A strong social media presence will do wonders for your business. By posting engaging stuff in the right places, you’ll keep your brand top-of-mind for current customers, and also attract new ones.
Haven’t jumped on the social media bandwagon yet? It’s high time to join the party. Some tips to get you started:
Choose the right channels
First consider which social media channels suit you. Buffer, a cross-platform sharing app, has a handy guide to choosing the right channels for your business.
Sign up for all possible accounts through NameChk, using your business name as a handle. There are a lot of networks out there, but no need to panic — for most small businesses, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Google+ are the key networks.
Facebook and Twitter are useful for all businesses as a way to engage with customers. Visual mediums like Instagram, Pinterest, Vimeo and YouTube work well for lifestyle products or services. LinkedIn helps you build an individual reputation as an industry expert and Google+ can increase page rankings: Business News Daily has more tips for using this often-overlooked option.
Engaging content is key. Think of it as a conversation with your customers. And just like there are some things you wouldn’t say in front of your customers, there are some things you shouldn’t say to your followers. Don’t write anything that might be seen as offensive, even as a joke.
Offering discounts and sharing new product releases are great promotional tools, but don’t overdo it. Try to follow the rule that only ‘one in seven’ of your posts overtly promote your business.
Make it easy for people to find you—keep your social network profiles updated and add a share button to your website.
You need to monitor your feed and post frequently. Make life easier with a free app such as Tweetdeck or a service such as Hootsuite that lets you monitor multiple accounts, schedule posts and search hashtags for relevant conversations.
Social media is an extension of your customer service and timeliness is key. Respond to comments good and bad and try not to get defensive — you don’t want a hasty response to go viral. Social media is a great way to put something right in real time or change a disgruntled customer into a happy camper. We like Forbes’ top tips for handling the haters.
Ready to join the conversation? Talk to us on Twitter.