Extend your reach
How do you reach customers on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr and LinkedIn?
According to SCORE 88% of small and midsize businesses experiencing rapid growth use social media. These businesses know the value of connecting with customers socially, and the best ways to connect on social media sites. Below is a list of best practices for blogging and social media sites.
- YOUR PRESENCE: Keep your profile current and up to date. Make sure your brand, logo and tagline are immediately visible. Have eye-catching images and a clear company description on your page. Make sure you tie your social media goals to your organization’s objective- don’t post without a purpose. Try to post consistently, even if you don’t post frequently. Even once a week makes a difference. If you do post frequently, try to hone in on the social network where your customers are, and don’t try to be everywhere at once.
- CONNECT WITH THE RIGHT AUDIENCE: Choose the right networks for your message. The graphic above comes from SCORE, and shows the number of online users in each age range per social media site. When you post to your page, make sure you post your message when your audience will be listening. Read this post to find out when the best time is to post to each social media site. Your audience isn’t the only one who should be listening- you need to listen to them just as much to know what interests them so you can post the content they are looking for.
- YOUR VOICE: This is by far the most important part of a successful social media business presence. Start a conversation with your audience instead of shouting your message from the rooftops. When you post and engage use the same voice and language you would use if you were talking to your audience in person by speaking with them rather than at them. Keep people engaged by being a publisher, someone giving them information they want and need, more than a marketer. The quality of your content is much more important than the quantity. Post useful content and ask questions to encourage conversations. Do more than just push content at your audience- engage them. When you build a relationship through talking with them, thanking them and asking them for their input, you build a relationship.
- MEASURE: Set clear, measurable goals and establish how you are going to deliver your message to your audience. Monitor your analytics and figure out what is working and what isn’t. This will make it easier to discover where you should be focusing your efforts, and will also show you what types of posts work the best. Measure and track your growth and engagement. Check out what your competitors are doing that works and integrate those methods into your social media marketing strategy.
As Chris Brogan, author of Google+ for Business says, “No matter what your primary business is, you are a publishing company in the new world of social media and social networks.” Mark Schaefer, author of The Tao of Twitter offers three key points for success in social media: make targeted connections, provide meaningful content, and offer authentic helpfulness. While many experts offer industry specific advice on how to capture the attention of your audience the basic fundamentals remain the same: be real and build relationships that will last. ↟