Far too many brands and businesses are using social media as nothing more than a noise maker. They trumpet their corporate-approved one-liners and spout off canned responses to their users, and it really pisses me off. This is not what social media is all about. They suck at it. In fact, they suck out loud. In this article we will look at seven ways that you can improve your social media presence.
Don’t Just Post, Engage.
If you are constantly inundating your following with a barrage of “click here” and “buy now” type links, you’re doing it wrong. People don’t follow brands for a constant stream of ads. They follow you because they want to engage with you on some level. Perhaps they’ve purchased your product and they have questions, or maybe they bought it and they love it, and they just want to say thanks. Either way, you should acknowledge this and actually carry on a conversation with them. You’ll be amazed at the response you get when you break out of your suit-driven rhetoric.
Produce Valuable Content
If you’re not bringing value to my stream, I’m blocking you, plain and simple. This goes hand-in-hand with the previous section wherein I told you not to just spout off ads all day. You have to provide me with some meaningful content. Tell me about an event you or your business is hosting. Share an article with me that relates to your area of expertise. Give me a conversation starter. I’m not saying you have to be the one writing or producing the content that you share with me, but you should at least take the time to find meaningful things to share with me on a regular basis.
Involve Yourself in Your Own Community
Get inside the walls of the community you’ve built. Chances are that there are conversations happening all over the place about you or your business. Find them, and jump right in! Or even if it’s not a conversation about you, jump in anyway. I love finding discussions online about topics that interest me and getting involved. You should do the same. Let’s say you sell toilets for a living. Ok, find yourself a Facebook group that’s talking about toilets (you know there’s one somewhere) and start sharing your bowl full of knowledge! Then one day when someone in that group needs to buy a toilet, they’ll remember that awesome dude that came in and told them how to unclog their drain and maybe they’ll buy their shiny new throne from you.
Use the Power of the Hashtag
Using hashtags in your posts on Facebook and Twitter is a great way to make your content more engaging. Try to use hashtags that are relevant and searchable. If someone happens to be searching that hashtag and stumbles upon a graphic for a coupon you’ve pushed out to your followers, then you’ve just gained a new follower and potentially a new customer.
Give People a Look Behind the Curtain
Don’t be so guarded with your company and its culture. Show people what it’s like to work in your awesome, creative environment. Post an Instagram photo of your pool table or put out a Vine of you and your co-workers playing cards after work. This will go a long way towards humanizing your business in the eyes of your followers and make them more likely to engage with you on your next post.
Be Real 24/7/365
People see right through corporate b.s. Don’t spout off canned responses to every person who asks you a question. It’s ok to have policies in place for dealing with difficult situations and customers, but the more real you appear to them, the more likely they’ll be to simmer down and listen to what you have to say. When you spew those canned responses you turn yourself into an automated system, much like that of a pre-recorded phone message. Do you like listening to those things? No? Well, neither do your customers. They’re coming to you via social media because they expect a real person to be on the other end of the line.
Learn When to Post
There are high traffic and low traffic times on social media sites. You should determine when your followers are more active and strive to post during those peak hours. However, you should also be aware that most other businesses will be looking at these peak hours as well, and thus competing with you for your viewers attention. This is where posting engaging content comes into play. People are more likely to click on an eye-catching photo than a plain text ad, so make sure you’re posting the right thing at the right time.
While there are many more do’s and don’ts when it comes to social media marketing, these little rules should be more than enough to get your started. Remember, when it comes to social, it’s all about the engagement and the community. Forget the numbers and worry about the relationships. Once you’re able to do that, the rest will take care of itself.