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 – Smart Targeting
Relevancy is a key factor on platforms like Facebook (relevancy score) and Twitter (qaulity adjusted bid). This demonstrates if people are positively or negatively engaging with your ad. For example, on Facebook, every time you increase engagement rates positively by 1 point, you will reduce your cost per engagement by 5%. Let's say your objective is mass awareness so you target a broad audience or cast a wide net, then you will be far less likely to achieve higher engagement rates. The lower your engagement rate, the more you’ll pay because there will be less relevancy. This can be a vicious cycle that will continue until you make updates to improve the relevancy or engagement rate. It's best to understand your audience extremely (create a persona) well and target by city location, gender, age, interests…etc. Really dial into it.
It might feel too narrow but you'll crank up the engagement factor and save money. This needs to be aligned to the right image and copy. If you have copy working on Adwords or another platform, try to repurpose so you have consistency and don't have to recreate the wheel.
Thanks to Adam Force, Change Creator, LLC
#2 – Know Your Audience
Many businesses want to jump directly onto the next social media trend; Snapchat, Facebook Live or Instagram Stories. The best social media tip is to think about your audience. Start with what they are doing on social media. What channels are they using? What content types are they engaging with? What hashtags do they identify with? To get to know your customers behaviour online you can search for their profiles using their email address. If you are a start-up without a client list find a Facebook Group or use your competitors accounts to find your ideal target audience. It is worth spending the time to get to know their online behaviour so you are speaking to them on the right channel.
Thanks to Jennie Holmes, Generate Solutions
#3 – Evergreen Content
I think the idea of ‘hopping on the bandwagon' and sharing topical content to social media is becoming more common amongst business owners who want to increase traffic to their website, but we have to question what the value of that traffic really is. If you're filling your social media feed with topical content that will become irrelevant in a few days, are users really going to value your content? We've started to focus our efforts on producing ‘evergreen' content (i.e content that will remain relevant for years to come). Not only is this more of a valuable resource for readers, it also gives your business the opportunity to be referenced elsewhere online. We've even had some of our ‘evergreen' content referenced on websites like Wikipedia, which provides us with a constant stream of quality traffic. We like to focus our efforts on producing ‘guides' that will hopefully remain relevant for years to come.
Thanks to Max Robinson, Ace Work Gear
#4 -Engage in Conversations
One of the most successful ways we market as a small business on social media is by engaging in conversations with other businesses and individuals. We use Tweetdeck to follow several different ‘keywords' based around the products we sell and, when we see someone talking about them, we'll jump in and engage with them. Sometimes, people have used a competitor's product but it's important to show that you are engaging with people *within your industry *and not just your specific customers. You will 9/10 times get engagement back as well because people respect you've taken the time to give them a personal, unique response. Prospective customers will see that you are a brand that cares, and that you've got a personality, and I think those are the two biggest things people want from a brand on social media.
Thanks to Arron Richmond, High Speed Training
#5 – Create a Strategy
It is essential for business owners to have a firm strategy before commencing a social media marketing campaign. Clearly identify your target market and then the social media channels that will best reach them. Never forget the 80/20 rule, where only 20% of content that you curate is about your business and the remaining 80% is used to connect with your audience on related topics that interest them.Ensure you actively participate and respond to comments left on your social media channels. Its important to connect with your audience and build a relationship, it builds trust and consumers will be more likely to buy from you if they trust you.
Thanks to Victoria Christensen, Visibility Group
#6 – Keep Social Media Updates
Keeping your website and all social media sites up-to-date and active is very important. Having a plan and a main goal in mind is a great start. From there you need to work on online SEO (search engine optimization); always be willing to make changes to constantly improve or optimize your website or social sites. I think you have to be active on two or three social channels that fit your business niche and make those channels great by posting regular content, interacting with customers and users and gaining likes or fans. Track the progress you're making on a daily or weekly basis (visitors to site or likes or followers on social channels) and see what is working and what is not, and then keep trucking along with what you have been doing. Build an online reputation that customers can trust and love to work with.
Thanks to Erin Siefring, Totally Promotional
#7 – Authenticity is Key
Authenticity is key and differentiating your voice from the noise. Before you start posting updates to social media, create a plan that focuses on your goals for social media. Why are you doing it? What key metrics should change due to the effort? For example, are you focused on generating sales leads or recruiting top talent? Having goals for the initiative will enable you to focus on what really matters. If you don’t like to write, thoughtfully curate other people’s content. Understanding your followers and anticipating what they would find interesting will make you interesting to them. A key indicator that you’re succeeding is when followers share your posts and updates. If you (or someone on your team) are willing to spend the time, create an editorial calendar and post regularly. Create online experiences through social media. Live tweeting from a conference, posting videos of your company events, and developing online conversations with your target audience should be part of your goal. The more interaction you have with your followers, the higher your reach and influence. Then, network away, mindful that every action you take, every word you say, reflects on the company and what it stands for. If you value your brand, behave yourself. A colleague once said to me, “Never post anything online that you would not say in front of your grandmother in a court of law.” Point taken.
Thanks to Jeanne Heydecker, iPlace
#8 – Don't Blast
A mistake we often see businesses make on social media is to treat it like a megaphone to blast their marketing messages. Your customers are MUCH more likely to follow and engage with your brand if you treat social media as a community where the fans’ voices are just as much a part of the conversation as your own. This means getting to know your target audience really, really well and focusing your energy on them – not trying to appeal to the masses. What does your audience care about? Which social platforms do they spend most of their time on? As you learn more about who you’re talking to and what they value, you can share content that helps, educates and/or entertains them, rather than content that’s purely self-promotional.
