There are multiple benefits of social media to business owners. The development of sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn means you need to be aware of how to best use them for marketing purposes. Most marketing companies will offer social media management as part of their package these days. When I opened my Northampton gym I used a marketing agency in Cambridge whose rate to manage my social media was incredibly reasonable. However, that’s perhaps because I was using them for other marketing services. I already had two gyms open in other areas at that time though, so my business was fairly well established. If you’re a small business this may not be something you can afford. Or, like me, you might have found in the current economic climate that you need to try and find some ways to cut costs and learning how to do it yourself can help. Whatever your reason, I’ve put together some tips I’ve learned to help you on your way.
1. Keep Your Finger on the Pulse
You need to post current information that relevant to your niche and more importantly your customer. If you can achieve this you will give your audience a reason to read your posts which should direct traffic to your website. Uvrx.com is a really great search tool. It is powered by Google custom search and gives out results for Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn as well as other platforms. Social-searcher.com is another tool which allows users to check how their chosen keywords are being treated by social media networks. It provides analytics data, revealing other people you can follow online, sentiments associated with keywords, and the types of posts that are successful.
2. Social Media Speaks a New Language …
…. And that is videos, images and infographics. These types of media are creating excellent engagement numbers for companies that have made it usual practice to employ them in a relevant and imaginative manner. Some of the apps that increase the appeal of your posts and make them notable on your followers’ pages or timelines are Vine, the video sharing app for Twitter; Instagram; and Flipboard for iTunes. Inspired calls to action used with such media can help bridge the gap between information, entertainment and lead generation.
3. Grow Your Base
Reaching followers, subscribers and “friends” is imperative to creating a fruitful and pleasant social media campaign. A good way to find new customers is to run paid ads on Facebook or Twitter as a way to increase “likes” and followers, promote blogs or make offers. Another good way is to click on the link to the LinkedIn premium subscription which will allow you the opportunity to reach out to potential clients or partners via InMail. A fairly simple, but often ignored trick to attract more subscribers for your Facebook page is to immediately private message the link to new followers on Twitter. Similar inventive, cross-fertilizing techniques should be used on all social media platforms to capture your audience.
4. Save Time
Whether you’re a one-man show or an enterprise-level social media operation with data being fed into customer-relationship management programmes, there are certain processes you need to automate. If you don’t, then they will become chores that you might start to avoid, thereby decreasing your efficiency. There are some activities that you can place on auto mode. These include posting updates across platforms, sending email and SMS updates on favourite topics, and uploading social media content.
5. Embrace Change. Knowledge is Power!
Social media platforms often change their guidelines. When this happens you have two options. You can take the changes in your stride and adjust . . . or give up. Many people do give up which leaves a space open for you to occupy by adopting the former approach. For example, a recent Facebook update banned you from informing competition winners of results through Facebook. Thankfully this restriction has since been relaxed. LinkedIn recently introduced enhancements such as the ability to block profiles and unwanted messages. These have clear benefits for popular LinkedIn groups that up until now have had to deal with a lot of spam. It’s beneficial to be in the know.
Most social media tricks are little more than common sense. However, the ones that might surprise you with their success are those that you come up with through watching and learning. Entrepreneurs get busy and it can be easy to forget to make time each week for creative thinking. Do this on a regular basis and continue to come up with ways to get better results from your social media marketing.