For your company, being on social media is not only a question of "if" you should be there; it is a "must" be there. As social media takes its rightful throne in the world of marketing, it can be a catalyst for business success, if done right.
But what business really has an active, thriving social media presence?
Promoting via social media is vital, but simply putting content on these channels doesn't get you sales. The key is engagement, engagement, engagement!
Follow these 10 simple tips for increasing social media engagement and achieving business growth.
1) Be human
Being human is enormous. Social media is not the place to be faceless with zero personality. Share office photos or snapshots of your team "in the wild.” Interacting with followers can help form a much-needed connection.
2) It’s not only about followers
What would you rather have, 100 followers who regularly engage with you and your content or 10,000 that ignore you?
To build relationships:
• Mention people in your social media posts
• Answer questions
• Reply when people mention you
• Don't simply Reshare content; include a comment
3) Create an editorial calendar
Scheduling content isn't something "extra" that more prominent brands do; it is what makes them rule on social. Why? Because it helps them to be consistent.
A content calendar can help you:
• Fine-tune content based on the platform.
• Post in real-time and choose the best times for your target audience.
• Avoid repeating the same content, ensuring each of your articles or pictures gets the most love possible.
4) Automate the right way
Don’t expect to put your social presence on autopilot and walk away successfully. Automation in the form of scheduling or curating content is fair, just don't use it for replying to customers' questions or messages.
5) Help, don't sell
Social selling may be on the rise, but your social media presence should never be the "hard sale."
Sure, it makes sense to push offers and deals to your followers if you are in the eCommerce space. However, more important is to answer followers' questions. You can do this content marketing by directly replying to inquiries.
Instead of constantly promoting your products, try offering solutions to problems.
6) Optimize your accounts for engagement
Don't let the word "optimization" scare you. Unlike SEO (Search Engine Optimization), social media optimization isn't particularly technical. To optimize social profiles, use images, keywords, and fill out social profiles.
For example, use your Instagram bio to link to promotions, advertise your hashtag and let your brand's voice shine.
These are some quick ways to optimize your profiles:
• Add relevant keywords in your profile, but not too many.
• Share content related to your industry
• Find other accounts in your industry to follow. (Hint: Don't be afraid to follow others.)
7) Get visual
If you don't post anything else, trying to post more photos and videos is the way to go right now.
And what is remarkable is that you don't need special equipment or a full-blown production budget.
Instead, consider these:
• Team photos or videos
• Photos of customers
• Photos of events
• Behind-the-scenes photos and videos
8) Tell people where you are
One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is not letting customers know where else to find them. Include feed icons on the homepage of your website, include them in emails you send, and have the links even within your other social platforms.
9) Stay active
Inactive social feeds make it look like you may not be in business. Rather than letting your profiles gather dust, post fresh content daily and consistently.
Quick tips to stay active include:
• Using some scheduling and automation to save time and energy.
• Finding which social networks your best customers are and prioritizing them over others.
• Repurpose content, so you're not always trying to reinvent the wheel.
10) Find what is trending
Piggybacking trends is an excellent opportunity to build off the buzz of an existing trend and show off your brand's personality. Look at breaking news, trending hashtags; brands always have room to get topical with their content.
Tips to creating content that followers are asking for:
• To stand out on social, do not repeat what others are posting, get creative.
• To be a thought leader or stand out from competitors, use original content.
• Break through social media noise with original blog posts, research, or infographics.
There is no secret or turnkey solution for a better social media presence. But if you follow the tips above (which the big boys are), you can at least have a chance at breaking through the noise and be seen.
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Jamie Lynn Morgan is a business coach at the North Idaho College Small Business Development Center. She is a 20-year business veteran, digital marketer and co-owner of the Lake City Bicycle Collective.