In today’s world of fast-paced social networking, businesses, big and small, are utilizing this new and rising medium to promote their products and services to a wider market.
More than half of the world’s population have access to the internet, and more than two-thirds of that having access to social media networks.
Here are a couple of tips on how to use your social media networks.
- Follow your market.
Knowing your market is only half the battle; you also have to know where to find them. Are they on Facebook or Twitter? Or maybe they’re more into Instagram or Tumblr or Pinterest.
Wherever they are, you have to be there. You have to know which social networks the bulk of your market is using and make your presence known there. After all, there is no use being active in Facebook if 80% of your market in on Twitter.
Photo Credit: Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
- Put a tag on it.
Tags (hash-tags) are beautiful works of marketing art. They group together posts that are relevant to each other. Tags are also one of the bases of those “random” suggestions on who to follow or like. Tags are amazing!
Having said that, tags should be used responsibly; no unnecessary tags, no unrelated tags, and definitely no very-unique-that -it’s-already-obscure tags. Make sure that your tags are not only related to your business but also easily searched. Stick to generic ones until you have gained enough following to be able to use business-specific tags.
The key to maximizing your social networks is to regularly post relevant content (more on this in a bit). Yes, we mean daily. And yes, we mean more than once a day.
That saying “out of sight, out of mind” really rings true in social media networks. You really have to regularly fill your accounts with engaging content, not only so you’d always pop up your followers’ timeline but also to engage new page visitors to regularly be updated on your activities. Engage your followers in a discussion. If they post something you liked, comment or repost. Make sure that they not only who you are but that you are actively taking part in the social network.
Also, do your very best to answer all queries all the time. If you can immediately answer questions, do so. The rule is not to let a maximum of 12 hours go by without them hearing from you.
- …but don’t overwhelm.
Then there’s also the saying that too much of anything is bad for you. Don’t flood your accounts with ten different posts in a ten-minute span – people would just get annoyed with you. And when people get annoyed, they unfollow.
Start with two or three posts, spaced throughout the day. Try hitting times when people are opening their social media accounts. Let’s say 7am or 8am when they’re on the way to work, then another on lunchtime, then the last one in the evening.
- Go for organic.
Content, that is. People generally respond well to relevant, good quality content that is closer to home. Let’s break down what we just said.
Relevant content are the ones that impact people’s interests and lives. If you have the kind of market that care about clean living, gear your content toward that. Good quality may simply mean using correct grammar and punctuation, no spelling errors, and using appropriate language. Make it closer to home by posting what your followers are familiar with, what they’re excited about. If there’s an event in your area, hinge your posts on that. Also, as much as possible, use your own photos. Now might be a good time to invest in a good camera.
- It’s not all about you.
While social media networks are a way to market your business, don’t be too obvious about it. If you browse through Facebook and Twitter, you will notice that posts with the most engagement barely mention the product or business that posted it. What drives engagement is the usefulness of the post. Promos and hard-sell advertisements should be kept at a minimum. Stick to a 80-20 rule, wherein only 20% of your posts are directly about your business.
What to do with the eighty percent? This huge percentage of your points should be allotted to content that is helpful and useful to your market that can be oh-so-subtly related to your products or services. If you’re a travel agency, for example, you can post about top 5 beach essentials or top 10 most beautiful places to visit during fall.
You can even post about what other people are saying and posting about your business and even causes that are close to your heart. A good example of this is the Instagram account of VMV Hypoallergenics, who posts not only about their events and the occasional promos but primarily about clinical studies they support and reposts of their fans’ and employees’ photos.
Your social media networks are a powerful thing. With the way the market is going, social media can make or break your business. Use it well.
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