Social media is one of the fastest growing and ever-changing media platforms in existence. What began as an online community for the younger generations, now encompasses billions of people across the world. It is for this reason that social media has become not only a viable channel for businesses to reach their audience, but a necessary one. However, managing social media for your business is much different than managing your personal social presence. Follow these guidelines to succeed in the social business world.
Cut the sales pitch.
Social media provides an informal environment where you can really interact with your followers. These people are following you by choice because they are interested in what you have to say. This means you don’t want to be posting sales pitches. Rather, use social media to engage with your fans. One way to grow your social following is by providing a benefit exclusively for your social media followers. What are they getting out of following you or liking your page? Reward them with special offers, discounts, and useful tips so they will look forward to seeing (and sharing) your posts.
Social media content ideas:
- Identify and alleviate your audience’s pain points
- Humorous, inspiring or motivational quotes
- Behind-the-scenes photos and videos
- Interesting statistics or data
- Polls, or ask for testimonials or other feedback (i.e. “What is your favorite promotional product for the Super Bowl?”)
- Post “a day in the life” of your staff members
- Share random tips
- Repost fan photos, they’ll love seeing your acknowledgement and it will encourage them to continue to support you
- Link to useful industry articles
- Contests and special offers exclusively for your social media followers, such as the #SAGEwizard campaign:
One way SAGE is engaging fans on social media is with the SAGE Wizard campaign. We give away SAGE Wizards, the original SAGE mascot, at tradeshows and encourage fans to post photos with him on social media using #SAGEwizard. Each month, we choose the most creative photo and reward that person with a $100 SAGE credit to use toward new products and services.
Build a Relationship
Social media provides an opportunity for you to humanize your brand and connect with customers on a more personal level. Getting to know your audience on social media will help you market to them more effectively in other platforms. Remember, social media is a two-way street. To strengthen your relationship with your fans, you should always respond to any feedback you receive. Seventy-one percent of consumers who receive a quick brand response on social media are likely to recommend that brand to others. One example of a company who does this especially well is Target.
Target responds promptly to comments and questions. Excellent customer support = high customer satisfaction.
Mix it up.
Better content means more visibility. Use multimedia, such as attention-grabbing photos, videos, and infographics, to attract people and make your posts more share worthy. Recent studies show Facebook posts containing images garner as much as 120 percent more engagement than posts of any other kind. Infographics are also an extremely effective tool for B2B companies because they display complex information in a simple, aesthetically pleasing way.
Break the rules.
A quick Google search will come up with hundreds of rules for succeeding on social media, such as the most effective number of characters for a Twitter post, but when it comes down to it, it’s really all about the meaning of your message to your specific audience. Try a few strategies and measure your results to see what kinds of posts get the most engagement. Soon, you’ll learn what your followers respond best to and can post similar content.
Remember, social media isn’t a one-size-fits-all concept. What works for one company won’t necessarily work for yours. It takes some trial and error to find the right strategy for your business, but the important thing is that you’re working toward growing your social presence and engaging your audience.
What kinds of posts have you found work for your company, and what kinds were flops? Let us know in the comments below!