Social Media is a balancing act: you need to maintain a proper mix of fun, informative, and your own personality to squeeze the most marketing value out of those Facebook posts.
When done properly, social media allows your customers to gain insight into the people behind the business and the “personality” of your brand. This can be an invaluable marketing tool, but only if you’re doing it the right way. After all, the best hammer in the world is a terrible screwdriver – make sure you’re using your social media hammer properly!
Here are 6 ways you might be failing to use your social media pages to their full potential:
Successful users of social media in the business world are successful because their pages carry a consistent and deliberate “voice.” This requires planning. Yes, real life “sit down with some paper and your team” planning. Consider your other marketing materials to get an idea of the general voice you want your social media posts to speak with to represent your business. The perfect balance is different for every brand, as each will have a different customer base with different expectations. Create some general guidelines as to the type of content you want to share, writing style, response style, etc.
For many local businesses, it’s just not an option to sit down and generate content to keep social media pages fresh and interesting. Sure, it would be great to be fun and witty off the cuff on Twitter like Taco Bell, but the reality is Taco Bell is throwing plenty of money and effort into these campaigns. For most people running a business, they think they simply don’t have the time or the extra money to hire someone. That’s why you should plan a general post schedule, and schedule posts in advance so you don’t have to worry about it on a daily basis! Spend an hour once in a while and let the content roll.
Scheduling is great, and an efficient way to run your social channels. But balance applies here too! You can schedule posts in advance, but you never want to rely exclusively on posts you’ve already created and slated to go out weeks down the road. What happens if important news breaks or something fun happens by surprise? Get used to the idea of scheduling your more involved posts (links to blogs, photo albums, etc.) and try to keep social media in the back of your mind as you go through the day. Post funny quotes, pictures of things happening around the business, even pets in the office! This spontaneity doesn’t have to be related to what you do as a business, it simply gives you a ”digital pulse” and shows your customers that there are humans behind the brand.
Facebook is all about passive advertisement. It’s not always the place for special offers or BOGO coupons. Keep it conversational, informative, and funny. Remember the context your posts will be seen in; customers following your business will see your posts in a newsfeed full of their friends’ posts and groups they’ve joined. If you can blend into that stream of entertaining content, without appearing to be in it for the sale, you’re leveraging social media properly.
Social media networks are the ultimate place to let your customers know more about the people behind the products/services they use and the company culture they’re supporting. Post glimpses into the day-to-day processes that make your business tick. Have a bakery? Throw up pictures of bread rising or of a tasty new recipe being tested. Have an office pet? Post some cute pictures on Twitter or Instagram. It doesn’t matter that you’re an auto body repair shop – you’ll get loads of engagement!
At the end of the day, you really won’t know for sure what you’re doing right on social media until you look at the data behind your posts. Until recently, getting all this aggregate data was tricky, but now Facebook has the “insights” tab built right into your business page. This allows you to see trends in your posts, and even export data in excel format for further analysis. Take a look at what posts were most shared or Liked, and when they were posted. Simply looking at which posts got most engagement can provide key insight into what to post in the future and what days and times your followers are most active. Learn from successes and failures, and post accordingly!
Social media is new platform for everybody, and it’s okay to be a bit clueless on how to properly make it work for your business. It can be tempting to ignore it altogether for that reason. But, if you follow the guidelines above, and keep at it, you’ll see the benefit of adding social media to your bag of digital marketing tricks!