Think for a moment about people you know – family, friends, colleagues, old school friends… How many of them have social media accounts? My guess is ‘most of them’! Today, there are few better ways to interact with your current and potential customers on a daily basis than with social media.
Just 10 years ago, the very idea of promoting your business on the fledgling social media platforms was unheard of. Move on a few years and the idea takes off, and you could easily manage a social media account for your business. Now, everyone’s at it – there’s more competition for attention than ever before and people are paying less attention to your business’ messages.
The sad truth is that many businesses just aren’t getting noticed simply because they fall into easy pitfalls. Social media for business is what I do, it’s my bread and butter, my livelihood. I’ve made mistakes – I’m only human. But, following these simple daily habits will help you to avoid those mistakes and make the most of social media for business.
1. Set Clear Goals
“Without goals you are running a race with no finish line”
This is one of my favourite quotes and it is so very true when it comes to social media for business. Without a goal in mind, social media for business is just a buzzword; something you think you should have and do… This might sound obvious, but when meeting new clients one of the first questions I ask is: “What do you want to achieve from social media?”, and a lot of the time the answer is vague to say the least. Examples could be:
- generate leads
- provide superior customer service
- generate traffic to my website
2. Provide Customer Service
More and more people are turning to social media to get a business’ attention, whether that’s with a complaint or with praise. One of the most effective ways to be successful at social media for business is to show that you care. If your audience gets the impression that you’re not interested in what they have to say or that they’re not worth your time, they will quickly feel the same about you! Check each of your social media platforms for mentions, tags, direct messages, comments etc. and respond to them, even if they’re not positive. These people have taken the time to engage with your business rather than merely observing your message. Treat them with respect!
3. Keep an eye on what’s trending
Make a conscious effort to keep your accounts active. You’d be amazed by the number of people I speak to who have accounts for their businesses but leave them laying dormant for days, weeks, and even months on end. Log in, see what people are talking about and simply take part in the conversation. You can’t do this and get your business’ name in front of other people without logging in occasionally!
4. Share engaging content
Engagement is EVERYTHING! The more engagement there is with a post, the more people will see it. This can be tricky to achieve, but in order to encourage engagement there are a number of things you can do:
- STOP SELLING! Many businesses fall into the trap of pushing their services, products, or latest offers on social media. People are not on social media to have their conversations interrupted by a sales pitch!
- GET VISUAL. Posts to social media are much more likely to gain engagement if there’s an image or video. Just make sure your images are mobile friendly by using a free tool such as Canva.
- BE HELPFUL. It’s okay to give away some secrets! Helpful tips, instructions, ‘how to’ videos and infographics will not only show off your industry knowledge, but will gain more engagement too.
- SHARE OTHER PEOPLE’S POSTS. Social media is… erm… social. Be social. It’s not all about you! Sharing other people’s content can boost your own shares too, as well as allowing you to reach that person’s audience. It shows that you are customer orientated, sharing something of interest to your audience rather than just your own sales messages.
- ASK QUESTIONS. One easy way to start a conversation is to simply ask a question and invite your audience to reply. A simple way to do this is with a Twitter or Facebook poll.
- SHARE NEWS / EVENTS. If you share your thoughts in local, national or industry news you have a timely post ready to share in a moment. Just ensure you’ve read the article yourself first! Sharing your thoughts on industry developments shows off your knowledge too.
In all cases, remember to stay positive. As you can imagine, people aren’t interested in engaging with personal rants or depressing posts. Ensure you have a clear call to action where possible – tell your audience what you want them to do / where you want them to go next.
5. Become a social media listener
This is an important daily habit to get into. Perform searches of your business’ name / branded phrases, including possible misspellings. What you’re trying to achieve is seeking out unsolicited reviews or questions seeking clarification from users who aren’t ‘tagging’ you directly. Proactively finding them allows you to connect with potential customers and create the impression of an engaged, consumer-centric business.
6. Analyse and learn
Many social media platforms will provide you with data about your posts. Take the time to look at this data and learn from it. Test to see if a slight change to your profile increases your following, or whether a different type of content generates more engagement. Not doing this will result in a poor social media performance being repeated over and over again.
Many people will focus their efforts on learning new tactics – try learning a few new habits instead! Do you have any other habits you’d add to this list? Let us know below.