Whether you are just getting started as a business in social media or need to fine tune your social media presence, here are 15 social media tips for businesses to enhance their brand social media presence.
1. Set Social Media Goals – While each business must define the specific goals of their social media strategy; there are several goals common to most small businesses with a social media presence.
Introduce New Product
Recruit New Employees
Generate Online Traffic
Generate Physical Traffic
Demonstrate Industry Authority
Improve Public Goodwill
The social media goals will change and develop as the business’ social media presence grows and matures.
2. Create a Voice – Each brand or company has its own personality or corporate culture. That needs to be taken into consideration when creating a “voice” for the business on social media. The “voice” should be consistent and best represent the authority and personality of the brand. Most important, the voice must ring true or sound authentic to customers already familiar with the business.
3. Listen and Engage – The term engagement is used to describe the communication that takes place in social media networks. This is not a place to push, push, push a brand’s message, but to engage with customers, industry professionals, potential clients and thought leaders. The dialogue taking place on social media builds a foundation for business relationships both online and in person.
4. Be Consistently Present– This is a key detail where many businesses go wrong. They create social media profiles, post on them for a while and then go dark. To actively participate on social media and meet any set social media goals, a business must be present frequently and consistently in their social networks.
5. Target your demographic group – The different social media networks each represent a segment of the online society. A business should understand who their customers and potential customers are and determine what network works best to reach them. Not every network will be a natural fit for each business.
6. Know Your Audience – After spending time within different social media platforms, you will begin to understand what your specific audience wants from your brand and how they respond. It might be different on Facebook than Linkedin, Twitter or Pinterest. While getting started, identify the interests of your target group and use those interests to help make a connection. If you get to know them and tailor your postings and engagements, the engagement from your audience or “fans” will be much greater.
7. Complete the Social Profiles – When creating a social media account, be sure to take the time and fill out the profile section of each social platform completely. Be consistent with your web presence optimization or SEO strategy in the descriptions and the keywords you utilize. Select a consistent branding image and color scheme so the audience will recognize the business across social networks.
8. Be Human – One of the reasons people pay attention to business leaders or brands on social media is to get to know them as a person or the personality of a brand. Show off a bit of your corporate culture, what happens behind the scenes, and the individuals behind the brand. Everybody likes an “insider” view. In doing so, make sure your posting stays consistent with the “voice” of your brand.
9. Spread the Love – Share content from other brand leaders, customers or business partners on social media. Some experts advocate a specific rule on how often you should talk about yourself vs. others on social media, but it is more a general rule of thumb. Think of it like a conversation at a cocktail party. You would not be very popular if you talked only about yourself the entire night. Social media is not about pushing your content, but talking about and sharing great content.
10. Be Visual – Nothing grabs attention more consistently on social media than great visual content -photos, graphics, and video. To help make smart designs that will get noticed, there are several great photo-editing tools such as PicMonkey and Canva, free on the web. Be aware of the preferred photo ratios across social networks and post to best showcase your image on that network. For instance, Facebook prefers a landscape image while portrait images do better on Pinterest.
11. Create Original Content – In order to build brand authority, it is important that you create original content to share through the social networks. Give your audience a reason to seek out your social media profiles by consistently updating with items they cannot find from anyone else.
12. Be Helpful – When in doubt about what to post or how to engage your audience, be helpful. People appreciate helpful tips and suggestions while browsing through Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Top 10 lists or “How To’s” are always a favorite.
13. Promotion – If you have a big event, sale or new product, don’t be afraid to buy ads to increase attention. Facebook ads have a low entry price and prove to increase engagement for promoted posts or photos. The key here is not to use it too often. You don’t want your fans tuning out your message when they see the word “sponsored.” If you save it for the big events, you will see a higher engagement.
14. Start Small – For a business to have a healthy online social presence, it is not necessary for them to be active on each and every social network. Start small and do it well. It is better to start on one or two networks to familiarize yourself with the platform and the audience, gain experience and then grow from there.
15. Hire a Professional – Walking through each of these steps for a business or brand may be time consuming. Too many businesses relegate it to an intern or already overworked assistant. Review the social media goals that were set in step one to realize the potential that engagement on social media offers to the business. Don’t be afraid to consider outsourcing a brand’s social media strategy to a consultant or professional firm. They possess the experience to work hand in hand with the business to be present and active on social media to meet the social media goals.
The key for any business wanting to create a social media presence is to not be intimidated, find your target audience , be authentic, share and don’t be afraid to seek help when needed.