Improving your social media presence takes more than just opening up Facebook and Twitter accounts. You can post comments, insights, quotes and photos all you want online, however, that does nothing for your business if no one is seeing that activity. So how do you connect with the right people online? There is no simple answer to that question. Your success will depend on a number of factors, which are outlined below.
Give a little
Don’t ask for customers and potential customers to “like” your Facebook page or “follow” you on Twitter, just to learn more about you and your business. Give them something in return. Knowledge and information is what your followers are looking for. Ask your customers for feedback about what they’d like to see or read, and incorporate that advice as you develop your social media presence.
Engage with customers
Interact with your followers by asking and answering questions. Take the time to reply to comments posted on your Facebook page. And make sure your interactions are timely – don’t wait a week to answer a simple question, or your customers might just look for another business that can help them.
Blog about it
Create a blog where you can write informative content about the industry you are in. For example, if you own a mechanic shop, write about repairing cars, finding parts and the latest technology in the automotive industry. Or if you own a jewellery shop, write about the latest fashions and accessorizing your wardrobes with the hottest new trends. A good blog can attract a lot of visitors, and those visitors may end up being customers.
While it’s true that setting up a Facebook or Twitter account is easy, you may need some help launching your overall social media marketing campaign. You’ll need to use these media strategically, without posting or tweeting so much that people are no longer interested in what you have to say.
Make it known
Let customers know where to contact you via social media. Post contact information and links on your website to your Facebook page and Twitter feed. Include that information in emails and on business cards and marketing materials. Cross-promote your website, Twitter and Facebook page – ideally, you want people visiting or following all of these media.
Give customers something more than just words on the computer screen. You could post a simple status update on Facebook, or you could share a compelling picture that people are more likely to notice.
Twitter and Facebook are just two ways to connect with customers online. You might also want to explore Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google Plus and determine whether your target clients are using those media. Pinterest can be especially helpful for businesses that specialize in art, jewellery or fashion, because you can easily share photos of your products.
Everyone is a customer – including you – so think about what you expect from businesses or brands you respect. You may already be following a business that has a great social media strategy – observe what seems to work for that business as you develop your own social media campaign.