With the prevalence of social media usage nowadays and the success that businesses have had with their transactions and sales because of social media, it’s become apparent that this is the one tool that companies are clamoring for today. Suddenly, every business has signed up on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, etc. to try and capitalize on this promising future.
However, many businesses tend to quit after a few months, claiming that managing a social media account is too much work for a company that is trying to organize its system and sales or is not doing anything for them. These instances can be chocked up to one erroneous thought: that social media is a free pass to instant business success.
Don’t let your company fall into the mistakes that some businesses make when it comes to using social media. To make social media work for you, here are the six things you should do:
1. Be ready to commit to social media fully
Social media is no walk in the park – let’s get that out of the way first. It takes a few minutes to sign up for an account and build a profile, but it takes dedication, time and effort into genuinely cultivating a social media profile or page that will attract an audience and will gain engagement with every post. It often takes as long as a year to master social media, and even then, it isn’t a sure game. Lots of factors can still affect just how successful your social media efforts will be, and they won’t make things easy for you at the start.
Become committed to your business’ social media efforts by making sure you aren’t blindly walking into this marketing strategy. You need to establish a solid plan with clear goals, elaborated details and steps to take, contingency plans, and a dedicated surveillance method for your statistics and page engagement. Being thorough about your social media marketing plan ensures that, at the very least, you have a battle strategy you’ll work with.
2. Have a personal brand you can show
The most remarkable social media accounts all have something in common: a uniqueness in the personality they show off to their audiences. This is the sign of a strong personal brand. The most remarkable example of this nowadays is Wendy’s, who became viral on Twitter for having a “snarky, sarcastic, but entertaining” personality that hit off with its audience and beyond. Denny’s Tumblr account is quite famous in that social media platform for its quirky, bordering-on-odd posts that resonates with the users of the popular blogging website, for better or worse.
Show that your business is as authentic as it can get by showing your personality through your posts, media, replies, etc. It helps your business connect better with your intended audience and gives them a unique experience, much like how one would have different experiences talking to different kinds of people. It makes them feel like they’re talking to actual people rather than subscribing to a content-regurgitating machine.
3. Listen and deliver, don’t just promote
Regarding social media posting, there is an unspoken rule among social media marketers: the one-in-seven rule. This rule dictates that, for one promotional post, you must have six organic, valuable content posts to complement it. Of course, you want to let your followers know more about your business and help keep it in their minds, but too much will make them believe you’re just stroking your ego. Overly-promoting your business in your posts can annoy your followers, causing them to drop you out of their News Feed.
Remember: your followers will want to click the “Like”, “Follow” or “Subscribe” button because they want to see more content that you can give them, not more of what your business is. While it isn’t wrong to promote your business in your other posts, make sure you pair it off with content that your audience would want to see. Great content will attract them to your business because it makes them see you as someone that cares about what your audience wants, instead of only caring about your business.
4. Don’t spread yourself too thin
With so many social media platforms out there – and the fact that social media users nowadays are more than likely to have more than one account, you might be tempted to sign up to every platform to make sure you’re hitting your market as much as you can.
DON’T DO THIS. Not only is it counter-productive, but not every social media platform will be optimal for your business. As mentioned before, managing social media marketing is already tricky, and spreading yourself too thin will only make things worse. Every social media platform calls for a different kind of strategy and approach, such as how often you should post, the number of hashtags you can use, or when the best posting times are. Adjusting yourself constantly this early in your strategy will no doubt burn you out quickly.
Focus on a few primary social media platforms first – one or two should be enough to start with. Choose the platform(s) that you think will serve your strategy the best. Only when you’ve mastered using them can you move on to other platforms. For example, if you’re selling clothes online, you might want to consider using Facebook for its large post character limit, ability to embed media in posts, and Facebook Advertising features that will help you promote and be seen. Afterwards, you can also move to Instagram and put some appeal into your products through an impressive feed that showcases your clothes’ personality and mood.
5. Never be afraid to experiment
A mistake that many businesses make when making social media posts or building their social media profiles is that one needs to stick to what the platforms are primarily intended for. But the flexibility of the majority of social media platforms nowadays means that you can mix things up within reason. Video marketing isn’t restricted anymore to YouTube – Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all capable now of video upload. Tweets can be used to engage in conversations and even make specific causes known.
Go out of the box with your posts. Push the boundaries. Excite people with something new. If you do this right, more people will notice you for your unique, entertaining, but informative content.
6. Maximize your content’s potential
Often, businesses leave a piece of content as is and move on to another one after it’s run its original course. What any social media marketer worth their salt will tell you, however, is that there are a lot of ways you can reuse content over and over, especially when you’re running out of things to say or post online.
By refreshing how you present your existing content in your social media posts, you aren’t pressured to always think of new topics to post, which is hard when you’re managing so much more than just a social media account. It also makes sure that the part of your audience that hasn’t seen that content before will be alerted that it exists in the first place.
For example, an online clothing store with a listicle on how to pair up specific pieces of clothes, depending on the occasion, can turn that content into a gallery showcasing this fashion advice together on a model or turn it into a video tutorial on YouTube. An eyewear company can give more in-depth knowledge on what sort of frames fit certain face shapes through a video slideshow or an infographic.
Every piece of content you’ve published more than likely has 2-3 other ways you can repurpose it, especially if it is an evergreen (not being restricted by trends, time of the year, etc.) content. This goes along with experimenting with your posts and social media delivery well, and if you pull it off, it might get you more exposure for your content than you previously had.
Social media is not a guaranteed-sales-for-business tool. Like any other marketing strategy, it requires work, a real understanding of what the many platforms can do for you, and how you should use it to solidify your chances of succeeding at the game. Businesses that took the time to understand and master the social media game are more likely to reap what they deserve, rather than assuming that it is a tool for an instant victory.