Why do I need to participate in the various Social Media marketing avenues? I probably don’t have to tell you what you already know but if you are wondering if there are proven benefits, read on.
Social Media is free. It increases your website traffic if done right. Its a new way to interact with customers, and turns consumers into customers by building your online presence. Social media is a powerful tool that people use to share and connect with one another anywhere in the world at any time. Thus, companies have the unique opportunity to join in this conversation by connecting with customers through their own social media accounts.
Now let’s get to the Social Media Marketing Tips …
Before you start, research your target audience (age, income bracket, locale, occupation, hobbies, interests, etc), so you can post information that is relevant to them and provides them a reason to follow you and check back. Social Media is about engaging conversation but the conversation has to be two ways. It’s just as important to listen to what you clients and prospects want to talk about, then just posting about your company.
Feeling overwhelmed already? There is professional help on a (1) consultation basis, or (2) through management of marketing campaigns (through paid Facebook ads and promoted posts) or a (3) monthly management service that will consistently post engaging and relevant content as well as provide content management, design management, online reputation monitoring, real-time fan interaction, and spam filtering. [See Startup Production’s affordable Social Media Marketing & Management Packages]
For those who want to go it alone for now, here are some FREE tips of how you can improve your social media presence, that many of my clients have requested I supply on my website. So this is for all my awesome, loyal clients who just need a little direction on where/how to get started. And although these tips don’t cost money, they do require your time and as they say … time is money.
Where do I start?
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram and so on and so forth. The list is long and can be daunting to newbies. Where should you be? That depends on where your customers are. Each social media site has a niche or preference among certain demographics or industry. Take some time to research where your customers are, survey your customers, contractors and peers in your industry to see where they spend their “socializing” time.
Or to be safe, try them all especially if your customer-base is diverse. You can daisy-chain some of your social media accounts so one post can transfer to all accounts. The downside of this is that some say each social media site has different posting restrictions (140 character limit on Twitter, etc) and different audiences so the content should be individualized between social media platforms. But if you don’t have huge blocks of time to give each account individualized attention, you can connect the accounts.
- Here is a breakdown of the 15 most popular social media sites and who they attract.
- And here is 50 tips for social media marketing categorized by each site.
What should I post, tweet?
First all don’t be too wordy, shorter posts get better results, and photo posts get 39% higher interaction, so post a clean, visually appealing picture. Ask a question in your post that engages your audience, (ask fans to caption a picture, fill in the blank, add a survey, etc). Shared posts and external links are also great options, but less effective as photos and videos.
🙂 Emoticons can also increase by a 52% interaction rate. The best emoticons to use: “:D” and “:P.” Such emoticons have a 2.4X and 2X higher response rate, respectively than other emoticons.
People connect with people who are real! Mix in some personal stories and opinions, but don’t be controversial. Avoid opinions on current events, religion, politics and any other subject matter that people may find offensive. Offer practical tips that your customers can use, feedback from clients, announce upcoming sales, events, specials you are running, and news items that pertain to your industry. Have fun but remember your purpose is to appear knowledgeable, trustworthy, and experienced in your field, so think before you post! Be inspirational, encouraging and show gratitude to those who have assisted you in any way (clients, customers, subcontractors, or peers).
This is your chance to tell your story (whether that is yourself, your company or your product), so be creative, build your social media community and show your history.
When should I post and how often?
When? Studies have found that off-hours are the great time to post, and often under-used so you have less competition by other companies. Brand posts between 8 pm and 7 am got 14% higher interaction than those published between 8 am and 7 pm. Weekends are also a great time, as certain industry’s audience can have up to 69% higher interaction.
There are other studies that say that certain days of the week where you may see more activity, Mondays, Thursdays, & Fridays for example, see more traffic and Wednesdays see the least amount of interaction. (But personally, I feel just be consistent). And finally, post in the evening. That is when people want to unwind and socialize before dinner.
How often? Brands that post one or two times a day see 19% higher interaction rates than those that publish three or more posts. Don’t bombard your fans with too many posts, and Facebook News Feed optimization may penalize if you do. Once or twice a day is recommended, or at least three times a week and be consistent.
- The golden rule of social media. If you want people to like your page and posts, do unto them. Be engaged in your friend’s, fan’s and peer’s conversations. Hit ‘Like’ a lot to show them you are interested in what they have to say.
- Add your social media page link EVERYWHERE … on your business card, website, fliers, brochures, email signatures, ads, blog with a plea to “like our page” or “follow us on …. ” etc.
- Offer a promotions, discount, coupon or entry into a raffle to anyone who becomes a fan of your page. Facebook contests are arguably the best strategy for brands to acquire new fans, especially if the prize is practical, sought-after, and has monetary value. The goal is to capture users with an initial promotion, and to keep them returning to your page for information even after the promotion is over.
- Be informative, don’t waste people’s time or they will “unlike” your page. Creating a fan page containing valuable resources and information to benefit the user is essential.
There are so many great resources that offer many more social media tips, so do your research but I’ve tried to relate the basics. Again, if you are looking for recommendations for professional help, email or call me.