So you’ve set your business up with a Facebook page and Twitter. Congratulations! You and everyone else. You’ve already done the hard part, now it’s all about getting your audience to actually engage with your page.
You’re probably wondering, “What do I do next?” In fact, I recently had a former colleague ask me this question. I’ll tell you what I told him. It’s not a one-shot answer. Rather, it’s all about knowing who you’re trying to reach, and when.
Before I start, I want to clarify that this is not a how-to on successful social media marketing. From my own experiences, I’ve found that what works for one type of business is not going to work for another. I can’t give you the answers, but I can point you towards some helpful tips for optimizing your pages.
What Are You Trying To Achieve?
This is the question you should be asking yourself before you create an account. Are you trying to drum up more business? Are you trying to establish yourself as a thought leader in your community? Are you just trying to share random photos of cats with cheeseburgers?
Set aside a goal for your social media pages. Once you know what you want to achieve, it will be easier to determine who you’re trying to attract.
Before you post anything, you should know who your target audiences are. This is who you want to purchase your product or service, and who you want to become a loyal customer. If you don’t know what people are targeting, how are you going to create posts that appeal to them?
Here’s some things to consider when creating personas:
- What’s your product or service?
- Who will buy your product or service?
- What problem are you trying to solve?
- How old are the people you’re trying to reach?
- Are they male or female? (Or both?)
- Are they married?
- Do they have kids?
- What are their interests?
Ask yourself those questions so you can start curating content tailored to your potential customers.
Content is King
Everyone and their mother is on Facebook these days, so use this to your advantage. Your first Facebook fans are going to be people who are already familiar with you and your business. So encourage them to share your page. The easiest way to give them that nudge in the right direction is by sharing useful, relevant content.
The easiest way to have great content on-hand is to create it yourself. That’s where those helpful buyer personas come in. You want to create blog posts that establish your employees as thought leaders, and create an awareness for your business and brand. You’ll also want to show that you’re capable of helping them solve whatever problem they have.
The Cocktail Party Rule
This is also known as the 80/20 rule. No one wants to hang out with the guy at the party who only talks about himself all the time. The same goes for the social media party. If you only post about yourself, people are going to simply stop following you. Just like that.
Instead, only about 20% of your social media content should be about you. Share the spotlight with other thought leaders in your field to fill up the other 80%. Share articles that are relevant to your field. You can also retweet or share posts that your readers may find useful.
So now we know what we’re sharing and who we’re sharing it with, but how do we do it? Here are some of my favorite tips for sharing on the most popular social media outlets.
This is a fabulous tool that I dub as my personal savior. With Hootsuite, you’ll be able to post from various social media outlets at the same time. What a time saver! You can also respond to mentions, and keep track of your various timelines, all from one screen. Don’t worry, you can thank me for this later.
Hootsuite also has a feature that allows you to shorten links. In my opinion, it makes a tweet much more appealing to the eye when the links are short and sweet (like me!).
Oh, and did I mention you can get it for free? It doesn’t get any better than that!
Since I’ve already mentioned Twitter, we might as well get right into the nitty gritty of it. With Twitter, you have to share a message with a limited number of characters. 140 to be exact. So that means you have to master the art of being concise.
The best tweets will have at least 20 characters left over, and that includes any links or hashtags you may use. This makes it easier for your followers to retweet the message, thus sharing it with their followers. Following this rule isn’t completely necessary, but it definitely helps if you want to get noticed. So, again, try to get your message across in as few characters as possible.
Understand the art of the hashtag. Nothing is more infuriating than when people hashtag long phrases. The point of a hashtag is to include your tweet in an online conversation, like a twitter chat or topic. #Hashtaggingaphraselikethis is not going to get you seen anywhere. (Plus, it’s really annoying.)
Hashtags should be concise, no more than one to three words. Always research a tag in the search bar before using it. You don’t want to hijack a hashtag before knowing who or what it’s really about. Once you’ve deem the tag is appropriate for your brand, dive head first into the conversation!
Stay visible. You can’t just tweet once and expect people to find you. You need to tweet relevant content multiple times per day. How often depends on you, but I recommend at least 3 times per day. You want your handle to show up in your followers’ timelines, so you’re the first name they think of when they need your product or service.
Another reason it’s important to tweet often is searchability. Google and Twitter have recently settled on a new deal to make tweets viewable in search results. If you’re a business using Twitter, this is great news for you. The deal not only makes your brand more visible online, but also your tweets! So if you’re tweeting useful, relevant content, you’re sure to see an increase in followers, and hopefully customers!
Start the conversation to figure out what’s lacking in your brand, or what they enjoy about your business. Answer whatever questions they may have for you, as well. With Facebook, everyone can see what someone comments on a post, so use this. If one person is curious about your industry, another person may have the very same question. Kill two birds with one stone!
When it comes to how often you should post on Facebook, I caution against overkill. Your number of ‘likes’ is an illusion. It’s very easy to still be a fan of a page, without actually seeing anything posted on it. An ‘unfollow’ on Facebook is only a click away. If you post too often, you may find less people are actually viewing your posts. Try to avoid posting on your page more than twice in one day. Some content can wait.
Add a CTA to your Facebook ads boost your sales! The whole point of social media marketing is to get prospects from your page to your site, and then turn them into loyal customers. Now, Zuckerberg’s made it even easier for you! To learn about Facebook’s call-to-action button, best practices, and how to use it, click here.
Follow these guidelines and your business’ social media pages will take over timelines everywhere!