Posts Tagged: Social Media And Business
Using social media in business all comes down to two things:
- Who are you targeting?
- What is your strategy?
Start with your strategy that you are using on your blog post. Then, post your info from your blog on your social media strategically. By strategically, I mean to post on the social media where your audience is.
How to use social media for business to connect with people
- If you have a younger audience 18-30, you want to be sure to post on Youtube and Twitter. Follow trends and relate to celebrities. Use catchy titles and fast-paced information.
- If you have a median age 30-50, post on Facebook. Share your blog post. Include pictures with thought provoking images.
- If your audience is primarily women, post on Pinterest. Use lots of bright colors and post pictures and videos. Focus on ‘how to’ and make that part of your strategy.
- If you focus on B2B (business), focus your efforts on LinkedIn. Relate to the people in your industry and leave relevant comments on trending posts. When you post something, make sure it is high value and makes you sound like a comfortable expert.
- If you have a techy crowd, focus on GooglePlus. Sponsor hangouts, set up communities and join communities. Be where your niche is hanging out.
The key is to do your research to be where your target audience is, and when they are there.
Best times to post (from my experience…and lots of research):
- 11:55am, right before lunch
- 5:00 pm, right as people are leaving work
- 7:00 pm, as people are ending their meal
- 10:00 pm, as people are ending their day
- Thursdays seem to be high traffic days
- If you are national or even global, take into consideration the different time zones.
Now, if you use these times and rotate your content through the day and days of the week, you will have a strong strategy. You can review our series on social media for lost more tips and strategies for using social media for business:
- Which Social Media should you use for business?
- What to post on social media
- When should I share on social media
- Creating Social Media Greatness
- Why do people share on social media
Key points for using social media for your business:
- Think Snippets: News, Headlines and quick quotes (motivational or humorous). You want your headlines to grab the attention of your audience. Then, have one call to action to get them to click through to your web page.
- Be visual: Use pictures on everything you post. Don’t use the same pics, come up with creative things that makes people stop their forever scrolling and read what you have to say.
- Videos Rule: We are programmed to watch videos since we were a child. Use that to your advantage. Tell stories, show behind the scenes, or do a walk through of your product or service. Remember, videos can be posted on all social media outlets!
- Consider Paid ads: Google, Youtube and Facebook all allow for ads to be posted. These can get quick response, but you want to know what you are doing before trying these. Be strategic and make sure you are fine tuning your targeting. You want to reach just the people who are most likely to find your product/service valuable. You don’t want a million people to see your ad because you have to pay for all of them. You want the hundred or thousand who will take action to see your ad. Then, it is effective and you will have a good return on your investment.
I hope these tips help you in developing your strategy for using social media for business. Feel free to go over to my business page if you need help setting up a strategy.
Many people ask me, “How often should I post?” Hopefully, I can give you some great guidelines and some helpful tools in this article.
First, social media is a social platform. You are encouraged to be social. With that being said, I want you to think of social media like a conversation. It is a two way conversation. Ask questions, comment on what other people said and add value to the conversation.
We have all been at parties where there is that one person who talks about himself so much, he is annoying to be around. Everyone likes to talk about their favorite subject, “me.” The point with social media is to engage with others and don’t just talk about yourself.
If you are using social media for your business, take time to talk about trends, share news, share humor from customers and employees, or even share information from competitors. I know this sounds counter intuitive, but if you are fair in the way you are sharing, you come out looking like an expert.
How often should you share?
Now let’s talk about how often to share. Just like a conversation, you should only talk about yourself every 5-10 posts. Why would anyone want to come to your social media page when all you do is talk about yourself and tell people to buy from you? People come to social media to learn and interact with their favorite brands and businesses , but they are more likely to be interacting with their favorite persons.
1. I suggest posting at least one thing each day of the week. You can skip Sunday, but Saturday is a big day for people to be on social media, so you may not want to skip that day.
