Did you know there are 3.03 billion active social media users across the globe? Towards the end of 2017 social media users grew by 121 million and this is a trend that is set to continue this year (Source: StatusBrew.com).
With so many people online who could potentially be of interest to your business, how can you maximise social media in the right way to attract their attention? Here are some do’s and don’ts of using social media to help you do just that.
- Be clear about who you are: If you want to attract the right following for your brand then you need to know who you are and make it clear to followers – your identity, your product or service offering and your tone of voice. If you don’t know who you are then your followers won’t either.
- Know your audience: Once your clear about who you are, you need to make sure you know your target audiences in detail. Do research to find out what they like, what they dislike and the type of content that captures their attention. Once you understand them in detail you can create content specifically for them. This will encourage your existing followers to interact with you and will attract new followers who you genuinely want to work with or have as customers.
- Respond to shares, likes and comments: This is so important. If they make the effort to interact with you online then respond to them as soon as you can (ideally within 24 hours). This will help you create good long lasting relationships with them.
- Be active (but don’t spam): Believe it or not, there’s a fine line between being active and being a spammer. Tweeting 30 times a day will just be annoying to your followers as you’ll take up a lot of their newsfeed! Instead, post or tweet at key times of the day for your audience in a way that will make them want to respond.
- Follow a checklist: For me, this is the easiest and most effective way to manage social media for business. Create a checklist and follow it. I split mine into daily, weekly and monthly activity. If you need some help with this, read my blog A complete checklist for social media activity.
- Pay attention to timing: Consider what’s happening in the wider world before you post your content. There have been so many examples of brands not doing this and damaging their reputation with one post or tweet i.e. Tesco during the horse meat scandal. You don’t want to cause offence, so please take the news and key issues in your industry into account.
- Focus on platforms that will benefit your business: A lot of people feel pressure to use certain channels because they’re the most popular one at the moment or they’re new to the market. Please don’t use a social media channel for either of these reasons – make sure you pick channels that will help you reach your goals, grow your following with the right audiences for your business and will bring the best return on investment for you. Focus on conquering that single channel or prioritise a maximum of two.
- Be human: In other words, share your personality via your social media channels that is easy to relate to. You want to attract people who may want to buy from you at some point, so make an effort to build a rapport with followers that will make them actually want to buy from you when the need arises.
- Share content from others: This can really help you build your credibility and your audience. When you read an article that you think will be of interest to your followers – share it. When you see a graphic or post from a key influencer in your industry – share it. When sharing content from others tag or mention them where you can for maximum exposure, as they may share your post.
- Ignore your followers: Be responsive, start conversations and get involved in hashtags as and where you can. This is important, both in terms of growing your following and being active with your existing followers.
- Create a profile then never post: If you don’t have the time or resources to use a social media channel then I would recommend that you don’t use it. A profile with no posts is pointless – it won’t help you or your brand. In fact, if anything, it will do more damage than good.
- Forget to network: Would you ever turn up to a networking event and not speak to anyone there? No, because you’re there for a reason. Think about social media as a networking event and talk to other users on the channels you use.
- Connect with anyone and everyone: This is especially important on platforms like LinkedIn. Be selective with who you connect with as these are posts that will take up space on your newsfeed and could potentially lead to you receiving a lot of sales or spam messages. Connect with people who you genuinely know and like, who you can have conversations with and potentially do business with (or facilitate introductions to others).
- Delete negative comments: I know it sounds like an odd thing to say, but I would never recommend doing this. Instead, focus on how to turn the negative comment into a positive. Resolve the outstanding issue and take the time to find out where it originated from. Doing this will really enhance your brand reputation. If you want to know more about how to handle negativity on social media, read my blog How to handle negative comments on social media like a pro.
- Rely to much on automation: I like automation just as much as the next person, but don’t you find it a bit annoying sometimes as a user? Be mindful that some users see automation as spam and are instantly turned off by it, so if you’re using it, do it wisely. I’ve seen some fantastic examples of brands using Facebook chatbots in a way that is in no way sales orientated and all about the people. Remember social media is about being human … sometimes automation takes that away.
- Be negative: I very rarely see this to be honest, but I understand that some brands sometimes show their frustration, anger and negativity on some issues. That’s ok to do sometimes if you’re voicing an opinion (after all you’re entitled to do that), but be careful to not cause offence or alienate your followers in the process. Also be careful not to be negative towards other brands as this can sometimes start a thread is not attractive to your followers.
- Make it all about you: By all means, share your content on a regular basis and use your social media channels to promote your products or services, but put the focus on your followers rather than your brand. Share your knowledge and expertise. This is how you’re going to convert followers to customers.
- Use the one size fits all approach: This doesn’t work. You will have different of audiences with different needs. Post content that is relevant to them all through a series of posts or tweets. Also keep in mind that audiences on Facebook will have very different needs to those on Twitter or Pinterest and adapt your approach to each platform.
Do you need help with your social media strategy? Get in touch with me for help. Call 0191 236 1010, 07941694702 or email email@example.com.