Thanks to Kate Finley, Belle Communications
#9 – Highlight Clients
Blog articles these days need to be well written, interesting, and informative. No more keyword stuffing. Give your readers something to think about, something they can use. One of the ways we do that on the Pinstripe Marketing blog is by telling our clients¹ stories. We include them as examples in our blog posts, we use their projects in case studies, always linking back to their website, and our favorite stories: Pinstripe Spotlights. Each month on our blog, newsletter and social media channels, we feature a client. We ask them a series of interview questions about their business, their history and how they achieved their goals, their background, even what book they are reading. We want our readers to see the people behind the business, and it¹s just interesting to read about other people¹s journeys. We then include these as features in our monthly newsletter and blast all over social media, boosting these posts with Facebook ads to make sure the maximum exposure is achieved for these blog posts. It¹s our way of letting our clients know how much we appreciate them, and it makes for a great read for our followers and newsletter recipients.
Thanks to Ginger Reichl, Pinstripe Marketing
#10 – Fostering Relationships
The whole point of using social media for business is to leverage the internet as a communications vehicle to foster relationships. I'm typically focused on the B2B space, but even there, it's not business entities involved in deals, it's people doing business with other people who they trust and respect. So, the challenge in my opinion, is less about quantity of content on social media, but more about quality of communications that are effectively attracting the right people (within your target audience) with whom you can foster personal relationships. Without relationships you can't have a successful business. To do that, it takes time and effort. Specifically, it takes a lot of social ‘listening' and research to identify those who have business needs you can solve and with whom you'd enjoy working with as a client. Slowly but surely over time you connect with them on LinkedIn, share tweets of useful information with them, make introductions to contacts from your own network to benefit them. Then eventually, you can ask for a deeper business discussion to bring them on as a client. This effort is constantly happening. You're constantly planting and growing seeds across social media to foster relationships that fill your pipeline.
Thanks to Nick Venturella, GrowLoop
#11 – Be Reliable
Social media, regardless of the type, is most effectively utilized when you approach it with a spirit of authenticity. Showing up, being yourself, letting people get to know you is what really attracts others to your brand. When you are engaged with people in an authentic way, they are assured of your integrity and honesty, and they feel a connection with you. Then, they naturally are drawn to your product or service. Social media platforms are perfect opportunities to get to know your target audience, allow them to get to know you, and develop relationships that enrich the lives of both. It also allows you to discover their life needs and challenges, helping you to better serve them and for them to feel more connected and invest in you. Want to grow you business? Get involved in social media. Be reliable, be consistent, and above all, be yourself.
Thanks to Carrie Seibert, Soap Commander, LLC
#12 – Target Competitors Market
Grow your social media following by targeting your competitors' audiences. While it’s important to have a strategy that engages your existing audience, it’s also important to pursue new followers. Your competitor’s have a wealth of followers that might not even know about your business yet. To tap into this audience, gather quotes and contributions from other leaders in your niche market. These industry leaders are much more likely to share your content if their input is used in it. Their shares become your shares, which broadens your reach and ultimately expands your following.
Thanks to Simon Slade, SaleHoo
#13 – Be a Resource
Getting attention and keeping it is “easier said than done” on social media. That is why you must become a resource that consistently provides valuable content and information. Not everyone has the talent or time to become a full-fledged media company to promote their business, however, you can be an expert in your field. Write informative, value-driven social media posts on a regular basis. Deliver posts that educate, entertain, inspire and inform to reach a wide audience. Providing the secrets to success within a particular industry will build you a strong base of followers that share and follow your content on a regular basis.
Thanks to McKinnon Maddox, MacMedia
#14 – Use Hashtags Effectively
Social media is the best way for people to find your business. It provides both credibility and brand awareness. By creating accounts on the major social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. you can interact with current customers and find future ones. Stick with your niche, but realize that there are many cross topics and hashtag, hashtag, hashtag. Use the well known hashtags that are associated with that specific day of the week that you are posting as well as other related hashtags. Remember, if you are posting on Instagram, always use 11 or more hashtags. That gives you the best feedback on your post. And keep in mind that it can take days and sometimes weeks for your post to reach its full potential. If you are posting on Facebook, don't sit back and wait for people to find your post on your page, share your post in different Facebook groups. Comment on others posts on all social media sites. And if your business relates to influence marketers, use them! Influence marketing provides the best return on investment. Just find a person with a large following that relates to your business and you feel represents your business correctly and in a positive light. Another important tip would be to start a blog. Just stick with your niche and be honest and be yourself. People are coming to your blog because they want to read what you have to say and want your opinion and knowledge on the subject. My final tip would be not to overlook sites like Reddit or Pinterest as there are millions of people on those sites each and every day.
Thanks to Lori Askins, BR Finance Solutions
#15 – Don't Lecture
Social Media Marketing is a full time commitment, and to advance your web-based social networking strategy it requires more than an arbitrary posting about your incredible deal, most recent item or an ad in the neighborhood paper. Make a relationship, don't simply lecture at your audience, but rather draw them in, get them included and promptly answer inquiries. Online networking isn't a soapbox, but an instrument for engagement. It's a two-way road. Your business will invest a sizable amount of time in online networking, and you have to see a return, not only a growing follower base and supporters of an obscure value. Be that as it may, as with any marking, promoting or offering exertion, your web-based social networking movement must have a definitive objective of picking up and holding clients and increasing sales.
Thanks to Victoria Rice, Serious SEM