David Bakke helps manage social media campaigns for the online resource, Money Crashers, and writes about personal finance topics like small business, investing, money management, and more.
Do you take your social media efforts seriously? Seriously enough? Almost 100% of small businesses use Facebook and nearly 75% are on Twitter. But not all of these businesses are getting the quantity or quality of consumer interaction they can be. To make sure your efforts aren’t being wasted, consider adding these elements to your social media campaign.
This should go without saying, but in order to determine how effective your strategy is and which social media platforms are paying off, you need to track results. Fortunately, there’s an app for that. HootSuite, for example, allows you to track and analyze traffic on a range of platforms and costs only $9.99 per month after a 30-day free trial.
Automating your social media marketing campaign is convenient, but isn’t always a good idea. If your posts appear too automated or look like spam, your efforts could actually drive consumers away. Software that lets you post to multiple sites at once can be a good way to get your personal message out to a wider audience, but automating your social media strategy further can be dangerous. The reason social media is so effective is because of its human touch – lose that and you could just be spinning your wheels.
If your content isn’t compelling, you’re just going through the motions. What you’re looking to post is relevant, accurate, and useable information that will inspire readers to respond, share your brand, and ultimately become new or repeat customers. What is it that customers and prospects like about your business? It could be expert knowledge or shared interests or something else entirely. Capitalize on that.
Even if your content is compelling and interesting, you still need to give readers that extra nudge to respond. Post questions for them to answer, or conduct surveys. Another great way to enhance your presence is to conduct “tweet chats,” where a pre-set topic is announced and the conversation begins at a scheduled time. Don’t forget to offer modest giveaways for those who respond to questions, participate in your surveys, or post product reviews. Even if it’s just a small discount or free shipping, social media customers love freebies!
If all this has your head spinning and no one else in your organization can take on the job, hire a specialist to streamline and maximize your social media efforts. To find someone reputable, ask peers in your industry and other business owners outside of it for recommendations. Also ask the candidate to provide detail on specific campaigns run for other businesses, including results.
Social media, these days, is where it’s at – pure and simple. If you’ve been in business for a while, making the adjustment may be a stretch, but it’s a necessary one. Marketing via social media is intrinsically different from outdated forms of marketing, such as direct mail and the yellow pages. It can be less expensive, and with the right approach, readers will not only become customers, but will also share your business with their social networks. Think of it as word-of-mouth marketing gone viral. If you pair an intelligent approach with the time and effort, marketing via social media will launch your business to new heights.
How has social media improved your business’ bottom line?