Social media is constantly changing, and every industry is a little bit different. Having a strategic plan for content and where to post that content is an important first step. Many businesses know they need to be on social media but don’t always see the value. Just remember, you may not be “social” but your audience is. One of the biggest advantages of using social media in your business is building trust and relationships.
Build your tribe. Network with other businesses that share your target audience and follow their profiles. Each week review your tribe’s social media to find new posts to like, share, or leave a thoughtful comment.
Create content with your tribe. Schedule time to meet with another business owner and create content. It could be a photo of the two of you or interview them on just one piece of advice. When you upload the content as a social media post, make sure to tag their business.
Research hashtags. When posting, don’t choose hashtags that are overused or too obscure no one would ever search for it. Instagram and Twitter offer a search bar where you can enter a hashtag you are considering. Does it have thousands of posts connected to it or only 2?
Localize your business. When posting on Instagram, select a location. Use your city name as a hashtag. People may be looking for a hairstylist and search on #hairsalonraleigh. There are over 100 posts, which isn’t overused and localizes you.
Generate content consistently. One of the biggest hurdles to social media is feeding it. Develop a system that works for your business to create images and videos every month. Pick a topic that you are passionate about and your customers will find valuable or useful. Schedule time each week or month to think about content that will work, then work on developing that content. Be persistent and stay consistent.
Invite people to like your page. On Facebook, people can “like” a post but not follow your page. If you click on the (thumbs up # liked) icon a list will pop up. If someone doesn’t currently “like” your page, click the invite button.
Be wise with curating. I’m not a fan of curated content (using someone else’s content) because you are sending traffic away from your business. You have enough content about your business to create social media posts and not need to use someone else’s. This is where creativity comes into play.
Give people a reason to follow you on social media. Please don’t say “Find Us on Facebook”. Only your most loyal customers will take the time to find you on Facebook and follow your page. For your social media marketing strategy to be successful you need a lot of followers or else no one will see your content. It’s your job to give them a reason to follow you and communicate that reason to the public.
Here are some of the top reasons why people would be interested in following your small business on social media:
- they’re curious about your products or services
- you offer exclusive promotions
- your content is entertaining
- they need to reach a customer service representative
- you offered an incentive
- their friends or family follow your brand
So, make sure your content is worth following.
Build relationships. Your smartphone gives you access to all your social media profiles while you are on the go. Notifications will show when someone has commented on a post which gives you the opportunity to respond. By responding you open the door for the person to reply. Invite the person to “like” your page and remind them to send a message if they have any further questions.
Make a dry topic come alive. There may be some areas of your business or certain industries, such as financial, insurance or mortgage, that are “dry” or boring. Either dig into your customers “why” or be creative with how you post. Emotions sell. Why does someone need your business? Did they just have a baby or are they expecting? What can you do to talk to them with what they are interested in and relate it back to your business? Instead of a blog article, can you put that content into a video?
Don’t post about your product or service every time. This is the fastest way to lose followers and decrease engagement. People are on social media to be entertained and talk with friends and family. Even though they “follow” your page, doesn’t mean they will see your content. Posting creatively about how you’ve helped a customer, the benefit of a service, or what NOT to do with your product, gives your content a higher probability it will be consumed.
Match the post to the channel. I’ve seen where people post on Instagram and have it automatically published on Facebook. Unfortunately, the post is written for Instagram, with all the hashtags and the image isn’t sized correctly. This technique may make your life easier, but it doesn’t get you engagement, website visitors, or additional followers.
Take advantage of ephemeral content. Ephemeral content is different from a regular post. This type of content is only displayed for a short period of time, such as 24 hours. Ephemeral content for social media is on Facebook and Instagram Stories and Snapchat. You can be more creative with this type of content.
Q&A Videos. Make a list of all the questions and objections you get during the sales presentation. Each question can be its own short video. Open with the question, do a brief (and I mean brief) introduction of yourself, then provide an answer as if you were talking to the person. Use these videos on YouTube, blogs, and social media content.
Broadcast live video streams. This does take some effort because you have to think about what you will talk about and be good on camera. Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram all have options to do this. The good thing for businesses is that it saves so even if you don’t have viewers watching during the “live” part, your followers can watch it later.
Chatbots are coming. Facebook messenger is an easy way for people to communicate with your business. Chatbots allow you to automate all the questions you consistently get to provide an answer immediately. The other cool feature is the ability to direct people into campaigns and sell to them. For example, one of my home builders has 5 models in their 55+ community. In the welcome menu they are asked if they’d like to know which model is right for them. An automatic set of questions asks them about bedrooms, baths, and square footage needs. At the end, depending on their answer, the model(s) that best meet their answers are displayed. This works for lead generation as well as ecommerce. If your audience is using Facebook, this is an important feature not to be overlooked.
If your business needs help with social media, building a lead generation funnel, or even setting up a chatbot, give us a call at (919) 616-0219. We’d love to help you.
Kim works with brands since 2011 to develop and manage their digital and social media strategies; meet company objectives, such as increasing leads, engagement, and website traffic, utilizing best practices, the latest tools and strategies; and develop quality content. She is a problem-solver who loves a challenge when it comes to increasing sales.