Social media is a powerful and popular way to market your product or service. Although a lot of it is pretty self-explanatory, here are some important things that you should know to help boost the effectiveness of your social media involvement:
Social media isn’t totally free.
Although it is always free to join social media, you will spend a certain amount of your own valuable time or else a certain amount of the paid time of your employees in order to create and maintain social media accounts. Furthermore, in order to make the most of social media, sometimes it is best to spend money. On Facebook you can pay for ads or you can pay for page post engagement, which boosts your post so that it reaches more people. On some networks, you can pay more for a premium account. Another possible social media investment to make is having someone design your page for you – there are people who specialize in designing Facebook pages and blog pages.
Mix it up with your content.
You should strive to use a variety of different content types, including articles (or links to articles), pictures, videos, quizzes, and more. Another thing to keep in mind regarding your content is that it shouldn’t all be about you and your business. Even though we’re talking about a social media account for your business, you should offer your readers added value to keep them interested. You might share other content that you think will interest your readers and that relates to, but is not directly about, your own product or company. Your followers are more likely to pay attention if they don’t feel like your social media account is one giant commercial.
Don’t forget about YouTube.
Although YouTube may not be something you think of as a social media outlet, a YouTube channel can be a huge boost to your online presence. 500 years of YouTube videos are watched every day on Facebook! That’s over 4 billion videos viewed per day. (Plus, if you YouTube channel becomes popular, you can make money of your YouTube channel itself!)
Blogging is great – according to Hubspot, companies that blog create 55 percent more web traffic than those who don’t! If you don’t have time for the amount of writing that blogging involves – or if you hate writing – making videos is a completely valid form of blogging as well. Whenever you create a blog piece, you can then share it on your other social networks. Or, if you create a YouTube video, you can share it on your blog.
People like pictures, and are more likely to click on posts that include pictures than on posts that don’t. Even if a picture isn’t central to your post’s message, if you find one that relates well, you should use it. The best type of picture to use is one of customers enjoying your products or services.
Although Google+ is generally considered a useless social network, it is useful for one thing – appearing in search engine results. Because it is run by Google, Google+ accounts often appear high in search engine results. Even if you aren’t in a lot of circles and don’t expect to be (most people aren’t), you can still benefit greatly from using Google+ even if it’s just to create an account that you don’t actually use.
You need to have consistency in your voice.
You won’t please everybody, but in order to develop a dedicated social media following you only need to consistently please the same group of people. You should already know something about who your target demographic is, so try to tailor your voice to be something that you think they might like. You can be earnest, snarky, silly, serious, or just about anything else. Just be consistent.
Know your length.
The best length of a social media post depends on your medium. For Twitter, obviously the length is capped at 140 characters (and learning to think and market in 140-characters is definitely a skill to develop). For Facebook, don’t make it too long. In the 100 to 250 character range is ideal – try to avoid lengthy posts. Long Facebook posts won’t generate the Likes, Shares, and Comments you want, in part because many people simply won’t read them due to the length. If you have something longer to say, put it on your blog or on a LinkedIn post.
Social media is a two-way conversation, so make a concerted effort to insure that you respond to questions, comments, tweets, and posts from your followers and customers. Social media can be a quick and easy way to address issues that might normally require a call to customer service, but it can also be a great way to develop relationships with new customers and to develop relationships with existing customers to make sure that they continue to be customers.