In our social media-focused world, businesses have to manage a strong online presence in order to succeed. According to Brandwatch, there are almost 3.5 billion users on social media platforms today. Businesses, whether big or small, that ignore social media are missing out on a major opportunity to find customers and fulfill their needs. Here are ten tips to help you boost your social media channels for your business.
Setup a Business Page
If your business is not on social media, you might as well not exist at all. That may sound drastic, but so much of consumer research and transactions are carried out online today. Social media platforms are expanding to accommodate e-commerce, and Facebook and Instagram are popular places to read reviews.
Your business needs an official account on multiple social media platforms. You don’t have to setup an account for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Tumblr, Snapchat, Pinterest, and all of the other platforms online today. Do your research to find which channels your target audience favors and direct your focus to the top few platforms that can earn the most bang for your buck.
People do not buy things from other people they don’t trust. A study from AdWeek noted that trust in social media is declining, but consumers are still using these apps to find products and services. If you want to create a strong following for your business on social media, you need to build a brand people can trust.
Building trust starts by providing a comprehensive look at your business online. Make sure your social channels are easily accessible and accurately represent your brand. Use photos of your real products and services and try to feature your office or retail locations if possible. Stock photos work sometimes, but on social media they can feel disingenuous and turn people away.
Listen to Your Audience
Social media users are there to share. Consumers often talk about their recent purchases, which brands they like, and what stores they shop in. All of this information can contribute to your customer profile. Listening to what your target audience is saying and sharing on social media can help you better speak their language. You could try to guess what your consumer wants or needs, or you can listen long enough for them to tell you!
Less than stellar reviews or demanding questions may seem like a setback. However, you can turn these negative experiences into positive ones by answering questions. If someone was unhappy with their order or the service did not meet their expectations, you can talk to them on social media. Because your conversation is public, other consumers can see that you care about your customers and strive to make them happy. Don’t let bad reviews become the norm, but they can actually be beneficial from time to time.
Your business does not need to post on Facebook every five minutes. Posting consistently does not mean posting constantly. That is one easy way to lose followers. Instead, schedule your content in a way that feels organic but keeps your audience engaged. If you neglect to post on social media for weeks at a time, people may assume your channels are inactive.
That cat video may be cute, but does it have anything to do with your business? If you’ve developed a familiar rapport with your customers where you share fun or adorable content, then post away. Otherwise, evaluate your content against your brand. Are you staying true to your business? Are you posting content your audience can relate to or benefit from?
Stalk Your Competition
Facebook stalking is usually for crushes or exes, but it also works for businesses. Social media is a great place to learn about your competition. Research who is following them and what people say about the brand online. You can even learn from their content successes and failures. Which posts got the most attention and which ones performed poorly?
On social media, your goal is to provide value to your customers, not spam them with meaningless content. Share content that answers their questions, teaches them something new, or solves a problem. These are the articles they will read and the videos they will watch. If your content is good enough, people may even thank you for posting.
Promote Your Website
Is your social media driving traffic to your website? Your posts should have clear calls to action for your audience and directing them to your site is a solid strategy. It could be as simple as a “learn more” teaser or as enticing as a “buy now” link. You can customize the call to action to the content, so it feels like the natural next step. If you’re not feeding your social media channels into your website, you’re wasting an opportunity.
Research which social media managers and apps can help your business track your social media engagement. If you’re not tracking your impressions, shares, views, clicks, and conversions, you’ll never know how effective your social media really is. Determine your goals for social media and evaluate regularly to track your progress.
Bonus: Customer Appreciation
People love praise. If someone posts a glowing review or tags your business when they buy your product, acknowledge them! They are literally asking for your attention by posting on a public site. Thank them for their purchase and share your appreciation. If you want to build customer loyalty, direct message them a coupon code for their next purchase.
Whether your business has a social media presence already or you’re just getting started, these tips can help you be successful online. Social media is not going anywhere anytime soon, so it is important to capitalize on the opportunities it provides. Get to know your customers and interact with them in real-time to build brand loyalty and boost your conversions.