2. I suggest posting at different times of the day. Noon, right after work, and seven in the evenings seems to be good times to catch people on social media. Generally speaking, people will check social media at lunch, after work and sometime after or before they eat an evening meal.
3. Feel free to repost your content. If you have a really interesting topic to share, post the same post three or four days in a row at different times. Posting at different times helps different groups of people see your content.
4. Remember to post things from others, share humor and engage with your customers. Use a simple ratio. Post at least five to ten different things before posting something trying to sell your wares. You want to build rapport with your customers and follower. That rapport will lead to trust which will make them more likely to purchase from you.
5. Use tools to schedule your posts and make sure you are watching your stats. If you see a bunch of people interacting on a Thursday at seven in the evening, then you have found a sweet spot to put your more interesting content.
Personally, I use Hootesuite. It is free to schedule and track your posts. It allows you to use three social media platforms for free, but it is inexpensive if you want to add more. Decide which social media works best for your company and only use those to have greater impact.
Honestly, if you just pay attention to the top stories on your favorite newsfeed, you will probably be OK spotting trends. Services like msn.com and yahoo.com work great to see what people are talking about. As a matter of fact, both of these sites have a place called ‘trending now.’
Another great tool I suggest every business has it Google alerts. It will send you an email any time certain things are mentioned. I suggest adding your name, the name of your company and industry specific topics. For instance, put an alert for ‘Wendy Smith’, ‘Smith Company Fashion,’ and ‘fashion.’ Google alerts will send you info about those topics as they are released and found by Google. You can choose to be alerted daily or weekly.
There are a bunch of different services you can use to spot trends. You will need to see which one works best for you. I found a great article that may help. This article shows 33 way to find social media trends.
You profile pic is the picture that shows up beside your name when you post something. It is usually pretty small. My suggestion is to create an image based on the suggested size of the social media. Don’t get too fancy. A picture mainly of your face works great. If you want to use your business logo, make sure it is formatted to fit the square or circle size of this image. You don’t want a long logo showing up tiny in the middle of the square.
Header image is the image that is larger and at the top of your social profile. I suggest using an image that represents your personality or ‘culture.’ Sure pictures of beaches look good, but they don’t tell a story. You want to tell a story and show why people should relate to you. Make it interesting and include your business or you in that picture. You can also go for funny or serious. The key is to tell a story using that image so people know what to expect from you.
The ‘About’ page is one of the most underutilized parts of a profile. These are the places where you tell why you have that social media and what you want to do with it. I suggest using your values proposition. A value proposition tells why you do what you do and who you do it for. If you don’t have one, here is a link with some free templates to get you started. (http://torgronsund.com/2011/11/29/7-proven-templates-for-creating-value-propositions-that-work/) On your about page make it narrative. Here is my suggestion: Tell what problem you solve. Tell how you solve it. Tell who you solve it for. Tell about your company, yourself, your passion, or any other tidbit you want to stand out. Remember, this is written for people so make it conversational. Search engines will sometimes see this information also, so make sure you include keywords naturally.
Picking what to post
Introduction to CURATION Many people think they can’t use social media because they don’t have anything to post. Well, let me introduce curation. Basically, curation means sharing something that someone else has shared, but putting your unique twist on it. You want to add value to show your expertise. There are many sites where you can find topic. One, you can go to AllTop.com you can find trending topics in a bunch of different industries and interests. Two, you can set up a Google Alert for words related to your industry or topics of interest, Google will tell you any time someone uses that word online. In essence, you can use tools to show relevant information that you can use in social media. Then, you can set up a strategy and post for the entire week with just a few minutes of work. BONUS: 30 minute a week social media strategy:
- Set up Google Alerts or All Top to attain relevant information each week.
- Pick 5-10 topics you find interesting and review them.
- Add an interesting headline or insight about the each topic.
- Use a tool like Hootesuite to post all of those items on a specific schedule to the specific social media you choose.
- Posts are automatically posted all week for you, so all you have to do is respond to anyone who comments.
