By now everyone knows social media is fun! It’s a great way to keep in touch with friends and family, share your thoughts on current events, and follow celebrity gossip. A large part of social media’s success can be attributed to its “social” component, but for business professionals, social media holds enormous potential as a powerful marketing platform.
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram form the trifecta of popular social media platforms that, if used correctly, can be extremely effective in growing your business. If you want to maximize this potential, you’ll need to do more than set up a Facebook page or fire off a few tweets, but with a little marketing savvy and knowledge of your audience, social media can set your business on a huge scale. success
Set and understand goals
Your first step is to figure out what your social media presence goals are and make sure you understand how to achieve them. Some common goals for businesses include, but are not limited to:
Keep your goals in mind whenever you post on any social media channel. If your goal is to increase brand awareness, the way you want to market yourself on social media is going to be different than if you’re trying to increase traffic to your website.
For example, posting aesthetically pleasing photos on Instagram will help clients feel connected to your brand and showcase your personal style, but without the opportunity to post external links to your images, it’s difficult to increase traffic to your blog or site through this platform.
Twitter allows for external links, but you’re limited to 140 characters – you need to keep it short and sweet and encourage visitors to check out your other media to learn more!
Many businesses manage accounts on multiple platforms, which is a good approach if you can tailor your marketing to the medium while maintaining consistent messaging. You don’t want your Twitter followers to have a different perception of your service than your Instagram followers.
Collect data (and learn how to use it!)
Keeping a close eye on you Analysis, and learning how to interpret them is invaluable. This will tell you which posts performed well and whether this success was due to higher levels of click-through or increased engagement on the platform.
It is true that knowledge is power, but understanding what to do with that knowledge is even better!
On Facebook, your key metrics to track are:
Twitter also has a like feature, but the real money earner on Twitter is either a retweet, or a follow from an important fellow Twitter user. For more reading on social media metrics, see https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-metrics-for-small-businesses/.
Finally, Instagram is a departure from Facebook and Twitter where users express themselves with a small, square image that can contain text and a short description. This Social Media Checker article provides an excellent list of tips for capitalizing on a business presence on Instagram:
Monitor your metrics closely, across all three platforms. Respond to your data, and if the numbers aren’t where you want them to be, change your strategy.
Know your clients
Know who you want to target with your social media marketing and build your strategies based on those goals. You will have to do your research, but it will be well worth it.
Key points to remember are:
- Who are your clients and potential clients?
- What they look for in the brands they endorse
- What related products or services appeal to them
- Where they spend time online
Develop your messaging
While you can put off funny tweets or personal updates on your own social media accounts, you need to be strategic about using social media for marketing purposes.
Schedule your posts in advance and plan what you will say in each one. That way you don’t find yourself in a situation where you get busy with projects and forget to tweet for a week. A user-friendly scheduling platform called HotSuite (http://www.hootsuite.com)
Engage your audience
After all, your social media presence is just that – a “presence”. Not only are you scheduling Facebook posts and tweets, and expressing yourself through photos on Instagram, you’re also engaging with your audience (and if not, you should be!).
Part of your social media strategy should be spending time each day reading any comments, mentions and potential personal messages on Facebook and Twitter. They are worth their weight in gold and can tell you, for example, what customers think of your product, how well they respond to your content, and their level of satisfaction with your business in general. Answer any questions, and participate in discussions that can happen in Facebook’s comments section or Twitter conversations.
Have fun with social media but never lose sight of its potential for your business!
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