The Power of Using Social Media For Your Business
Social Media Marketing for Business
Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat have become the prominent social networking tools for millions of online business owners. They’re using these channels to share links and content that promote their business, products and services.
When it comes to using social media as a promotional tool, the question that I get asked most often is; “how do I decide which social media platform is best for my business when there are so many channels to choose from?” This mainly depends on the nature of your business, your ultimate goals and which social sites your target audience uses the most.
Eventually, you’ll want to have a presence on multiple social media platforms, but when you’re just getting started you’ll want to focus your time and energy on one or two platforms, then branch out from there. I see so many business owners jump into social media marketing, set up profiles on every social site they can find only to find themselves overwhelmed and unable to keep up with all the daily activities required to manage them effectively.
That’s why today we are going to go over a few things you should consider when it comes to choosing which social media platforms to focus on for your business. So, grab a pen, paper and jot down some notes as we go through these lessons.
Consider your main goals
Maintaining a solid social media presence takes lots of time and effort. The type of business you have will help determine your main objectives. That’s why, knowing exactly what you want to achieve with your campaign will help you choose the right platform to focus on. For instance, do you want to engage your customers and increase brand awareness? Do you want to target new leads and generate more revenue? Knowing what you want to achieve will help you in choose the best channels for your business.
Take a minute and write down at least three things you hope to achieve with your social campaign.
Know your target audience
Now that you have a good idea of what your main goals are, you need to figure out who you’re trying to reach. When you know who your target audience is, it will be much easier to find out which social media site the spend most of their time on and what type of content they respond to best.
For example, people between the ages of 18-24 hang out on sites like Snapchat, while more mature people gravitate towards Twitter and Facebook. If you’re not sure where your audience hangs out look at where your competitors. Find out where they invest their time and where they’re getting the most engagement.
Find out what your audience wants
After you know where your audience hangs out take some tile to figure out what type of content they get excited about. Once you have determined what they want you can focus on creating content that you can use to connect with them. This is where paying attention to your competition will come in handy again. Keep an eye on where they are sharing content, what type of content they’re posting and what kind of response they get from their audience.
For instance, if they’re posting a lot videos on YouTube and Facebook that are getting a lot of likes, shares and comments, then you can be pretty sure that those platforms will work great for your business too. But if they are spending time posting images on Pinterest and Instagram that their followers love then you’ll want to explore those channels instead.
Determine how much time you can devote to social media
As I mentioned, maintaining a solid presence on social media takes a lot of time and effort. Some platforms are more time-consuming to maintain than others so focus on the ones that you’ll feel most comfortable posting on. If you only have an hour a day scheduled for social media, it’s a good idea to keep your reach limited to one or two networks that will make the biggest impact. This will make your job much easier.
Once you have developed a good presence on one or two sites you can then branch out to others to expand your reach even more. As you become more successful you can consider outsourcing your social media management so that you can have a strong presence on multiple channels without spending all your time posting and responding yourself.
When you take the time to consider these things it will be much easier for you to decide which social media channels will help you achieve your goals and reflect your business values.
Creating a Schedule for Your Social Media Content
Social media is fast becoming one of the most effective ways to generate interest in what your business has to offer. It can be used to build your brand, get more traffic to your website, collect leads and so much more.
It has so many wonderful benefits, but it can also be very challenging especially when it comes to managing all the tasks required to maintain a positive presence on multiple networks. That’s where setting up a schedule can help, because it will allow you to plan what, where and when to share.
Grab your pen and paper and jot down any ideas you have that will help you create a tentative schedule for your social media campaign.
Existing social accounts
Chances are you already have accounts on one or two social networks so start by taking a close look at what you already have. Are any of them business related? Are they beneficial to your business? Can you develop them? Once you know what you have you can decide whether to work on improving them or eliminating them from your plan.
Deciding what type content, you are going to share for your business is an important part of creating an effective schedule. The content should be compelling and relevant to the network you’re posting on as well as to your products and services. For instance, if you’re focusing on Twitter and Instagram then you’ll be sharing mostly text and images but if you are going with YouTube then you’ll be creating and sharing videos.
Are you going to create the content yourself or hire someone to do the job for you?
This is important because if you’re going to create it yourself you will have to allocate enough time in your schedule to complete creative tasks. If you’re going to outsource all or part of the task you won’t need as much time to for that in your schedule.
Tracking your progress
Keeping track of your social media activities is extremely important. Luckily most networks have built in analytics that will allow you to measure the results of your campaigns. Depending on which network you’re on you’ll want to track things like follower growth, likes, clicks and shares to determine if your campaigns are working. There are also outside tracking tools that you can use but when you’re just getting started the network tools should work just fine.
