Understanding Social Media For Business
I recently added a new client to my company as their social media manager. This client has a solid, growing business. Their clientele is loyal and the company is well-respected. However, they had not been receiving much business from their social media. They wanted to know what they could do differently to grow their business.
Social media is HUGE for any business of any size. Companies that don’t embrace social media are not maximizing their market share. Your customers use their smart phones. They visit Facebook. They tweet. They take pictures and videos. You need to reach them where they are already looking.
In addition, social media is free to low cost depending on how you use it. Compared to buying traditional advertising social media is a must, especially for smaller businesses.
Here is my guide to utilizing your social media:
Facebook: Your personal Facebook account should be used for social postings — birthdays, children’s pictures, parties and sharing news. You also have to be careful what you post on personal Facebook (and all social media) if you are trying to grow a business. I have a friend who posts mysterious, vague and frightening rants like “I am just (expletive) done!” There is no followup or reference to what this person is even talking about. However, no one is going to visit a business where they think the proprietor is a little unhinged.
That’s why it is imperative to create a business page on your Facebook. Only use this Facebook page to promote your business. Invite your personal Facebook friends to “like” your page so they can see your posts. Then make sure you only post about your business. Stay away from political posts or posts about particular sports team. You don’t want to alienate any section of your audience.
You should also mix up your posts. Standard posts about your business are fine, but you should mix in picture posts, share articles related your business that you find elsewhere on the Internet and even the occasional funny and tasteful meme.
Your main goal of your business Facebook page is too be memorable in a good way. If your posts make your potential clients smile, entertain and think, they are likely to shop your business.
Twitter: Successful professional poker player Bryan Devonshire once told me that twitter is “stream of consciousness” medium. If you have seen any tweet by President Trump, you can understand what Bryan is saying. We send out tweets of exactly what we are thinking at that moment. Some of those tweets become regrettable when we take a beat and think about what we just said.
Just as with Facebook, you should have a separate Twitter account for your business. The biggest difference is your Facebook account tends to me more passive — posts looking for outreach to potential clients. Your business Twitter needs to be more interactive. Clients may use your Twitter as your customer service vehicle and you need to be able to respond to their concerns in a timely manner.
You can still post “stream of consciousness” posts on your business Twitter, but they need to be crafted toward your business. For instance, a tweet for a bank might be something like, “Home mortgage rates are climbing, but we are holding ours steady. Visit us today for a mortgage. #dreamhome” You have created a tweet that promotes your business and added a “hashtag” of dream home to entice your customers. You want them to think about owning their dream home and how they can make that happen.
Instagram: Although not as business-friendly as the previous two social media platforms, Instagram can be an out-of-the-box way to promote a business. Instagram is platform is for photos and videos.
People want to look at the pictures or the video, comment and move on. Instagram is great for new home buyers posing next to their SOLD sign. A bakery can show pictures of bright and yummy confections. A dentist office can show a smiling patient with bright, white teeth. Instagram, in fact, is not only for pictures but for abstract pictures. You should get creative. Take the picture of the cupcake so close up that it fills the entire screen. Make your client feel like they can already taste how good it is.
Just as with the other social media outlets, keep your business Instagram separate from your personal account.
YouTube: Everyone loves videos today. People won’t even take the time to stop and read a well-written article. Whether it’s the news or a cat playing with a ball of yarn, people just want to watch videos. Videos are good for businesses, too.
By starting a business YouTube channel and using a smartphone, you can make videos of a tour of your facility. You can make a video of a customer testimonial about your business. It’s a great way to showcase your employee of the month. There is no limit to the number of cool videos you can make and upload. Don’t worry about length. Some of the greatest videos on YouTube are less than one minute long.
There are many other social media options available to businesses, as well. I have chosen to highlight the main four. You these platforms wisely, and watch your business grow.