If you want to grow your business, introduce a new product, or check up on your competition, social media is a place to go. With so many different platforms out there, it is hard to figure out which sites are the best fit for your needs. Here are a few tips and tricks that can free up your time and make the decision much easier for you and your marketing department.
Settle on Two or Three Platforms
Do not try and maintain a huge presence on every social media platform out there. Do a search for your competitors and a few industry-related groups to understand what is attracting clients to their sites. Any place you find they have a relatively small response rate or there are very few "groups" for your subject matter tells you that this platform is not right for your niche. If you find the right response rate, look at the material that has attracted the most responses, likes, and shares. These topics and keywords are something you will want to research further.
Be Active and Participate Regularly
Most people assume that being active and participating is the same thing; not so. Many marketers believe that just reading the responses of their customers, visitors, and competitors make them an active member of their social media. Acting on the suggestions, queries, and problems that are posted shows you are not only interested but you are listening and you care. This is something that fails to come through on automated postings and responses.
Participation is another often underused and misinterpreted term on social media. Most participators believe that adding content and sharing the material is enough and they fail to create the exposure and brand recognition they need. You want to interact with your customers and competitors to understand their needs. Offer advice, ask questions, and even suggest other sources of information. Make comments that invite answers and start a dialogue that will transcend a variety of topics. This is how you maximize your ability to participate and mine the audience to discover changes in the industry and opportunities for growth. Remember the 'social' of social media!
Mine Your Social Media for New Combinations of Keywords
Just as our kids come up with new slang terms and abbreviations, our audience does too. To keep informed, you need to recognize the changes and participate in conversations that are relevant to your business. This means noticing the use of longtail and shorttail keyword strings and the topics that they address. How often do these keyword combinations appear in the postings or responses and do they lend a new view of the subject matter?
Do not be afraid to use new slang and terms yourself, but make sure you really understand their meaning. Not only will your audience recognize your brand, but it will also increase your exposure and improve your industry authority. Keyword usage changes all the time and active participation will provide an opportunity to create content that is informative, engaging, and inviting to new visitors. If you are not sure of the material you want to use, test it out and change it according to the level of responses you receive.
Test, Test, Test
Testing your website pages is a common practice and you should apply this same process to your social media postings. Links and articles that support the products and services you offer need to have a prominent post on your platforms. Since failure is the key to success, assume that some of your posts will fail to engage the audience. Keep track of your activities and create an A/B process to follow and analyze.
You will want to delete or remove the postings that receive little to no responses, likes, or shares. Treat negative responses as a learning curve and try to find a way to resolve the issue. Negative comments and product reviews can lead to new products and services as well as the creation of a whole new content stream. At the very least, your customers will see that their problems are important to you and you want to resolve them.
Tackle your social media campaigns with the same attention you craft your website content because this is the first place your customers look for you. Be professional and attentive and address their needs quickly. Offer insight that invites questions while you keep an eye on the competition. The best thing about most social media sites is that joining them is free and they give you access to a global audience looking for your services. Do it right and be where they can find you. Also, remember, keep them up-to-date and participate in their lives to increase brand recognition and grow your audience.
Need help with your social media?
Seventh Scout understands the evolving channel and how to maximize your content to reach and engage the right audience for your business. Want to know more? Reach out - we would love to chat!