We’ll be the first to admit it. Social media for business is terrible – it takes up too much time, it’s more mystifying than the Matrix plot, and it never seems to end, go away, or cease to annoy you and your staff.
Terrible. Just terrible.
But, still… it’s a must. It’s a necessity these days and, in essence, social media is your license to do modern business. If your business doesn’t have a profile on 95% of the 1,000 social media platforms available, then you’re dead to consumers.
The second a consumer tries to access you on Facebook or LinkedIn or Twitter (or whatever platform they happen to land on) and discovers you’re nowhere to be found, a few things will happen. First, they’ll be confused. “Maybe I got the name wrong?” Then, they’ll be annoyed. “Well, I guess I gotta go Google them now.” After that, they’ll just give up. “I don’t even care anymore.” And if they were searching for your profile to gather something as simple as contact information, then shame on you.
So what’s the moral of this story? Just deal with it. Swallow your pride and your desire for old-fashioned networking and learn how to socialize online with the best of them. But of course, we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t give you a few helpful suggestions on how to do this. So here you go…
Everyone likes a good picture.
The more pictures you can share, the better. It’s much easier to look at a photo than it is to read a post or an entire article – which subsequently means that it’s easier to get a like on a photo than it is to get a like on a post or article.
Tag the whole world.
Everyone is friends with someone on social media. So when you tag someone in a photo or post, you open up new doors, new windows, and new doggy doors. You’ll get a view from every direction and likes will rain down on you like a winter day in Seattle.
Businesses get social media wrong all day every day. Why? Because they’re so set on sharing content that is only interesting to them. It’d be like if we shared a post on how to install a new server or the history of gigabytes – our techs would barely find that interesting. Take yourself out of what you do and think about what your customers would actually want to read.
While you need to be interesting, you also need to be relevant. Avoid sharing content that has absolutely nothing to do with your industry, holidays, or local events. If you’re a dentist sharing content about Call of Duty, you’ll probably confuse a whole lot of people. Instead, share things like “Ten simple ways to brighten your teeth from home” or “5 foods you can eat today to strengthen your smile.”
Keep it consistent.
When you push out social media content, it should be consistent. It should not be a “whenever you decide to get to it” kind of thing. For instance, every day at noon you share something on each platform. Consistency is the one thing that will help you create a legitimate following – people will start to expect to see content from you and hopefully, will look forward to it.
Don’t think too hard.
LinkedIn might be the one exception to this rule, but most every social platform is about relaxed socializing. In other words, you need to keep things conversational and less formal. Don’t overthink a post. When you start to acquire a massive following like Target has, then you can pull out all the stops with custom photos and a team of content creators. But for now, just write the darn thing and push it out. And remember, spellcheck is your best friend.
Separate your content.
Every social platform is not created equally, and each one has a unique value proposition. In other words, what you share should change from platform to platform. It doesn’t have to be a drastic change, and you can share the same content – but how you write the post should differ slightly. For example – on Facebook, you can probably get away with just sharing the article. But on Twitter, you should voice a short opinion about the article. And on LinkedIn, a thoughtful response is more suitable.
Manage your comments.
Don’t ever allow a comment to go unnoticed. If you want your followers to be engaged with what you’re sharing and if you’d like to build some sort of relationship with them, then you actually have to socialize with them. Yes, that’s right. We’re telling you to be social on social media.