If the traditional marketing avenues such as newspaper, radio and TV advertising aren’t cutting it for your business, it might be time for you to get social.
Whilst social media offers advanced content planning, scheduling and auto-responsecapabilities, your business won’t see results unless you or your team remembers actuallynetwork on your chosen social networks.
With that in mind, here are 18 things you can try this year to establish a greater social presence for your business.
- Try live video. It can be daunting to hop in front of the camera, but live video can increase your visibility on social media. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram offer live video and your followers on Facebook will most likely get notifications when you go live. Use live video to make an important announcement, offer a special promotion or discuss something topical your followers may be struggling with.
- Create better cover photos. Have you put much thought into your cover photo? It’s what I call prime social real estate. It doesn’t need to just be a photo, it can be a graphic with text which outlines the services you offer. Cover photos are available on Facebook pages,Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Facebook now offers the ability to add video and multiple images to the cover photo.
- Get back on board with Twitter, which is having a renaissance. In the old days, Twitter was kind of limiting with space in a Tweet for only 140 characters, but the good news is you can now Tweet 280 characters, which makes for more engaging interactions. You can now tell greater stories with Twitter Threads through which you can string together multiple Tweets to share more of your business’s story.
- Make sure all of your social icons are on your website and your employees’ email signatures. You can even cross-promote from different social platforms. For example, on a Facebook business page, you can have a Twitter, YouTube or Instagram tab that will take your followers to your other social profiles.
- Don’t be afraid of hashtags. They’re just words preceded by the # symbol which make it possible for others to easily find messages with a specific theme or content. They work on all platforms but are used most on Instagram and Twitter. In fact, you can use up to 30 hashtags on Instagram. If you’re a graphic designer, you might use hashtags that relate to your services, like #newlogo for example, or you can even use a hashtag relevant to your location. I mix mine up with #NewcastleNSW and #NewcastleAustralia.
- When were you last on LinkedIn? When you were looking for a job? LinkedIn is perfect for those of us in the business-to-business market and it’s one of the most under-utilised platforms. Don’t just lurk on there, why not use what you’re sharing on Facebook and copy it over to LinkedIn? Make sure all your work details are up-to-date and try opening a company page so people can learn more about your business.
- Don’t forget to check in. Most social platforms allow you to check in somewhere and it’s a great way to heighten visibility of your posts. Instagram now allows you to search for images based on a location. If you typed in Merewether for example, you’d see a lot of businesses with Merewether in the title, but if you scroll down you’ll see Merewether the location; click that and check out all the photos people have shared in that location. It’s a great idea if you’re a local business looking to be found.
- Put the social back in social media. Be sure to like, comment and share as your business page on Facebook and your business accounts on the other platforms. It’s a great way to support the work of your clients and business partners and also an opportunity to connect with potential clients too.
- Sell to me (sometimes). You can share the best content on social media, but if you don’t occasionally put out an offer or at least tell people what you do, how will they ever know?Content marketing principles encourage that we only get salesy once in every four posts, so give it a go and see how it works for your business.
- Don’t be shy. It’d be nice if we could all hide behind our products and services, but posts with faces do way better – social media is about socialising, remember? This could be as simple as an employee introducing a new service or being photographed with a new product. People want to interact with people.
- Engage with breaking news on Twitter. I get the most out of this network when I comment on breaking news or news from my industry. Follow trending hashtags and share your insights.
- Consider social media advertising. All social platforms offer ads and I’d recommend you advertise frequently on Facebook, because it’s quite a crowded market now. Consider what you want to get out of your ads and, if you can, ensure the ads send people to your website so that you can re-target these visitors with ads at a later date.
- Get some professionally designed graphics and images.There are plenty of great designers based locally, so make sure your cover photos and all social graphics are on brand so that they match your website and all your other online assets. Consider signing up to a stock photo library like Deposit Photos for quality images you can use legally. Social posts with images do way better than those without.
- Activate your call to action (CTA) button on your Facebook business page. This buttons its just below your cover photo and offers a range of options, such as call now, email us or download now. Get your Facebook cover photo designed to include text that encourages followers to click the CTA button.
- Create a social content theme to make life easier. Giving each business day of the week a theme or title can make content creation so much easier. Maybe it’s a Tuesday Tipor every Thursday you feature a happy customer testimonial.
- Send direct messages. Virtually everyone is contactable online now so why not make the most of it? All of the platforms allow you to send direct messages, so why not reach out to those you’ve had good social interactions with or those you might be keen to partner with?
- Say more in your posts. I feel like we want to be short and sweet on social media and that certainly has its place, but because many of us rarely click through to read an article or blog post, you could be saying a lot more. Try giving a bit more information whilst sharing what your business offers. Did you know you have room for 63,206 characters in a Facebook post? Time to get writing.
- Join groups. You’ll find relevant groups for your business on both Facebook and LinkedIn. Most group admins allow newcomers to share a bit about themselves and their businesses and they typically have a day of the week where you can promote your business too.
Alana Dagwell provides social media set-up and training services and content planning.