Using social media for your business can be difficult if you don’t know what to do. We commonly get asked “What am I supposed to do on social media, anyway?” Many business owners try to work on their social media presence, but end up confused and overwhelmed. The result is that they end up doing nothing – not a good marketing strategy.
So, how do make your time on Facebook and Twitter worthwhile? By engaging your users! Here are a 4 ways to increase your social media engagement for your small business.
Some businesses take a purely reactive approach to social media, reacting only to negative feedback on Twitter or when a customer posts on Facebook. Though it’s important to respond and interact with your customers and prospects, your social media marketing plan should include more than responding to feedback.
Use social media to share content that your audience wants to read. Remember that you are an expert who is there to help your clients. Say you’re an insurance agency. You may not be the property and casualty expert, but I’m sure you have a lot of interesting tips that your clients would not know. Share that information with people so that you can provide value and make yourself a resource.
Not every tweet or post needs to be self-promotional; think outside the box. For example, during the winter, insurance agents should be sharing helpful advice like how to weatherproof your home, how to drive in icy conditions, and similar tips. These are good blog post topics that can be shared on social media to provide useful information to customers and potential customers..
No business is an island. No matter your industry or location, there are other businesses near you who are a potential resource – they can bring you referrals or positive publicity or maybe even just advice. Use social media to build an online network.
Search for businesses and people you know in your area, particularly if they’re in a relevant niche. For example, a caterer would want to follow event venues, bridal shops, bakeries, photographers, etc. Retweet or share their content and start up conversations – ask them questions and introduce yourself. If you get a positive response, invite them for cup of coffee and try to establish a referral partnership.
You should also follow local news media and people with a large influence – people who have lots of followers. Try to use the same conversation starting tactics to gain access to their audience.
Hashtags can be confusing and unintuitive to people new to social media. The simplest way to use it is to monitor what other people in your area are saying and, if a hashtag gets a lot of traction, start using it if its relevant.
For example, during heavy snowfall, the hashtag #SnOMG gets a lot of use – if you’re sharing traffic or weather updates or something else relevant to the storm, use that tag! Likewise, if there’s a big event going on in town (e.g. #smallbizsat during the Thanksgiving season) tag relevant posts with that, too. That way, people who click on the tag will see your posts, too.
Don’t feel like you have to talk business 24/7. Of course, you should stay professional, but don’t be afraid to interject a little bit of yourself into your social media. Talk about what’s going on in your life and the lives of your employees on Twitter and Instagram. Share pictures. Take selfies. Share the causes you’re passionate about. Crack a joke. Have fun! People don’t want to work with brands, they want to work with people.
These are just a few of the many things you can do with social media. Experiment and be creative while using social media. Get out there and seize the day!