Do you remember the days when a businesses’ marketing plan included a newspaper add and a Yellow Page listing? Those have been replaced by social media platforms that entrepreneurs and businesses can utilize to create engagement, trust, brand recognition and, ultimately, profit! However, the rules have changed as well and there are distinct rules of engagement on social media; especially when you are using it to influence potential customers. You should always keep in mind that there are real people reading and looking at what you publish on social media. Often they are partaking of your content in real time. So there is no time to revise your message like there was with print marketing.
Your Facebook page is quite often the first thing potential clients see about you and your business. You want to create a good first impression or they will move on to the next business. Your page should be professionally set up. Unless you are an expert level user you should outsource this task. Your page should include all pertinent information about your business. Such as:
· Business hours and location
· Phone numbers
· Email addresses
· Mission statement
· Business description
· Professional profile picture of you
· Professional cover photo that portrays your business
Your goal is to make sure your Facebook page is the best representation of your business and give your target audience everything they need to find your website or contact you.
With your professional business page set up, it is time for content. You need to create interesting, engaging content and post regularly. You should include multiple forms of content such as text, video, audio, and images. All your content should have real value for the reader i.e. they learn something they didn’t know before. Make sure your images are relevant to your posts. Learn more about optimizing your images for social media here and the best image size for each network in this infographic from Constant Contact. On Facebook, posts that included images have a whopping 87% interaction rate from fans according to a study by Emarketer.com. Relevant images will keep readers coming back to your page to make sure they don’t miss anything.
Your goal on social media sites is to create engagement by building solid relationships with your target customer. This will allow you to influence them in a positive way, and they will be more likely to buy from you and become a repeat customer. You should always be authentic in your posts. People want to know who you really are not who you want them to see. Nothing is worse than trusting an entrepreneur or business based on their social media interactions and when you purchase from them you discover it was all a persona only for marketing. You should always adapt your posts to the different demographics you’ll find between Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Keep in mind that you may want to enlist a professional to help you manage your social media accounts and obtain the greatest business benefits from using them.
Always remember that your social media platforms represent your business. Set a specific time to post and engage. It may even be necessary to set a timer so you are alerted to the amount of time you are on a platform. It’s very easy to drown in the dreaded black hole of social media. (Tips to avoid the black hole.) If you treat social media as you would any other task in your business, you’ll see growth in your number of followers, while keeping a healthy balance.