If you are a small business owner, chances are you already are on social media. You may be spending some time on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, or Google+. The sites you choose to spend the most time on will depend on a number of things such as your business type, your personal preference, and the kind of content that appeals to your ideal audience.
And the time you spend on your social media activities varies accordingly, depending on your personality as well as overall strategy.
It is entirely possible that you have a love-hate relationship with social media and your social media presence can be described as wildly inconsistent at best. This is because you have probably stretched yourself too thin. You are dabbling in all platforms but not spending enough time or effort to truly master one.
You need to start off with one or two sites and only move on to others once you have built a decent sized following with real engagement. In this post, I am going to walk you through some ways to leverage social media without having to chain yourself to the desk. Read through and then just pick one. Let’s begin.
#1 Include Facebook as a core element of your social media strategy. According to research, about 36% of adults use only one social media site. And out of these, 83% use Facebook. Yes, your target audience is on Facebook and if you choose only one platform to be active on, start with Facebook.
#2 Create your business page and fill out your about section with a link to your website. Upload an appealing cover photo which is on brand. Add your own photo to your profile so people can instantly see who you are and connect with you.
#3 Create a content strategy for Facebook and post when most of your audience is online. Schedule your posts to get maximum exposure especially if you are a global brand. Also create an ideal persona of your ideal audience and use graph search to find out where they hang out. You can target fan pages of your competitors, create custom or lookalike audiences.
#4 Create content that drives maximum engagement. These includes images, quotes, videos, humorous shares, nostalgic content, questions, useful content, tips and tricks, and contests.
#5 Understand the lifespan of a Facebook post. You will receive most impressions in less than 2 hours and receive majority of engagement within 5 hours. Remember, not all posts are created equal. To maximize the chances of a post being seen by most fans, look into Facebook insights as most business pages have the same peak usage. If your reach is low, reposting can increase it.
#6 Create awesome, attention grabbing headlines. These are a pre-requisite for all social media platforms for content to perform well.
#7 Take advantage of Facebook ads. Organic reach is fantastic but don’t forget ads. These are inexpensive and can be laser targeted. Don’t just boost posts but use page post ads to get the best ROI. Aim to target mobile users to reach even more people.
#8 Use Facebook to collect leads and build your sales funnel rather selling directly to your audience. When running ads, collect email addresses instead of driving traffic to a sales page. Track your metrics at all times.
#9 Keep most of your content updates non-promotional. The vast majority of people use Facebook for personal reasons. They want to see photos and videos the most. This means you need to publish interesting content your audience will engage with.
#10 Join Facebook groups. Be of service as well as promote your products or services.
#11 Define your Twitter goals. For most businesses, being on Twitter means interaction with their customers and influencers, and to make their content spread like wildfire.
#12 Craft your bio well. Spend some time coming up with appropriate words to describe what you do and how you help your potential buyer. Include a link to your website and to your opt-in offer. Select a professional photograph that is well aligned with your overall branding.
#13 Select the people you want to follow. You can create Twitter lists so it is easy for you to follow and engage with people. Be sure to include influencers and key players in your industry so you can stay on trend.
#14 Grow your Twitter audience. Your number of followers will not increase on its own, you have to put effort into it. Firstly, engage with your followers – ask questions, respond, and retweet what they are saying. This will encourage them to share your tweets and attract new followers. Participate in Twitter chats. You can also engage with people who haven’t followed you yet and this will make them want to do so. Promote your twitter handle on your website, in your email signatures and elsewhere.
#15 Create a Twitter strategy. In order to be a success on Twitter, you need to pay attention to the different types of content you will be sharing and plan it accordingly. Use a scheduling software like Hootsuite or Buffer.
#16 Make the most of your tweets. Your tweets have a very short time span – about 20 minutes. Not all of your followers are online when you tweet out, and not all of the ones who are online will see your tweets, or even click on them. You can make your tweets stand out by adding an image, retweeting your content multiple times and adding an appropriate call to action. Add something different to your tweets every time you repeat a tweet. Share content tied to live world events.
#17 Use advanced tactics. Include relevant hashtags in your content so people actively looking for those will find your tweets. Mention people and contact them via email to see whether they would be interested in retweeting it to their followers. Include clicktotweet within your website content so people can share sound bites from your content.