As I mentioned in the last lesson eventually you will want to have a presence on multiple networks but there is no need to jump into all of them at the same time. Think of your social presence as a tree. It starts out as a small twig and as it grows more branches will develop. With proper nurturing, it will continue to grow and expand its reach.
Remember you want to focus on one or two networks at first then add more as you grow. However, it’s a good idea to include multiple platforms in your schedule, because it will give you a timeline to follow. A good place to start is by making a list of every network you think will be a good fit for your business and analyzing their demographics. This will help narrow down your options and then you can tentatively add them to your schedule as a part of your expansion plan.
Planning the frequency of your posts can be tricky. Keep in mind that too many posts can annoy your followers while too few will cause them to lose interest. The only real way to find out what will work best for your business is to test and see what your audience responds best too. You want to keep you audience informed while not being too obtrusive. You also want a good mix of content. Try alternating promotional posts with entertaining and informative ones.
One of the things that makes social media such a great tool for business is that it makes it possible to communicate directly with your consumers and other people in your industry, but to be effective you must develop a good reputation and prove yourself as someone who can be trusted.
When creating your plan think about the activities you’ll have to perform for each of the platforms. In addition to posting regular content, you’ll need to schedule in time to answer questions, chime in on conversations and comment relevant posts in your industry.
When creating your schedule, it’s a good idea to set aside certain times of the day to accomplish these tasks. If you don’t have a good schedule in place you’ll find yourself spending endless hours on posting, sharing and chatting. You may also want to include some milestones into your schedule. Monitoring your progress, you’ll be able to see what works good and what you should improve to make social media a better marketing tool for your business.
How to Reach More People with Social Media
Marketing your business online can be challenging. It can be hard to attract people that are interested in what you have to offer, so you have to go and find them. Social media can be a great way to do this once you know how to use it. That’s why in this lesson we’re going to go over some simple tips that can help you reach more people.
Share great content regularly
Set aside a certain time every day to post something that will provide value to your followers. You can share photos, videos, news, ask and answer questions, post special offers, coupons or giveaways. Just make sure to keep your posts fresh, relevant and something that your audience will find useful. There is nothing worse as consumer than going to a business page and finding almost no useful information.
Add links to your social profiles. Most of the time you can do this in the about me section. You should include links to your main website as well as any other business-related sites or social profiles that you want your followers to check out. This way if a person who follows you on Twitter can find your Facebook page etc. This can help increase the number of followers you have dramatically and it’s a great way to introduce them to what you have to offer.
Stay focused on business
Keep your eyes on the prize when it comes to social media marketing. Don’t make your business page about yourself. Keep the focus on your company, your product or services. While it’s alright to share some personal information about yourself with your business followers (because it helps them relate to you) do your best to most of keep your personal updates and information on a separate profile.
Just like with article and blog post, headlines are important for your social media posts too. They not only help with search engine optimization (SEO) they are the first thing people see, so they need to grab attention. When creating your content try to come up with catchy, descriptive headlines that will make people want to click and see more.
Be positive and polite
Maintain a positive perspective regardless of what others post. Being positive is essential to making your customers feel good when they visit your pages. If they feel good, they are more likely to share, like and comment on your posts.
Call to action
Lastly, always include a call to action (CTA) in your posts. Your audience came to you looking for information don’t leave them hanging with dead-end content. Give them something to do after they’ve viewed your post.
This can be as simple as asking them to like and share, click a link to learn more, subscribe to your list or (better yet) buy your product. If you don’t tell them what to do they will wander off and chances are you’ll lose their attention for good.
How to Build Trust with Your Followers
It’s very easy to post information on social media. Most of us do it every day, but the question is; are your followers interested in your sharing? Do they even trust your opinion? This is a real issue for many business owners that try to use social media as a marketing tool because people are wary and afraid of being the victim of a scam.
Overcoming consumer fear
You want your followers to trust you, acknowledge that that the information you share is reliable and truthful. But how will you go about this? First, know that this takes time. If you think you’ll be able to jump on social media and be an overnight success think again. While this can happen if you already have a huge customer base outside of social networks for most of business owners it’s a process that can take anywhere from a few months to a few years to see real results.
Don’t let that discourage you though, because building a social presence for your business is more important than ever. The good news building trust can be done in several ways. Let’s go over a few that will help get you started.
Share quality content
Quality is always better than quantity. If you share your great content on social media, your followers will understand your business better, and they’ll naturally want to know more about it. It also means they will be more likely to like and share it. The more they do that the more followers you will get, so always make sure that what you’re sharing is relevant, entertaining and informative.
