Social media is not just an activity; it is an investment of valuable time and resources. Surround yourself with people who not just support you and stay with you, but inform your thinking about ways to “wow” your online presence.
Topics: DO’s: Choosing, Visual, Engage, Follow-up, Campaign. Donuts, no, DONTs: use Everyone, Guess, Schedule, spend to much time. Respond to everything, be Critical or Mean.
FaceBook or Face it, some days you wish Social Media would just go away so you can get back to running your small business. Sure, you like Facebook for keeping up with family & friends, but what the heck are you supposed to post about your boring Retail business for Social Media Marketing purposes?
Visually, Instagram & Pinterest are great for pretty pictures, but you’re a plumber — what’s pretty about that? LinkedIn is terrific for networking for professionals, but you do everyday services. And what the heck is Twitter for any way, except for finding out the latest tweets our President is hurling.
Credibility. Whether you like Social Media or not, your customers expect to see your small business there. Just as having a Website gives you credibility (you do have a Website, don’t you?). Social Media adds to your presence & trust-worthiness. It also enables “engagement” in a way that a Website cannot, as users can communicate easily (sometimes too easily) with you (& drive you crazy). So, how can you manage your small business Social Media presence while still spending time running your actual small business?
DO’S of Social Media
- Choose your Social Media sites carefully. One of the first things you need to figure out is which Social Media sites your Target Market uses. Concentrate on those the most. If you’re trying to reach professionals, for example, your best choice might be LinkedIn. For narrowly focused Consumer products, you can’t beat Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest – who all have avid followers.
- Make it very Visual – Post Images. Pictures & videos capture much more attention on Social Media than text-only posts. Some platforms — like Instagram & Pinterest — are for posting images only. There’s a lot of “free” Clip Art available on the Net. You can also buy inexpensive “stock photos” if you don’t have any pix of your own to use.
- Give your Visitors a reason to Engage. Most visitors are very busy, so give them a reason to stay engaged with you — discounts, tips, news, even really cute animal pics. Think of what will make them click and share.
- Follow up. Social Media is a starting point. You’ll still have to actually communicate with customers: make cold calls, hit the side walk, trade shows, etc. Unless you’re selling—and closing—directly on Social Media, gather your leads there and then do the tuff work to actually make the sale.
- Manage your Campaigns. Tools like HootSuite & TweetDeck make it easy to schedule your posts in advance and monitor activity easily. Rather than logging into your accounts and posting throughout the day, be sure to use one of these types of tools.
- Engage with others who might re-post your Content. Unless you have tens of thousands of followers, when you post a Tweet, it almost immediately disappears. Include the handles of other companies, organizations, & influencers in your posts. If they like your content and find it useful for their followers, they may repost it, sending traffic your way.
DONT’S of Social Media
- Don’t sign up for every Social Media site. As a small business, you don’t have the time or resources to manage several Social Media sites. And you don’t need to. Concentrate on the sites where your customers & prospects are + have the highest conversion rate for you.
- Don’t “guess” at what you’ll Post every day. Come up with a Post Mortem, er, Posting Schedule. You don’t need to fill it in down to every single post or tweet, but at least think about themes, topics, upcoming promotions, holidays, and so on, then enter these for the next couple of months. When you do write your posts, these “guidelines” for the Schedule will help speed up the process. Decide how to have an appropriate balance for your business – so you don’t get to many topics in one area & not enuff in other areas.
- Don’t spend all day Posting. Schedule in advance what you can and spend only 30-45 minutes a day on Social Media – including responding to comments & queries. If you let it, Social Media can consume an excessive amount of your time and distract you from core, money-making activities. Budget your hours wisely.
- Don’t respond to every Comment. Yes, you were hoping for engagement when you signed up, but if your Facebook page takes off, with thousands of followers giving you hundreds of likes, & writing tens of comments on your posts, you won’t have time to respond. Stick to your allotted time for Social Media and pick a few key followers to respond to — but not all.
- Don’t be Critical or Mean. The tendency on Social Media right now seems dominated by negativity & bullying. Try to keep your posts positive, even if you’re engaged in current events.
Social Media Marketing Quotes
“Social Media will help you build up loyalty of your current customers to the point that they will willingly – and for free – tell others about you.”
“You can “buy” attention (Advertising). You can beg for attention from the media (Public Relations). You can “bug people” one at a time to get attention (Sales). Or you can earn attention by creating something interesting & valuable, then publishing it online for free.”
“Social Media as an idea generator, trend mapper & strategic compass for all of our online business ventures.”
“Good content always has an objective; it’s created with intent. It therefore carries triggers to action.”
“Content-based marketing gets repeated in Social media and increases “word-of-mouth” mention. It’s the best way to gather buzz about a product.”
Comments: Do you or don’t you, know any Do’s & Don’t’s about Social Media Marketing.
from USA Today 15 Feb 17 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz