with one social media account can get messy and confusing. Next, be authentic! You can and should be yourself on social media. Some CEOs are so concerned about oversharing on social media that they overcorrect and keep their social media too tidy. No one wants to believe their CEO’s kids don’t cry or they never have embarrassing moments. People will relate to you more if you’re a real person at work and on social media. Along those lines, write your own posts. People will be able to tell if someone else is doing it for you. Lastly, be front page news. This doesn’t just apply to CEOs; everyone on social media should think about their post as if it was on the front page of the newspaper. Is this a post that would make your mom proud or make her blush? Use the front page filter to put your best foot forward. Your future employer/spouse/investor/child may some day see it.
Thanks to Kristi Piehl, Media Minefield
#12 – Overselling
The biggest mistake I see small companies making in regards to social media is using it to directly sell to the consumer. This doesn’t work because people are using social media to get get updates from their friends and family and pass the time in an entertaining manner, not to buy anything. Constantly posting about your products and promoting your business simply annoys social media users. Instead, work on adding value to their life, such as sharing how-to, funny or informative posts. Use eye-catching images. The purpose is to interact with your visitors, promote engagement and create brand awareness. Social media is not a venue for direct sales.
Thanks to Daren Low, Bitcatcha
#13 – Negative Feedback
When I meet with new clients, one of the things we go over in the very first meeting is handling negative feedback and criticism on social media. Typically, their first instinct is to ignore or delete. However, we go over other examples of major companies who were in the news because of how they handled (or lack thereof) negative comments on their social media profiles that snowballed out of control. It’s important for small businesses and entrepreneurs to have a plan in place when someone does say something against the business. Rather than ignore or delete, which is appropriate very sparingly, utilize this as an opportunity to educate the individual – and potentially others who are paying attention but not saying anything! It’s the perfect opportunity to showcase to followers how fantastic your customer service is, whether they stop in, call in, or say something on social.
Thanks to Stephanie Duncan, Oh So Sociable
#14 – Maintain a Presence
Social media can be time intensive, but it is a necessary and important business task. To avoid being sucked into the endless pressure to perform online we recommend the use of social media management tools to maintain a presence across major networks without as much effort. Social media management tools like Hootsuite, TweetDeck, Tweepi, and even Facebook's post scheduler all offer big benefits. These tools not only save our company time; they eliminate the daily pressure of curating content on the spot. We put dedicated time aside each week to develop shares and craft posts that are well-aligned with our business brand and offerings. Once posts are scheduled we have more flexibility to engage with followers in the moment when time allows, or when alerts appear. We can better track interactions across multiple networks and perform content sharing across our accounts in just one location. Scheduling social media posts also allows us to ensure our content is consistent, constant, and scheduled at times we feel that our followers are most active (including after regular business hours!). Overall social media management tools have increased our business productivity, allowing more dedicated time towards higher-return business tasks.
Thanks to Adrienne Tom, Career Impressions
#15 – Social Media Monitoring
Without a good understanding of your market and the needs of your target audience, how will you know what current or potential clients want to see from your social media accounts? Listening to your customers and analysing what they say allows you to better target your posts and content across all sites, making it relevant to your audience which in turn drives higher conversions. Don't forget they key ingredient here is to learn. Learn from your analysis of social data to help you make valuable and more informed business decisions. You can start by using the free analytics tools within social platforms like Twitter Analytics and Facebook IQ to get you started. For a deeper analysis, utilise tools like Brandwatch and Hootsuite.
Thanks to Jessica Thomas, Oseta