Social media is a huge, sometimes intimidating, world. Every week it seems there is some hot new platform where people are sharing more and more at faster and faster paces. With so much competition for attention it can be a major challenge to have your company noticed in the free-for-all of social media.
But don’t panic. With some strategy you can use social media to reach current and potential customers and create a loyal following in the process. The important thing is to plan.
You need to think about:
– What you want to say
– The best way to say it
– How often you should say it
Common sense? Sure. And it’s also the best way to cut the clutter of your customer’s newsfeeds. Here are some easy tips for getting your business noticed on social media.
What to share
To share or not to share, that is the question. Better yet, when you’re using social media to market your business, you should be thinking about what to share.
It goes without saying that you want to use social media to promote your company. That is, you want to share what products and services you have to offer, what makes you better than your competition and so on. Social media is a great way to send out job notifications. It can also be used to help people understand your company better—the people who work there, your values, etc.
But it’s important that you don’t become TOO hung up on just marketing, marketing, marketing. Think about your own experiences on social media. What are the things that come up in your newsfeed that you find interesting? Maybe it’s a news story, some life tips or a good joke. Consider spicing up your social media presence with some of that: things that aren’t directly related to your business but could still be of interest to your followers.
That being said it’s best to remember to keep what you share appropriate. Off-colour jokes or insensitive remarks can be disastrous to a company’s image. A good rule of thumb: don’t post anything you wouldn’t be comfortable sharing with all the members of your family.
How to share
How you approach your posts can be just as important as what you post. It’s wise to sit down and think about what your social media voice and personality will be—should you be funny and witty, professional and reserved, or some combination? It’s important to find a balance. You shouldn’t be so uptight that you come across as a robot, but be careful not to overcompensate and be so casual that nobody takes your seriously.
Whatever you think is best it’s a good idea to be consistent. That is, decide your tone and stick with it to avoid confusion with your followers. You don’t want to sound like you have multiple personalities with different styles and voices.
Once you’ve figured out your approach, it’s time to interact. Social media is all about conversations—so get in there! Is one of your followers asking a question? Try to help them with a friendly answer. And all importantly, if someone raises a complaint about your company, publicly engage with them and do your best to handle their concerns. That will show everyone that you’re not just a faceless machine—you’re a company that cares about your customers and will reach out on a one-on-one basis.
What we’re talking about is connections on a human level. This is what social media really excels at. Often, a customer can feel quite small when faced with the machinery of huge corporations and bureaucracies. But social media is a mighty leveler: a well-versed tweet or Facebook post can be shared and viewed by hundreds, even thousands, of people. Harness this power by getting customers on your side by being friendly, helpful and sympathetic.
When to share
Like succeeding anywhere in life, often the most important key to success is simply showing up. Being on social media shows your customers that you’re engaged, dynamic and accessible. But after that you’ve got to decide how much you’re going to share.
You’re going to want to be like Goldilocks here: post too often and you’re going to annoy your followers; post too little and people will forget about you. There’s no real rule of thumb for how often to use social media. The best way to find your own sweet spot is through practice—see what works best for you and your company. If you find that people are willing to engage with you on social media on a daily or even hourly basis, then full speed ahead. But if your base responds better to more occasional interactions then space out your posts a bit.
The important thing to remember is that you should only post when you have something to say. That sounds pretty self-evident, but too often people talk for the sake of talking—not because they have something substantive to share. If you come across as a frantic poster desperately trying to catch the audience’s attention you’ll quickly turn off potential customers. Strike a balance and save your sharing for when you’ve got something interesting, thoughtful or helpful for your audience.
Now get out there!
Researching social media is a great way to start—but actually getting out there and trying it is even better. Get out there and start interacting with your audience. But remember to be thoughtful and consistent about what, how and how often you share.