Skip the fancy jargon
Stay away from big words and technical jargon, unless you’re in an industry that uses them (like the medical field) because this will send most people running the other direction. No body want to be made to feel stupid. It’s very important to get to your audience and talk to them in a language they can understand.
On social media attention spans are short so make your posts quick and easy to consume. This is where a good CTA is very important. You will see much better results if you keep your posts short and tell your followers to click through to your website if they want more information. Tease them with a clue of what they’ll find if they click and be sure to deliver what you promised. This will not only help increase traffic it will help you gain trust.
There is no point of sharing information on social media if you are not going to engage your followers. It is very simple to interact with your followers through Twitter, Facebook, and other social sites, so take advantage of it by talking to them. When you take the time to engage it will inspire loyalty from the people you respond to. It will also help you gain the trust of people who see how you reply to consumers in real time. Making it a win/win for your business
How to Use Facebook Live to Connect with Your Audience
Over the last few lessons we’ve kept things very general in terms of ideas that will work on just about any social network, but today is going to be all about Facebook because it’s one of the fastest ways to get the word out about your business.
If you can get your marketing message in front of the right people on Facebook you can get massive free exposure which can quickly boost your following and better yet lead to an influx of new customers and sales.
Facebook Live is hot right now so why not take advantage of it and step things up a bit with your own live event. It’s easy to start your own chat session or webinar. All you need is a mic and webcam to quickly connect with your followers in real time. Heck, you can even use your smart phone or tablet and broadcast from anywhere. It’s an extremely powerful strategy that works and shouldn’t be ignored.
Many people shy away from this technique because they don’t like to be on camera, they’re afraid of messing up and looking stupid but mostly because they don’t know what to talk about so first let’s go over that first.
Teach what you know
Show people how to do something useful and they will become a raving fan. This can be as simple as talking about one of your products and demonstrating how it works. Want to generate more engagement then ask your followers to share how they’d use it. Even better, invite them to post an image or video of them actually using it. This is the best form of social proof and its pure gold for businesses.
Don’t be afraid to ask for comments, suggestions and ideas because your consumers will be glad to help you improve your product, services and even help you find and troubleshoot problems. I know it seems like a bad idea to invite criticism but when it’s done properly it will help you gain community support and get your followers more invested in your business.
Now let’s go over a few other things you should consider before you go live:
Promote before you broadcast
Make sure you let your audience know about your upcoming live video by posting on your news feed and your other social profiles. Use images and even a short video to tell them about the live cast letting them know exactly when it is and asking them to come watch.
Don’t stop there you can also send an email to your list inviting them to join you too and if your live video is important enough, you can boost your announcement post with Facebook ads targeted to your dream audience. Remember people have short attention span especially on social media so you should remind them multiple times before you broadcast to build up momentum and then again right before you go live.
Just like shooting a video or public speaking you’ll want to practice before you broadcast live to make sure that your viewers will be able to hear you clearly without distraction and participate in the comments.
Take time to pick a good location in a spot that has a strong broadband connection. You want it to be as free as possible from background noise and interruptions like the dog barking or the kids running into the room.
If you’re using a webcam set up your lighting and position it to where people can see you clearly. If your using your phone think about whether to hold it yourself, use a mount or prop it up with some books to get a good angle. If you aren’t working alone then you can delegate the job of managing the camera for you.
One of the nice things about going live is that you don’t have to give people a long-planned presentation, you just need to give them good information and a reason to like you. When you’re ready to broadcast, start by relaxing, and don’t forget to smile. If you make yourself look comfortable your audience will enjoy watching you.
Take a minute to introduce yourself and your business. Tell your audience what you’re going to talk about and give them a rough estimate of how long you’ll be on. This will help manage their expectations. Be sure to encourage comments and feedback. You’ll be able to see how many viewers you have at any time so don’t be afraid to interact with them.
Ending the broadcast
When it comes time to end of your live video don’t forget to include a call to action like we discussed in lesson three. Add an after-show comment thanking everyone again for watching and tell them what you want them to do next. You can also tell them a bit about your plans for the next video, encourage them to continue commenting and ask them to share the archived copy of the video that will be in the timeline.
Lastly, take some time to optimize your live videos. You can change the thumbnail to something that will grab attention. You can also add or change the location and date, provide a more detailed description, and select a category. To do this click on Options, and select Edit This Video. Then promote and share it. After all you did the hard part now it’s time to capitalize on it.
If you want to know more about how Facebook Live works and how you can start using it check out their help page here: https://live.fb.com
As we close this final lesson I would like to thank you again for joining me for this short course. I sincerely hope that you’ve learned a lot about how to take your business social and even though the lessons have come to an end I want you to know that you can still feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I’m more than happy to help.