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What can social media do for my website?
Having a strong social media presence is a key part of your overall marketing strategy. If you are a small business, still trying to build brand awareness and gain traction, then it is even more important. Sharing great content on a regular basis across multiple channels helps extend your reach and is an effective way to establish yourself as an authority and drive traffic. With social media, you can:
- Engage viewers and offer them valuable content.
- Get to know your social followers—their likes and dislikes, what they like to share, etc—then give them the content they crave. This takes a bit of experimentation, but with consistency, you’ll notice patterns. Hint: Visuals (videos, photos, memes, etc) tend to do great on social because they can be quickly consumed and are usually fun and captivating, making it more likely people will share and form a positive association with your brand.
- Drive traffic back to your website.
- Duh, that’s the title of this post. Got a blog post, upcoming event, sale, campaign, or any new content you want to promote? Brand awareness is important, but your goal should always be to drive traffic back to your website to increase conversions. Share a snippet or announcement of the content you want to promote, then link back to your website where they can get all the juicy deets.
- Hold surveys, polls, or contests, and ask questions.
- There are several tools out there you can use to generate polls or surveys on your social media pages. Another option is to house the survey on your site itself using an on-site retargeting tool, and link to it from your social post. Make sure you give your audience an incentive or they may not take the time to visit your site. Contests can be a great way to do this.
- Get feedback, analyze, and adjust your marketing strategy.
- Pay attention to the types of content that resonate with your audience (and those that don’t), and adjust accordingly.
- Use brand recognition.
- There should be a consistent look and feel to all your social accounts. Use your logo and other brand images to create a sense of unity. This will help potential buyers who are looking for your services establish a clear picture of who you are and what you have to offer.
- Associate with influencers.
- Becoming an influential source of advice and information takes time, but by aligning yourself with others who are already at the level you want to reach and consistently sharing valuable content, you can position yourself as an authority in your field much more quickly.
- Increase customer retention and brand loyalty.
- Social media is a useful feedback tool because you receive the sincere responses from your audience and customers. You and your audience can get to know each other well.
- Gain trust and credibility.
- People expect your company to have Facebook and Twitter profiles because it’s a way they can contact you and find reliable information. The more people hear about your brand, the more credible you will be.
Which social media platforms should I use?
It’s not just about going wild on every social media channel out there, however. You need to be sure to choose channels that align with your business goals.
There are a multitude of social media channels out there, but these are the ones you’ll want to pay the most attention to. Remember, you don’t need to have social media profiles on all of them, just the ones that best help you accomplish your goals. Even though setting up a profile is free, managing multiple social media accounts takes a great deal of time and effort. You can use analytics data to establish your audience demographics to give you a baseline as to which channels may work best for you.
Here are some of the most popular social sites and a quick breakdown of who they appeal to.
- Facebook: Facebook is by far the most popular social site, so spending a bit of time and energy here should definitely be a part of your social media marketing strategy. You’ll want to use it to build relationships with potential customers for your products or services. Facebook centers around causal connection and is a great option for both visual and textual content. Having a Facebook page for a business is common, meaning it’s typical for people to look there to find out more information about you. Share important facts about your services/products while keeping it light.
- Twitter: This social platform is more useful for quick updates/news hits. Since you are limited to 140 characters in a Tweet, you’ll want to use it to announce a new product or service or any sort of breaking news event.
- YouTube: This has become the second largest search engine after Google. YouTube is a video site, so you’ll want to use it to post video content educating your clients about your products or services. Make sure to give people a way to reach your site for more information. You can share a video, then link to the blog content on your site that goes into greater depth.
- LinkedIn: This is a professional business networking site. It’s where you’ll go to establish relationships with other business owners that can help you grow. This is perfect for B2B businesses looking to generate leads or find partners. Use LinkedIn to share insight into how you can solve your audience’s problems and the kind of services you offer.
- Snapchat: Snapchat may be less popular for social media marketing, but that is actually a great reason dive in—you can really set yourself apart from your competitors. Make sure you understand your audience demographics before giving this one a try. Snapchat is all about video, photos, and fun communication, so it tends to appeal more to younger users. In snaps, you can overlay messages, add gifs, emojis, graphics, use filters, and more. This is an entertaining and quick way to showcase your products, your team, and everything that makes you relatable.
- Instagram: Like Snapchat, Instagram accounts are designed for sharing photos and videos, though a bit more widely used in terms of digital marketing. Both also allow you to create stories, with time-sensitive videos/images that play in succession. With Instagram, you can use also use hashtags to categorize your posts in order to reach more people.
How do I get people to read my posts?
Once you’ve chosen your networks, you need to post so that people will read and react. How do you do that?
Learn from Your Competitors
For one thing, check out what your competition is doing, and do it better! Maybe they get tons of likes and shares from branded videos about a day in the life of their team. Even if that content performs great, is there anything missing? You can create a video of your own that builds and improves on their strategy, then share on your social accounts.
Take your time and find your voice, and once you have found it, harness it. Are you playful and quirky? Conversational and witty? Polished and relatable? Everything you say should have a consistent voice, so it’s crucial you understand what that is and get comfortable with it. If you do nothing else for your social media strategy, do this. If you’re authentic while giving people those shiny nuggets of information that gets them jazzed, you’ll be gold.
Change it up Across Social Channels
Social can be daunting when getting started. Lots of businesses play it safe by sharing the same posts across all mediums. This may seem like a good idea because at you think ‘at least I’m covering all my bases,’ however, you need to change things up a bit for each social media network to avoid staleness. Your users will appreciate the personalized experience, especially if they follow you in more than one place.
Don’t be Afraid to Stand Out
A mistake many businesses make on social is keeping it too straight-laced all the time. There’s nothing wrong with professionalism, but it’s possible to show some personality and still garner respect. I can’t drive this point home enough—authenticity is EVERYTHING. (I don’t do caps often…this is serious stuff.)
What’s the best time to post on social media?
There really isn’t one perfect time for posting, especially if you have customers internationally. Trial and error is the best way to figure out what time your audience is more engaged. Post at all times of the day and see which one gets you the most hits on your website.
What else can I do to use social media effectively?
Join relevant social network groups and communities. Especially less known groups! You can create or join groups and communities, bringing people together in one place under one idea or interest. Once you do that, mention your website, with links, so that people will visit it.
Make sure it’s easy to share your website content on social media and that all links from your social media posts work perfectly. It’s a two-way street when it comes to website traffic and social media; making your website social media friendly is very important.
Lastly, no matter what you post, direct people to your website. That’s the whole point of the social media exercise. People need to see your site and see what you have to offer.