These days, just having a Facebook page and Twitter account is not enough. They shouldn’t just be an afterthought, or something you signed up for because you thought your business should have them. They also shouldn’t just be a place to advertise your specials.
People spend more time on social media than they do watching television, so making sure your business is not only present but offering interesting and engaging posts is more important than ever. People are looking for engagement and benefits from liking your page. Social media should be a place where you create and foster a community. That community then becomes a captive audience and a strong contingent of your regular customers.
Now is a great time of the year to tune up your social media pages & rethink your social media strategy. Here are some things to consider:
First, Do a Bit of Housekeeping
Here are a few initial places to start off the housekeeping on your page:
- Is your contact information (phone number, address, & website) correct? Have you entered your business hours and are they accurate? Is your About section filled out and up to date?
- Make sure your Facebook page is a business page and not just a profile. Not only is it more professional, it also doesn’t violate Facebook’s policies. If someone can “Friend” your page, then you have a profile. A Business page can only be “Liked”.
- Do you have a cover photo and profile picture? Studies show that users are drawn to pages with photos. Make sure your page has them and they are sized to fit properly.
What makes a good post? Trends in Posting
More and more people are spending more and more time on social media, and they aren’t just on there to watch videos of cats. They are there looking for inspiration, engagement, and to feel like part of a community. So make your page the sort of place that provides that sort of experience, rather than just a spot to check out your specials. Inspire them with tips and information about how to achieve a more beautiful and healthy lifestyle. Engage them with questions that encourage interaction. The trend in posting to social media is moving towards shorter, more frequent communications, with a focus on visual. This is the perfect place to test out your brand voice and personality (two topics we’ve covered recently here on the blog). The best posts create and foster a sense of community and initiate conversations.
Consumers continue to become more and more visual, and they are drawn to posts with images. So think about incorporating more visuals into your posts. All of the social media platforms are set up to incorporate photos or videos into your posts, so posting with photos is now easier than ever.
Consider using Video
YouTube has more viewers than cable television. Used effectively, video is a great way to connect with even more of your clients or prospective customers. Plus, with the Facebook algorithm, users who watch videos will start to see more videos in their feeds, which means your posts will show up more frequently if they include photos and videos. Video can be a great tool for sharing tips with your followers or introducing them to your staff.
Create a Series
Series are a great way to generate interest and also a way to bring followers back again, to check out the next installment. It’s also a great way to set your business up as an expert, or to help foster your brand identity online by helping your followers get to know your business better.
A great idea for a series is to answer your five most asked questions in little videos. Then share them on your social media outlets in a weekly series & make a landing page on your website that features them as well. Or create an Ask the Expert series where followers can post questions and you post a video response/tutorial once a week.
Should you add another outlet?
Facebook and Twitter are still the kings of social media. But there are lots of other platforms out there that continue to grow in popularity. Now might be a good time to think about adding another to the mix. Consider Google+, the fastest growing of the social networks. Experts predict that it will only continue to grow and its users are very active. It could be a great third social media outlet to add to your marketing plan.
There are also quite a few social media platforms that are a bit more specialized, such as LinkedIn for business contacts, Pinterest for pinning fave photos and links to websites/articles, Instagram for posting snapshots, and Vine for posting short 6 second videos. It’s worth evaluating these to determine whether any of them will provide added benefit to your social media strategy.
Now more than ever, having a strong social media marketing strategy is one of the most powerful tools in your marketing plan. Make sure you keep it up to date and invest the time and effort to make it useful and interesting for your followers. You’ll see that commitment reflected in your bottom line.
*** This article is part of our “Time for a Tune Up” series, designed to help you tune up your business practices, get ready for the holidays, and think about your business and marketing strategies, both for the rest of this year and heading into 2015. It’s not too early to start thinking ahead, and now is the time to start preparing for even more success.