Social Media is EVERYWHERE! Use your marketing wisely!
That’s why when you are running your own business, understanding social media and the marketing behind them is CRUCIAL! Here are some tricks and tips that I have either learned myself, or have gotten from other professionals!
#1: Host Social Media Events
You can build a loyal, raving community by hosting online events that put the focus on your fans.
The event can last as long as 24 hours or more and is a great way to discover new businesses, get more fans, and build tremendous community!
Many page owners launch a “Fan Page Friday” event every week. I highly recommend every 4-6 weeks. Why? Anticipation! If you have something every week you are more likely to get people to not show up to them because they will always say “Oh, I can just do it next week.”
Be sure to include a hashtag like #FacebookFriday, #ThursdayTweetFest or anything similar to your event. Schedule your initial invitation to go out very early in the morning. Then add another couple of invitations throughout the day.
#2: Use LinkedIn’s “Your Day” Feature
Sync your contacts and your calendar with LinkedIn and the “Your Day” feature will give you an opportunity to more deeply communicate and engage with your network, especially as this feature is new and most people aren’t using it. Strike while the iron is hot!
It will also tell you if your followers are having a birthday or anything!
Your average Facebook user probably gets between 50 and 100 congratulations on his or her birthday. They might get one or two on LinkedIn. Who’s going to stand out?
If one of your contacts just got promoted in a company that you’ve been prospecting, this might be a really great time to reengage with him. And what better way than to congratulate him on his promotion?
How much more business are you likely to close in a face-to-face meeting? What if you could set five additional meetings in the next city you are traveling to? At the very least, you could write the trip off! The announcement section will also show you who in your network lives in a town you’re traveling to and you can set up a meeting right from there.
#3: Use Images!!
If you’re posting on Facebook and not seeing engagement in the form of likes, shares or comments, you’re wasting your precious time. You need fan engagement if you want to continually be seen in the news feed (which is where all the action is on Facebook!).
One simple way to boost your engagement is to use images to amplify your status update with images!
#4: Quality, not quantity!
When it comes to social media, businesses should be rich in quality, not quantity. It’s better to become a master of one or two channels than flounder in many.
When you look at social media channels, a good model is to break them into social platforms vs. social networking sites.
Social platforms are like soapboxes; they allow you to establish your expertise and credibility, but provide a method for feedback and discussion. Examples include blogging, YouTube, podcasting and SlideShare. Think of your social media as a cyber board meeting!
#5: Get the Attention of Influencers
Influencers are important in every industry. They generally have “real” jobs, and are extremely active on social networks, spending their time sharing content and blogging. Getting on their radar is not easy, so to get their attention, you need to give away “content gifts.”
For every six pieces of content shared via social media (think Twitter, for example) four should be pieces of content from your influencer target that are also relevant to your audience. This means that 67% of the time, you are sharing content that is not yours and calling attention to content from your influencer group.
One piece should be original educational content that you have created.
One piece should be sales-related—like a coupon, product notice, press release or some other piece of content that no one will likely pay attention to.
#6: Focus on the Platforms Where Your Customers Are
Social media overwhelm is one of the biggest challenges for small businesses. They think they need to have a presence on every social platform including the latest “shiny object” that comes along. This spreads them too thin and causes wasted time and effort.
The solution is rather simple: if social media makes sense for your business, be where your customers are. Find out where your customers are hanging out online, choose 1 or 2 of those platforms that you enjoy and that align with your business objectives and then focus deeply on those platforms.
There are a number of tactics to help you find where your customers are online such as: ask them (so simple, yet so many business don’t do this), use the search functionality in each of the social channels to see if there are communities talking about your business or topic of interest and use Google Alerts.
#7: Choose Your Image Wisely
It’s been said that an image is worth a thousand words and since the explosive growth of Pinterest, more and more emphasis is being put on images in social media marketing.
Images can help clarify a message and can also quickly grab someone’s attention. Images used in blog posts help the reader to comprehend the content and tend to be more memorable. The images can then be shared across networks like Pinterest, Facebook and Google+ to help promote the content.
However, images are open to interpretation. Before you settle on an image for your blog or social media post, ask yourself “Does this image communicate my message well?”
#8: Communicate With Your LinkedIn Connections
Send an email to your connections on LinkedIn every month and generate leads and sales.
Although LinkedIn only allows you to send to 50 contacts at a time, you can send many emails.
#9: Make Real Life Connections
Connect in real life with your social media network. Take some time to reach out via Skype or even the phone for a quick hello to people who are active in your niche or in a complementary business to yours.
Many times there are great ways to partner up between people in the same niche or there are ways that complementary businesses can be referral partners.
I know every time I have connected in real life either through a conversation or by meeting at a conference, the social media connection is so much richer and more meaningful. If I look at who retweets, shares and comments the most on my posts, it’s usually the people I’ve met in real life in some way.
#10: Build Online Influence
I have a simple philosophy when it comes to social media marketing: build online influence.
Influence is the secret to social media success. It’s the sugar in the cake. It’s the foundation for building an authentic following online that can ultimately lead to new clients or customers. With the social media landscape constantly evolving, new networks, tools and tactics are always going to come and go. You will hear of new tips and tricks daily regarding “what works” for building your brand and your business through social media.
However, without a strong foundation in place that positions you as a person of influence, it will be difficult to sustain success. You can try every social media tool, strategy or tactic available, but without influence at the core, you likely won’t get too far. If you focus on becoming a person of influence in your market, you’ll build more trust and loyalty. People will know that you are sincere and that you truly care about helping them.
#11: Create Loyalty by Participating in One-on-One Dialog
Provide your customers with the most valuable content and insights across your social channels by participating in two-way dialogue on the right channel.
If you find your demographic is most active on Twitter, or congregates in a smaller forum, join that platform, be transparent and participate in one-on-one dialog.
You can actually ask your customer directly online how they feel about a particular topic. Learn about their pain points, what they like, don’t like and take those insights and apply them to better your business. Do not pose broad questions to everyone, but home in on specific individuals who will yield a higher response rate.
More on Private Messaging
You need to proceed with caution when privately messaging followers on social media. Stick to these very simple rules and you should be fine:
- Don’t send or reply without some sort of initiation on there part. Did they like a post? Message them! Did you message/reply to you? Message them! You THINK the product would be great for them from looking at their profile? Don’t message yet! You don’t want to get a reputation for being a hassler.
- Keep it brief! Don’t flood them with information they may not want or need. Give them small bits of info, and clarify when they need it. You could overwhelm them, and that’s not good for either party.
- Keep it professional! No matter what the other person does, always stay professional. Don’t name call, don’t pressure, and definitely don’t hassle them! If they end up changing their minds in the future, you don’t want them to remember you as the person who made them uncomfortable.
There you have it! Have any great marketing tips I missed? Let me know in the comments!