August 28, 2018
Social media isn't just for personal use anymore. Businesses small and large have been using platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn for years – to the benefit of their bottom lines. And, if your business is struggling to make an impact, it's time to make a change.
With 70 percent of the US population claiming at least one social media account, lagging behind on social media is no longer an option if you want to grow as a business. However, constantly changing algorithms and increasingly savvy competitors admittedly make it hard to find your audience, particularly without a little advice.
That's why getting a few tips from experts can do wonders for your next campaign. Take a look at what we found to be the most helpful social media tips out there today and reach your audience.
Social Media Tips Businesses Should Follow
There's no one-size-fits-all path to social media success, whether you're an individual or a business. However, following a few core principles can make all the difference.
To find out the best social media tips for businesses, the experts you should look towards are social media management companies. These firms make social media success their lifeblood. Companies such as Hootsuite, Buffer and Sprout Social exist to help businesses connect with their audiences more intelligently via social media.
What emerges is a simple seven-step formula for social media success:
1) Get Started
If your business doesn't have a social media presence by now, you're possibly feeling apprehensive about jumping in this late in the game. With more 60 million business pages on Facebook alone, making an account now might seem like a pretty daunting task. However, in 2019, it's more about “now” than it is about “perfect.”
“Don’t be afraid to just get started — Facebook walks you through the steps and provides additional help resources so you don’t have to have every little detail set up perfectly. Just get going and learn as you go,” said Sandi Krakowski, serial entrepreneur and active social media user, to Facebook Business.
Facebook, and platforms like it, are designed to be updated as you go. There's no reason to be worried about creating a “public relations disaster” because you poorly punctuated your “About” section. Get your company on Facebook now, and figure it out along the way. You'll get the hang of it.
2) Commit to a Plan
Committing to social media is the most important and, for some reason, most difficult aspect of success on these platforms. Businesses typically won't see noticeable results from social for at least the first few months, so staying on course is absolutely vital. And, the best way to fully commit is to make a plan.
“It all starts with planning,” wrote Brian Peters of Buffer. “Create a social media strategy and write it down in order to hold your business accountable. Your strategy should include a basic company mission statement, content plan and goals. And most importantly, a powerful statement on ‘why' people would follow you on social media, what kind of content you plan on creating and posting, and what you hope to achieve.”
Like any business strategy, launching an effective social media campaign requires you to not only set clear goals for what you hope to accomplish, but also to make a concerted effort to commit to those goals in a meaningful way. Otherwise, you're just wasting time and resources on a great strategy with poor execution.
3) Audit Your Online Presence
If you're looking to improve an existing social media presence, it's essential to first take stock of what you're working. And that means, it's time for an audit. By inspecting your current audience, content, and overall social media strategy, you can learn a lot about what customers want from your business.
“The purpose [of a social media audit] is to ensure that each of your profiles are on-brand and functioning correctly, to identify and shut down any rogue or abandoned accounts, and to ensure that you’re using the channels that make the most sense for your brand,” wrote Kristina Cisnero of Hootsuite.
So how do you conduct a social media audit? Taking simple steps, like listing out your accounts, updating your information, reviewing your content, and analyzing your audience demographics, will make a huge difference when it comes to your future social media success.
Just make sure there aren't any rogue accounts with your company's name on them causing trouble online. A reputation hit like that could be impossible to recover from.
4) Listen and Engage
As a business, it can be tempting to treat Facebook as a free commercial by merely posting links to your own content, your own products, or your own services throughout the day. However, 71 percent of consumers who have a positive experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others, so you're going to have to do a lot more than just promote yourself. You're going to have to listen, too.
“Don’t be the company that only shares links all day,” wrote Dominique Jackson of Sprout Social. “The purpose of social media is to be social and engage with other users. That means interacting on a regular basis.”
Whether it's responding to customer complaints on Facebook, communicating with influencers on Instagram, or making fun of your competitors on Twitter, social media users want brands and businesses to feel involved with social media, not just use it to share links.
Listen to what your customers want and engage with them on the platform. Trust us, they'll love it.
5) Don't Forget Video
As technology has improved, video has become incredibly popular on social media. From live feeds to GIFs, the medium has become the go-to method for marketers to get the attention of potential customers. And, suffice it to say, it's working.
“The domination of video has been a long time coming,” wrote Brent Barnhart of Sprout Social. “Eye-catching, entertaining and capable of stopping scrolling users in their tracks, video represents the ideal way to encourage fans to spend more time engaging with your brand.”
The stats back this up, too:
- 90 percent of consumers say that video can help them make buying decisions
- 64 percent of consumers say that that watching a marketing video on Facebook has influenced a purchasing decision
- 87 percent of online marketers use video content.
If you haven't been convinced that video needs to be part of your social media strategy to date, it's time to rethink your approach.
6) Use Social Media Analytics
Social media is a decidedly complex and fickle beast. Algorithms change on what feels like a daily basis, and business pages typically take the brunt of the transition. However, with the right set of analytical tools, you can keep track of how posts are doing, who's looking at them, and how to improve on your next campaign. Just make sure to keep track of the right metrics – don't get so conceited about social media wins that you lose track of the real business benefits.
“When leveraging social media marketing for small business, it is easy to get stuck on vanity metrics rather than improving the bottom line of your business,” wrote Keran Smith of Lyfe Marketing. “Social media will only be beneficial to your small business if you’re ultimately getting more customers by using it. Or else, it’s simply a waste of your time, money, and energy.”
Likes, retweets, and favorites are great. But, unless they're directly translating to customers, conversions, and cash, there really isn't a point. Social media is designed to improve your bottom line. But, without the clear cut pipeline to your company page, your shopping cart, or your product page, you're wasting company resources on a glorified confidence boost.
7) Get Help
The reality is that, even with all the social media tips in the world, it still takes a lot of time, energy, and resources to get right. Even then, there is no guarantee you'll be able to foster success through social media, particularly without help from an expert. That's where a good social media management service can do wonders.
You won't need social media tips, because these services are set up by experts who can do the hard work for you. They'll improve your social strategy with the knowledge necessary to make an informed decision, so you can reach new customers, while keeping your current customers happier than ever.
Engage your audience and boost your profits with social media management.
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