So you jumped on the band wagon and got yourself some social media accounts, right? Facebook, Twitter, Linked In…maybe a little YouTube and Pinterest too, huh? I guess you’re doing it right and people are buying out your business’s product and services at an alarming rate. Wait, they’re not? That’s because social media is a lot like a new puppy: it is new and wonderful and perhaps even adorable at first, but it quickly turns into a burden that you must cater to every day with training (tweeting) and love (blogging) and feeding (content seeding). You can’t just get these accounts and leave them; but luckily for you, there are tools and tips to help you keep up with your new puppy!
The timeline feature on Facebook freaked everyone in the business world out as we lost our immediate landing pages and easy-to-use content entry. Posts show up, they move, they get shared, they get lost…it’s a madhouse! But many businesses are able to use it to their advantage. A Facebook page offers you a mini-website with all of your information, pictures and video, and an ability to speak directly to customers in a friendly, public atmosphere. Optimize your Facebook page by checking out our previous post on how to pimp out your Facebook Page, or check out Marketing Prof’s article on how to make Facebook timeline work for your business.
Posting often leads to new customers, as well as business connections as others share your content. The average business posts once a day, because any more than that and your subscribers will unsubscribe or even “unlike” your page to avoid you spamming up their newsfeed. Share your friends’ posts in a B2B setting, but mostly, get the word out about your business in a focused, well-branded effort that remains consistent with your ethics and specialties. Avoid topics like politics and religion, but most importantly know your audience and target that demographic. You can use Facebook’s insight tools to really tap into your reach, and you can always read comments on your page to get feedback from customers and fans.
If you’re under 30, Twitter doesn’t scare you. If you’re not…it’s like stepping onto the freeway at rush hour and trying to flag down a car to help you cross. It’s a busy, content-filled world that is ever-changing and extremely demanding. You have 140 characters to dazzle followers with your brilliance, and as a brand you need to lure people in to clicking on links that you post and articles that you share. If you don’t tweet enough, people will unfollow you. If you tweet too much, people will unfollow you. It’s a bird eat bird world out there, and you’ve gotta swan-dive in to know who is following you and why, who you should follow and how much of your content is being read and how much is tweeting away in the wind.
Dan Zarella is a social media blogger who has figured out the ebb and flow of data on twitter and gives advice based on your twitter account (personal, business, spoof) as to in which time slots you should tweet and how often. Until you get the hang of it, tweet once every day around noon and follow as many people in your field as you can. Remember, tweet about your brand, not about your personal beliefs. Hootsuite is a great tool that lets you schedule tweets (and Facebook and LinkedIn posts!) so if you want a free way to seed your content, definitely look into it. Also, be sure to have a logo as your profile pic and a twitter background to make sure your account is consistent with your branding and maintains professionalism.
Who knew Linked In was going to be more than just a place to stick your resume online? With all of the groups, companies and posting options it’s become a world of its own in the business sector. Companies are recruiting using Linked In and some are accepting your profile as a resume—talk about making applying for jobs as easy as possible! Now there are many, many articles on how to improve your Linked In profile and which steps you should take to optimize it, but the bottom line is…you have to optimize it! Pictures, websites, job descriptions, dates of employment, a well-written bio explaining what you’ve done and what you’d still like to do, recommendations (this is huge), connections to other people and groups that you’ve joined. Mashable has a great article about optimizing your LinkedIn Profile, so make sure you stay in the game!
Pinterest and YouTube
Pinterest is no longer a fun, online scrap-booking site for women planning their weddings; this site has taken off as a leader in social media and a dominant force for online presence. Businesses have even gotten on board and created “business boards” for their companies to expand their reach even more. The colorful pictures and easy-to-use interface make clicking and sharing super simple and also keeps your content fresh and fun. Check out this article on which steps to take to do it right for your business, and don’t put a pin in this social tool because it is taking off!
Getting your message across to customers can sometimes be difficult with words, so many people are using videos to really connect and get their message out. Also, videos give potential clients an inside look into your business, and as a small business owner you really need that connection to make a sale and get clients to return and refer you. These videos need not be super produced or flashy; setting up a simple flip camera and keeping it under 3 minutes is an excellent way to engage people without boring them or making them feel like it’s a sales pitch.
Lead Juicer Jeremy Pound created a video about our website packages, and the overall look and feel of the video gives people the impression that he’s talking to them and not at them. We even did a short video in preparation for our upcoming webinar to better explain what the webinar will be about and to give viewers a chance to see inside our business. If you have the money and time, by all means invest in a higher quality video with sound and lighting, but just remember who your audience is and keep your focus on your message.
Turn “loser” into “closer”
If you follow these steps and take it slow with social media, you won’t feel overwhelmed and your business will benefit from it. If you don’t have the time to get your content out on your own, make sure the person blogging/posting/tweeting for you really knows your company and its products or services and will represent your business in the best, most consistently branded light. And remember: don’t be selfish, share the content you find interesting even if it’s a competitor’s because meanies and haters are not looked upon kindly in the social media world. So follow us if you’d like, and we’ll be sure to follow you right back!