We explain how social media can help your business.
We all know about social media, but how do we use it for business and is it really worth the extra effort? Our social media experts have created this article to address these often asked questions and give you some tips for your business.
Your job on Twitter is to find new followers on a daily basis who live in the surrounding area you operate your business in and follow them. Look at your local news paper’s Twitter page or other local entities and follow their followers to get your page started. Try to stay away from people who won’t follow you back i.e. celebrities, or major corporations. Its wasted effort and will bring you no sales. If you sell products on a national level then it may make more sense to add people in all cities.
The main goal is to find users who will follow you back and who will be interested in your store, products or services and will potentially visit your establishment some day or buy online. If you come across a follower who does not follow you back after a long period of time or lacks interest in your business or tweets after a week, simply unfollow them and make more room for new and engaging followers.
I recommend following back everyone who follows you and unfollow anyone who does not follow you back after a certain period of time. There is websites on the internet that can help you unfollow users who don’t follow you back allowing you to focus on people who support you and your business and give them your undivided attention. It is a huge amount of work indeed but if done right the results can be astounding.
Interact with all new followers if its possible and greet them politely. If you get the opertunity ask them to visit your website, product page, store or other social sites and maybe offer them and incentive if you have one to give. Post tweets often showcasing products and new arrivals, coupons, specials etc. Get a graphic designer to assist in creating some digital fliers, use hash tags relevant to the post and a link to your website or product page. Its always great to have a website if you don’t already, it will work hand and hand with your social sites.
Always post the best photo you can get for your products, most items shot in-store will have poor lighting, so make sure you get a good well lit and crisp shot or the photo will look grainy, blurry and not catch people’s attention at all. Social media has made a big leap into visual elements and motion elements i.e. auto play video, GIF or vine clips so if you can utilize these aspects it will increase your social engagement with out a doubt.
Facebook is a great way to use promotions, coupons, and reward cards. Encourage your clients or customers to like and share your social sites when checking out. Also ask customers to share their experience at the store or with the products on social media, this is wonderful way to have people spread the word because people buy because of peoples recommendations. When a customer comes into your store ask them how they found you so you can get a pulse on your social media marketing efforts. On your next round of business cards place your Facebook and Twitter addresses and maybe a QR code and other social media sites if you have them.
Always engage and post as much as possible across all social media. If you rarely post people will forget about your business. Dont over post and make sure you give your followers some useful content from time to time. Consistancy is key because the more posts the more data Google and other search engines can use to help you be found on the web easier. Facebook is a little harder than Twitter to gain followers because after your initial burst of personal friends and family adding your page you will to just have to sit back and wait until more followers decide to follow you because you can’t add anyone with a business page on Facebook so you can’t initiate engagement like you can with Twitter. A way around this is to register a personal page with your business name rather than a business specific page but you could also get your page banned for doing this, plus Facebook has made it harder to do this if it suspects you are not using a real name. Even with a personal page you have limit restrictions, Facebook does not want you to add more than about 20 new people per day or they will think you are a spamming and lock your account.
The way around the limitations is to host giveaway contests, entice people to share your page, buy ads to help boost your content and use other social sites and drive traffic back to Facebook.
If you sell a product you could always offer customer service on your social media page as a convenient added value to customers. Another good idea is to post product review videos to show people how to use your products. Content is key on any social site, the more the better. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram have all launched advertising services to assist you in getting your posts and content in front of more people. You can even get targeted ads to hit specific demographics and locations. Experiment with small budgets and try to find a sweet spot before you go big with your budget.
Another great feature about Facebook is you can allow other Facebook members to be administrators on your business page i.e. employees, this can help in your efforts and you won’t have to give anyone your password. You would just need to add them as an admin and removing them is just as easy. Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are working on allowing people to buy products directly off your social page rather than going to a website to make a purchase. These amazing features are here to stay and even more will come into play in the near future.
Social media management
There are many firms these days offering social media management services local and on the internet so this is a widely available option if you have the extra cash flow to hire a dedicated employee or a firm to do your companies social media tasks. Larger companies are all in when it comes to hiring someone to manage social media aspects but smaller companies are still skeptical, and if results can’t be measured or seen quickly enough then a smaller company is more likely to give up before the results really take effect. For smaller companies it’s wise to find someone in the company that can address this task who is already on payroll. Post something on the company bulletin board stating; We are looking for social media expert within the company. You could offer a $1 per hour raise on the pay they already receive or devise some type of fair incentive.
The only down side is if they don’t do the work and you are not astute enough to know what to look for to determine if they are doing a good job or not. It’s important to post often, minimum 3 times a week. You want to let people know when you have new sales, products, coupons, exclusive events. Any time you win awards or have been featured in the press post it on social media. It’s important to keep your followers thinking about your company often with quality content.
Another important aspect is being professional, you don’t want to ramble on about how it’s raining outside or how the light bulbs need to be changed in the staff room. This is a major mistake for businesses on social media. Also never post pictures of staff members drinking or smoking, or at night clubs etc. If your staff in engaged on the companies social media sites make sure they are professional and if they breach this rule remove them from the social sites or have a meeting to discuss the problem. Some businesses can get away with being hip and fun and if played right can blend in nicely on social media compared to a more serious business.
Remember to enjoy yourself on social media and don’t give up on it.