How Social Media Can Help Your Business
In the beginning, Google was all you had to worry about. Get to the top of the search rankings, and all would be well for your business. SEO was the buzzword of the decade.
Fast forward to today, and you now have so much more to worry about: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Reddit – the list of social media applications and sites continues to grow, and the popularity continues to shift. What may be perfect for your business one day may turn sour the next.
Where does your business need to be concentrating its time and effort when it comes to social media? Unfortunately, the answer is: It depends. Let’s go through the major social media networks to see how they can help your business.
It used to be easy to find success on Facebook: Create a page, post a lot, and people would see it, share it, and your page’s audience would grow. But recent changes to Facebook’s news feed have focused more of the content on friends’ posts, at the expense of page updates. So how do you get your posts to show up?
First, create engaging content. What does this mean? Create content that spurs commenting and sharing. Likes and click-throughs aren’t enough. This content could be asking a question that starts the conversation going, posting meaningful content such as infographics and videos.
The best way, though is through cold, hard cash. Dip into your advertising budget to boost certain posts and get them to show up in users’ newsfeeds. Luckily, it’s not that expensive to boost a post, and you can get very granular in determining the demographics of who actually sees your post.
Twitter is like shouting in a stadium full of 80,000 people. It’s difficult to get people to listen to you, but it’s not impossible. There are two keys to gaining followers on Twitter:
Again, content rules. Post meaningful content. Use hashtags so that people who are searching for tweets similar to yours can find them easily. Capitalize on trends and breaking news if they’re related to your business; they’re most likely to be followed.
If you’re in the services industry, engage with your customers. Social media listening is important; people may be talking about you right now on Twitter, complaining about poor customer service, and you may not even know about it. Respond quickly and get their problems fixed. If someone compliments you, thank them. Think of it as another customer support vehicle.
Instagram can be difficult to use if you don’t have any visual representation of your business, but for the right company, it can be beneficial. More millennials are using Instagram as well, so if that’s your target audience, you probably want to focus on it. Try to be creative with your photos and images – you want a lot of shares to grow your audience. Some areas where Instagram would work include construction and interior design. Show off your work!
Pinterest is a lot like Instagram – both involve the posting of photos and images – but Pinterest is more about curating content. In other words, Pinterest is more for interesting images that you find on the Internet. Again, this works if you have a visual-type business and can find interesting images related to your company, such as decorating ideas, interesting hairstyles, home improvement and food. NOTE: Pinterest tends to skew toward an older crowd, and a vast majority of users are women. If that’s in your demographic, you’d be wise to have a Pinterest account.
Snapchat is the newest social media player, having been around for only 6 years. It skews primarily to 18-to-24-year-olds, but they are highly engaged. They’re also mobile users, so if that’s your target audience, you might want to consider it. Otherwise, leave it alone. Partner with popular Snapchat influencers to create content that users will be interested in, and create fun visuals that are likely to be noticed.
Each social network is different, so unless you’re promoting a news release or blog post, you don’t want to publish the same content on multiple social media sites on a regular basis. You may have the same person following you on different networks, and seeing the same content multiple times is not ideal. Stick to the strengths of each network.
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