Anyone can use social media; that’s the beauty of it. But far too many businesses aren’t using it wisely, wasting time, money, and opportunity, as they are not employing the full spectrum of activities necessary for social media success.
How does your business score on social media?
1) Secure your usernames.
Just as important as securing the domain name for your business website is doing the same for all of the major social media platforms. This should include Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram. Even if you don’t have the time or inclination right now to focus efforts on all of these platforms at once, it’s a good idea to secure your name there before someone else does.
2) Complete your profiles.
One red flag to potential followers is a profile that is incomplete. This not only implies that you’re not taking your presence there very seriously, but also that you just may not have that much substance to share. Therefore, take the time to fill out as completely as possible your profiles on all of your social networks, including picture, bio, and links to your website and any other social profiles for which it allows room.
3) Post quality, targeted content.
This is what it all comes down to – the quality of the content you share. It’s what attracts quality followers, and it’s what keeps them there.
The best posts are those that are unique, informative, inspiring, and relative to the needs and interests of your target audience. And remember, the quality of the content within the body of your post – introducing an article or blog post, for example – is just as important as the quality of the content you’re linking to. Resist any temptation to use that valuable real estate to simply repeat the title of the article you’re linking to, particularly on Facebook and Google Plus. Take the time to use that space to comment on the article, or pull a quote from it, so that your social media post adds something new to the conversation.
4) Post varied content.
As important as it is to promote your business, that should represent no more than 20 percent of your posts to your social media platforms. (Your presence and participation on these platforms is promotion enough.) But how do you fill the other 80 percent? With content varied enough to keep your followers interested, such as links to your blog posts, links to other blogs and articles, inspiring quotes, quotes by experts in your industry, statistics, news, events, and awareness campaigns relative to your industry, and survey questions.
5) Post frequently.
The more often your followers see quality posts from you, the more they’ll come to trust and appreciate you. That said, you don’t want to go overboard and post so much that it becomes an annoyance. A couple of times a day is ideal, but once a day is perfectly fine too. Just try to avoid going more than a day or two without a post, not only for the benefit of your followers, but also your own motivation level, as the longer you go without posting, the easier it is to lose your social media groove.
6) Respond to engagement.
Make it a habit of checking for messages, mentions, and reshares every day, as the sooner you can respond, the better. Answer your messages thoughtfully. Reshare mentions of you and respond with thanks and comments to other people’s reshares of your content. It’s both good manners and good business.
7) Initiate engagement.
The more you reach out to and support others, the more they will instinctively do the same for you. Take the time to read the posts of the people you follow, particularly influencers in your industry or topic, as well as anyone whose content seems particularly compelling and helpful. Like and +1 their posts, comment on their posts, and reshare their posts.
8) Keep your branding consistent.
The essence of who you are on Twitter should reflect who you are on Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn, and so on. While every profile offers different features and limitations, it’s important that you find a way of looking and sounding the same across all of your social media platforms. The same is true of non-static content. For instance, if you have a special event coming up, or an awareness campaign that’s important to you, or a promotion, make sure that this is communicated everywhere. This consistency reassures your followers, since they know that they can count on any one of your platforms to show and tell them what they need to know.
9) Seek new (quality) followers.
All of the activities outlined above should go a long way toward naturally growing your following. However, you can (and should) also seek out new followers. On Twitter, identify, follow, and engage with users who are influencers in your industry, as well as those who look to be quality leads (i.e., they have expressed an interest in your industry, product type, or service). Do the same on Facebook, liking their pages and engaging with their posts; on Google Plus, adding them to your Circles; and so on across all social media platforms. On Twitter, just be sure to keep your follower-to-following ratio in check, as you never want to be following more people than are following you.
10) Measure success.
Once a month, take the time to compile and analyze your social media data:
Remember to give equal weight to engagement quality as you do your engagement numbers. After all, one retweet from your industry’s top influencer may be more valuable than 20 other retweets combined.
Do you need support for your social media marketing? CyberMark International can help. Please contact us for information.