Maximize the Advertising Power of Social Media
By: Financial Hotline
Spring 2018 (Vol. 36, No. 1)
As social media channels continue to grow in popularity, more small businesses are using them to communicate with current customers and reach new ones. These days, a website just isn't enough. You also need to develop a robust social media presence. In under an hour, you can set up accounts at sites such as Facebook.com, Twitter.com, Snapchat.com and Pinterest.com. Most sites require you to establish a personal account before you create a business account. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Share Valuable Content. Your posts should be interesting or helpful to your target market. Share posts that announce new products, new promotions, sales and upcoming events or answer frequently asked question. Helpful tips, industry news and updates will prompt your clients to share with their friends. Also, when possible, use a photo or short video to relay your message.
- Engage Your Audience. Ask questions or post polls that will get a response from your followers. Here's a few examples:
Would you rather see our business open an hour earlier or an hour later?
What new product/service would you like to see us offer?
Do you want to be greeted when you enter our business?
Do you want a text or private message reminder about routine maintenance or sales?
- Make the most of your Profile page. When you set up your page, choosing "local business" will enhance geotagging which will help your followers see your location easier. You can also add your hours, contact info, link to your website and a short description of your firm. Be sure to use your best photos. According to HubSpot, content with photos gets 94% more views and is 40 times more likely to be shared.
- Respond to everyone. If someone responds to a post, you need to "like" it and respond with a comment if applicable. Answer questions as soon as practical and be sure to thank everyone who leaves a positive review. You must also handle negative comments politely and professionally. If a simple "I am sorry you were dissatisfied, we are working on a solution to serve you better" isn't enough, promptly engage the follower offline in private messaging.
- Reserve your Business Name across all Social Media Channels. Your business name and logo should be prominently displayed. To create your online branding, make sure your website and social media accounts share a similar look and theme. You can add social media buttons to your website to make it easy for clients to find your social media accounts.
- Do Hashtag research for content ideas. Hashtags are used to categorize posts, so users can search a specific hashtag to find posts about a particular topic. To find out what types of articles are working, just put the pound sign (#) before the topic you want to check on. You can also ask clients to use a specific hash tag when they post about your firm. For example a restaurant owner could add #BestDonuts and #RuthiesKitchen in every post about their diner.
- Utilize Dashboards and Analytics to Track your Success. Each social media channel has tools to measure performance. Getting 'likes' and comments is nice but another important aspect is your click through rate (CTR). This is how many people actually click on your posts and end up on your website. Look at your data to see what type of posts get the most response and what days and times your audience is most active. Then you can target similar themes and times when you post.