Just a couple of years ago, most people still saw Twitter as a platform for people wanting to constantly tell everyone what they’re eating for lunch. Now, social media as a whole has become far more respected and even revered by businesses, as we’ve become aware of how valuable an effective social media presence can be to reputation.
However, despite an increased understanding of the importance of social media, many businesses (particularly smaller ones) still fail to use it properly. Here’s some hard-learned advice about using social media for your business.
1. Use it (consistently)
Obviously if you want to establish a strong presence on social media, you’re going to have to use social media. Most of the time, gaining a following comes like a sunrise – slowly as time passes, not like a light switch that causes an instant reaction.
2. Don’t over post
People are more likely to engage in a company’s content when they share it once a day or less, as opposed to twice a day or more. Depending on the platform (posting more regularly on Twitter might not be a bad idea, for example), your posts should be appropriately spaced out to ensure that they’re of a good quality and likely to interest people.
3. Don’t just share stuff about your company
Company news is great and everything, but while it certainly has its place in social media, it shouldn’t be your constant go-to when deciding what to post. Google Plus is great for businesses because it allows you to become part of communities – meaning you can post relevant content to people in your interest area. Unless they’re a fanatic or your company is literally the coolest thing ever, few people want to follow a company’s social media accounts when they exclusively talk about their company.
4. Offer incentives
Chances are, I’m not going to follow a small business on Facebook unless there’s a valid reason to, and that valid reason comes in the form of free muffins. Ok, my reasons aren’t limited to muffins – really any free food, or just generally free stuff and/or discounts, will cut it. Give people a desire to follow your company by making it worth their while.
5. Establish a voice that people want to listen to
One way a company can encourage me to follow them on Twitter and other social media platforms is through humor. Almost half of people say that humor resonates more than any content approach, according to a global Neilson Survey of Trust in Advertising. Old Spice has one of the best and most widely-followed Twitter accounts, featuring tweets such as:
“Don’t judge a man by the size of his yacht but by the size of the speedboat that’s inside the yacht.”
It has absolutely nothing to do with Old Spice products, but it works. Old Spice’s hilariously random tweets mean that even those who don’t currently care about their products will follow them. It also solidifies brand voice, and helps people to see Old Spice for the fun company that it wants to be.
In the best case scenario, this will lead to product awareness that results in purchases, and worst case scenario – those followers still improve their credibility and popularity.
6. Keep your chin up/be persistent
You’re not going to have a viral-standard following in a week. Establishing a thriving social media reputation takes time, so make sure you make a plan, adapt it when necessary, and stick to it.
Respond to every comment you can. Especially in the beginning, realize that every comment/like/interaction counts, so don’t take them for granted.
Build relationships with your followers and watch their numbers grow.
8. There is no magic formula
While there are certainly some effective tips for growing your social media following, there’s no “one size fits all” strategy that guarantees great results.
Staying determined and consistent is the best tactic, and the rest will depend largely on your intended audience and individual goals for using social media.
Good luck! Comment below to share tips of your own!