Social media is turning out to be a crucial tool in growing any business. Even if you have the barest online presence, you can grow your social media profile with some basic understanding of just how social media is beneficial.
On the other hand, if your brand is entirely digital, there are few forms of marketing with as much impact as social media. Regardless of where your business lands on the digital spectrum, you need to make sure you are using it to the fullest. By following a few key tips, you can maximize your time and effort over the long-term and avoid making a number of mistakes that will hurt your brand and social media standing over time.
Choose Two Networks to Build Up
As a small business owner or team member, your time is precious. You can’t do everything, even with fancy tools and software. To that end, you need to find what social outlets resonate with your readers and customers and stick to those. What works for you and your brand might not be the most popular or what your competition sticks with.
Just because you have a beauty brand doesn’t mean you have to embrace Instagram – Tumblr and Pinterest might work better. The trick is finding out which channel works the best for your followers and growing it.
If you have a blog but find that your Twitter account has way more traffic, consider focusing on Twitter and updating your blog with less frequency. Don’t get rid of or avoid making new social media accounts but do focus on one or two. Keep your business information current on every platform you join and make sure you check them once in awhile and include them in any significant announcements or updates.
An easy way to keep track of everything you are posting and everyone who is commenting is to use a program like Hootsuite or Buffer. These software applications make it simple to manage all your social media profiles in one place.
Only Share What Matters and Give Value
It should go without saying that you need separate personal and professional accounts. Beyond that, make sure that whenever you share something, it pertains to your brand. That doesn’t mean you need to make every post a sales pitch. Friendly reminders, useful holiday posts and links to relevant information — anything that your followers and fans might appreciate — can go into your feed.
Your goal is to make yourself an expert in your niche. You don’t have to post specifically about your products and/or services. In fact, that can make you look a bit egotistical. Post helpful and informative information so that clients can formulate their own opinions while learning to view your social media channel as an expert guide in your niche. A company that has a mobile app builder can post information about anything mobile.
Don’t get me wrong, getting the word out about your products and services is the main reason you have a social media account. However, to get more fans and followers, you need to provide valuable content — something that’s entertaining, inherently valuable, or resonates emotionally with readers. Adding these types of posts will easily double the rate at which people follow and subscribe to you. In short, you need to post things people want to share.
Have a Voice
Know what your brand stands for and don’t deviate. If you have a plumbing business, don’t post cute animal videos at random but do post an infographic about how to keep your pipes from freezing. Have a landscaping service? Show how you keep newly installed plants safe during a cold snap. Images and videos can give a voice to your brand much faster than text posts can. Infographics are an awesome tool for sending a message that gets shared. People love to see information right in front of their faces, so any type of media that makes seeing something simple is great to share.
Furthermore, make sure your voice stays positive. In general, positive content is more likely to be shared and lead to better follower retention rates. Past social media posts can be just as important as content on your website, and if you happen to provide some helpful resources and positive copy, your brand will quickly rise above any that use scare-based marketing tactics or focus only on promoting themselves.
Have a Schedule
Posting at random is a losing strategy. There are best times to post for maximum impact. Posting after lunch on the standard workday will give you the most exposure in the same way that sending an e-mail to your customers at 6 a.m. results in the highest open rate. Social media traffic is slow in the morning and only starts to pick up after 10 a.m.
Make the most of your time by sticking to a schedule and planning your content out in advance. This way you can set up your promotions and sprinkle just the right amount of emotional and valuable posts in between. If you aren’t great at sticking to a posting schedule, consider signing up for a tool that will make your posts automatically.
When it comes to frequency of posts, remember that consistency is key. Don’t bulk post or spam your followers and fans — you might see a quick boost, but it’s a losing game overall. Posting steadily day-after-day and week-after-week will allow you to see consistent growth.
Connect with Your Customers (and Other Businesses)
Remember, this is “social” media. People expect you to interact with them. They also expect you to reply fast, usually within the hour. If you manage to respond in that time frame, your customer is 34 percent more likely to buy from you in the future and to spend more when they do. They are also 43 percent more likely to recommend your brand to friends and family.
On a similar note, connecting with other brands and sharing promotions can help grow your audience. Businesses with similar and complementary products would love a chance to be mentioned to your audience, and they might be willing to do the same for you. If you’re trying to teach your customers how to build an app suggest some of the best app makers to help them in the process.
Andrew Gazdecki is the founder and CEO of Bizness Apps — making mobile apps affordable and simple for small businesses. Bizness Apps is a do-it-yourself iPhone, iPad, Android and HTML5 app platform that allows any small business to simultaneously create, edit, and manage mobile apps without any programming knowledge needed. Think of it as “WordPress for mobile app creation.” Many of its customers are white labeled mobile app makers — marketing or design agencies that use the platform to cost effectively build mobile apps for small business clients.
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