Lately I’ve found myself laughing at the glib attempts many businesses have to show for their social media presence. Everybody has heard the news from 2011: Businesses should have social media accounts. And lots of them. To engage all potential customers and clients.
Unfortunately, that is about where the ball stops when it comes to social media for most businesses: Find social media networks, create accounts, fill out profiles, make a post, and you’re done. Many people seem to be forgetting the good marketing doesn’t happen from simply having a presence but from using that presence to offer value and provocative information that will lure in more business.
To do this, there are a variety of strategies at your disposal.
Become a content resource
One of the best ways to get noticed online (whether in social media or just in general) is simply to become an authority for a particular topic.
Provide more information and clearer information than your competitors. Look for ways that your competitors’ social media feeds fall short; even if it’s a minor tweak, it could be the difference between a client following you or them. Beyond just besting your competition, try providing information that might be hard to pull together or find on one website or feed.
Utilize Interactivity to its Fullest
The whole purpose of social media networks are typically to create a sphere of interactivity online. Yet I’ve seen so many businesses jumping on the social media bandwagon only to become a static, one-way resource.
At the bare minimum, you should at least be responding to inquiries on your Facebook page and @mentions to your Twitter. Paying attention and conversing more with those who retweet or repost your content isn’t a bad idea either.
I’ve also found that asking for your clients’ opinions can be very effective; they can even help you decide how to shape and deliver your content and updates to them. Another good rule of thumb is to end updates with questions to receive more attention and responses from followers.
Balance Purpose and Fun
People don’t like there feed being clogged with unimportant updates that have more to do with your company that it does with them. Always consider whether your updates or tweets fill a specific purpose or need for your clients (current or potential).
At the same time, you must put in efforts to make your updates fun and intriguing. Even if you have a useful or important update, if it is dry and boring, it won’t receive much attention.
This means you should spend some time on your updates, making them concise and attractive but be sure not to mislead or over-sensationalize.
Test for Optimum Publishing Window
For finding the best publishing window in social media, I suggest observing trends in your followers. Find out when in the day they start posting updates, and shoot your updates for right before that time. The idea is that you want to be the highest update in their feed right when they get to their account to start updating.
You may find that you have several different types of followers that are active at very different times in the day; if this is the case, try to spread out your updates so that your various followers will at least see your presence. If you bait them with a good enough update, they may just click your profile and previous posts.