When thinking about Social Media, anyone can be overwhelmed. There are literally hundreds of social media platforms on the internet. If we tried to use all of them it would drive us crazy and probably take up too much of our time. The key is to focus on the one that gets you the most ROI – return on your investment (of time).
Let’s look at some reasons we may want to use different social media platforms. We are going to focus on the larger ones only: Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Youtube.
Facebook is a good place to connect with people who you already know. I saw an apartment recently that had a sign in their yard encouraging residents to ‘connect’ with them on Facebook. It is a good place to start using social media, but make sure you go in with the right strategy.
Use Facebook to encourage current customer/clients. Get them to connect and keep them up to date on the current trends in your business both as an industry and your specific location. You want to connect directly with your customer so that you show up on their ‘feed.’ By doing this, you can hope it will reach some of their friends that they are connected to.
A word of warning, Facebook’s model has changed recently and your posts will not be seen very often. Some say only 1-2% will see your posts and that is only if they are online when you post. You can use ads to connect with more people, but that is a training all by itself and we will not cover that here.
Twitter is a ‘safe zone.’ It is not a big deal to follow someone or unfollow someone. It is an easy and not very intimate social media. It is for posting updates, quick responses and setting up your expertise. Use Twitter to show that you are ‘in the know’ about current trends in your industry.
Think of Twitter as a list of headlines. You want to stand out and grab attention. Twitter is a good place to connect with people, but in 140 characters, not necessarily a good place to gather customers/clients. It is great for connections and posting pithy interesting statement, so use Twitter to get knowledge out not to get customers.
G+ is a good place to connect with people based on common interests. Some would say that it is a place where passionate people connect with passionate people. (That is good, I should trademark that is no one else said that.) It is a place to share your passions and create circles where you control what you see on your feed. If you only want to see posts from your family, just make ‘family’ the tab that comes up with you log in.
G+ for business can be powerful because you are connecting with passions. If you are passionate about sailing and your customers see that you mention sailing and are part of a sailing group, they are more likely to connect with you and your company. The good thing about G+ is that you become part of an extended network of people, so your reach is larger.
Linked in is a network for professionals. If you are a B2B, Business to Business, company, you want to be on LinkedIn. This network is a place to highlight you accomplishments and show off your talents. I like to tell people it is like a digital resume for you and your business.
Use linked in to make connections with other business individuals. You have to already have a connection to link to others, so you could say that LinkedIn is a more exclusive network. Hopefully, you find more value and less spam on LinkedIn. When you post on LinkedIn, try to post mainly things that you have created. Remember, you want to highlight…show off…what you do.
Pinterest is about pictures. It is a place to show off what you have done. It is highly dominated by the ladies and crafts seems to be a large portion of the interest. Don’t let this stop you from using this network to connect to others.
I have seen a lot of businesses use Pinterest with lasting results. A friend of mine has a working mom’s fitness program. He has not done anything aside from posting some things on Pinterest. He forgot about it while he was working on other projects and randomly had a new customer show up from Pinterest. If you use Pinterest, share beautiful pictures and make it interesting so that someone wants to click and share your picture.
Youtube is all about videos. I honestly could write a book about Youtube, so I will try to be short on this. You can offer training, give customers a reason to buy your product, inform the market about the need for your product, showcase your physical business, etc. Video is a powerful media and if you can leverage its power, you can build an empire (insert evil laugh).
I may be overstating it, but think about this: Youtube is the only social media that you can share across ALL other social media! You can share videos even on picture sites like Pinterest. People see your videos and since it is not just text, it interrupts their scanning and they are more likely to click. We have been trained since childhood to watch TV and screens, so videos can be really powerful. (I will have more on Youtube in later articles.)
Don’t be overwhelmed. Pick one social media where your customers are MOST LIKELY to be. Create a strategy and connect to your customers in their world.
Note: My entrepreneur notes on this subject are from Guy Kawasaki. I have synthesized the information gleaned from him. Thanks Guy!