#18 92% of Pinterest pinners are created by women and 80% users are females so if your target audience is primarily men, other platforms might suit you better. On the other hand, you can use Pinterest to appeal to women who have a big say in the purchasing decision.
#19 When it comes to Pinterest, your industry matters. If you are a business belonging to the Food & Drink, DIY or crafts or the home décor category, you are in luck as most of the photos that get pinned belong to these categories.
#20 Craft your about section carefully and include a link to your website (Pinterest is the second largest referrer of traffic today). Include the keywords in your boards’ names.
#21 Know your audience and what they look for on Pinterest. Pay attention to their tastes.
#22 Pay attention to the seasonal trends and create pins accordingly. Research shows that the pinning activity goes up in relation to world events and celebrations. Correlate your pins with the hot topic of the day
#23 Pinterest is hopping with activity in the evenings. It’s like a dessert, a special treat. Take advantage of that.
#24 Make your offerings beautiful. Needless to say, Pinterest is a highly visual medium. You can get away with blurry images or less than professional images on Facebook where it is more about connecting with friends and family, but on Pinterest you need highly professional images if you want a chance of getting any attention. Quality visuals count, rest goes into oblivion. Use the right size photos in the right place.
#25 Showcase your products in real life. Build stories around your products and show them in action. If your product isn’t hot, tie it to visually appealing topic such as clothes, food or landscapes.
#26 Include your prices. Research shows that pins with prices get 36% more likes.
#27 It is a great tool for B2B marketing. LinkedIn research shows that people spend 8 hours per week on seeking news on industry trends and news. This is great news if you cater to other businesses.
#28 Start with an effective company profile. Include your employee profiles if applicable. Use your profile to tell your corporate story.
#29 Know the type of content that does well on LinkedIn: Professional content that increase people’s knowledge and expertise, build their network and increase credibility and rank. Develop a tailored content strategy keeping this fact in mind. Long form content works like magic on LinkedIn. Aim to create content around the 2000 word mark to achieve best results and engagement. Also stick to the facts – nothing too provocative. Write content on LinkedIn top-10 topics.
#30 Focus on your audience. Create a marketing persona and connect with people in your network as well as those who are outside of it. Endorse people you respect. Build your LinkedIn group and promote it amongst your other networks.
#31 Create content aimed at someone with an eighth grade reading ability. People mistakenly assume that people on LinkedIn are more educated and ‘high register’ on average. This is not the case. Create your content that is fairly ‘easy’ to read and the post will fare much better in terms on likes, shares and comments.
#32 Short headlines are better suited to this medium. Avoid creating ultra-long titles. How-to and list headlines trump question headlines.
#33 Use images to skyrocket engagement. Avoid other forms of multimedia such as video or slides as it doesn’t generate the same results. Use bold and headings to make it easy to read on a screen.
#34 Pay attention to the timing. LinkedIn works within business hours and the best time to post is Tuesday and Thursday between 9 am – 11 am. Share professional content and post at least once daily.
#35 Promote your content across other platforms. Cross promote to attract even more eyeballs to your LinkedIn content. Don’t forget to add a call to action.
#36 Create a Google+ company page. Include links to your website and any other key info.
#37 Put some thought into creating circles and add the right people to the right circles. By doing this you will be able to share highly targeted content with people in certain circles (as well as with the public).
#38 Format your posts. You can format your posts in Google+ so take advantage of that. Use bold, numbered lists and bullet points. Use headings and sub-headings. Include lots of white space and make it as easy as possible to read on a screen.
#39 Write SEO friendly headlines. For your Google+ posts, make sure you write a compelling headline and include any keywords if possible to make full use of SEO rankings.
#40 Use images to increase engagement. Use hashtags.
#41 Join Google+ communities. People form communities to discuss topics they are passionate about. Be sure to join them.
Remember, in order to be successful on social media, you must treat it right. Make a date with the social media sites you are active on and show up.
Plan your content and create it in batches ahead of time. Allocate some time to check in twice a day and interact with your followers. Set up a timer if you get sucked into social media time and time ceases to exist or schedule into your daily planner of you forget that you need to give it some attention.