Feeling like you’re in a social media rut? It happens. One of the biggest challenges with social media marketing is that it’s constant — you can’t post a little here and a little there, you have to build momentum and maintain it.
Inevitably, your social media strategy will need a kickstart at some point. Here are some ways to do it on the top networks:
Refresh Your Twitter
Despite the fact that Twitter has been a major social media player for years, utilizing it effectively can be a challenge, even for established businesses.
If you haven’t updated the look of your Twitter profile in a while, give it a freshening up — new header and icon, and an updated About if necessary.
You should be tweeting/retweeting at least a few times a day — that can include links to blog posts, links to articles from other sources, pictures, and relevant retweets.
Don’t underestimate the value of retweeting. People notice, and in some cases will return the favor by liking and/or retweeting your posts when they come across their feed.
Don’t be afraid to comment on other people’s tweets, too. Interaction is the best way to increase your reach on Twitter. It’s meant for social interaction, not one-way promotion.
Of course, it’s a great promotional tool, too. Just be sure that for every promotional plug you tweet, you tweet (or retweet) three or four non-promotional messages (inspirational quotes do well, especially if they’re in graphic form. You can easily make these yourself with a tool such as Quotes Cover).
Find Your Facebook Demo
A business Facebook page works best when it’s targeted to a certain demographic. Why waste time (and money, if you’re running Facebook ads or paying to boost posts) putting out content to people who won’t see your content?
Because that’s what happens. People are so bombarded with advertising, even on social media, that they won’t even notice your ad or post if it doesn’t interest them.
There just isn’t enough time in a day to process things that aren’t relevant to you.
Put something of interest to a demographic in front of that demographic? You’ll be seen. Speaking for myself, Facebook is one of the few places I’ll actually click on an ad and become a customer.
Why? Because most of the ads in my sidebar are things I want or need, often provided by businesses I’ve never heard of.
How do you get in on that? Know your demo. It’s something you should basically know well before you set up a Facebook page — if you sell camping gear, for example, you know your demo likes the outdoors, probably has related hobbies like fishing and hiking.
You can target those interests in your campaigns on Facebook.
But to really tighten your true demo, you need to keep an eye on your Facebook analytics (called Insights), which can tell you a lot about who is engaged with your page, including:
- Their location
- When they’re on Facebook most
- What types of posts they respond to most
- Local activity
The information you gain from Insights will help you tweak your demographics for maximum optimization.
Meet Your Linkedin Potential
Because of its reputation as an online resume and B2B site, many owners overlook Linkedin as a viable social media option for business building. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.
Linkedin allows you to connect with people in your industry (and industries that are related and/or offer services that you utilize). What sets it apart from other networks like Twitter and Facebook is that the people you interact with on Linkedin are purposefully engaging professional networking.
A good Linkedin profile generally takes longer to set up than a Facebook page, and should include
- A good professional (or professional-looking) headshot. No fuzzy snapshots, cropped vacation photos, or pictures over a couple of years old.
- A header image, similar to a Facebook cover or Twitter header
- Current contact info
- A concise summary
- Work history
- Education history
- Honors and awards
- Volunteer work
The more complete your profile is, the further your reach. Why? Because many of your profile items are searchable, and many link you to organizations, schools, and companies.
Once your profile is complete, start networking and making connections, starting with your contacts. Join a Group or two relating to your industry. And don’t forget that Linkedin allows you to post and share links and information just like Facebook, a feature that is often overlooked by Linkedin users.
If you blog about your business, share it on Linkedin just as you would on Twitter and Facebook. You’re likely to get a completely different set of eyes on it.
Some business owners shrug off Pinterest because of it’s reputation as a platform for women — and it’s true, Pinterest’s demographic skews female by a pretty wide margin. Ask yourself, does your business need women customers? The reality is, virtually all businesses do. Don’t ignore them.
The key to succeeding on Pinterest is having eye-catching, or “aesthetic” images that people want to pin to their own boards.
If you sell products, you already know the importance of high-quality images. Pin photos from your product pages, with a short, catchy description.
If your business is more about information, create infographics with Canva. No one is going to pin a text list of marketing statistics, but with enough visual pop, pinners will not only read the information, they’re far more likely to share it.
If you post informational blogs with too much content to fit into an infographic, make a teaser pin with a catchy headline (such a X Ways to Save Time Doing X).
Have a service business? You can get into it, too, by using the map feature to target pinners in your area. Don’t post ads or promos — post fun facts, interesting photos, and “exclusive” tips.
Pinterest is fun. Make it fun. Your business has the potential to get a lot out of it.
Establish your Google+
You might not even realize you have a Google+ profile, but if you use Google products, including Gmail, Google Drive, Google Maps, and Google Calendar, you already have one.
The Google+ associated with your business should be set up with a custom branded header (you can use the same one you use on Facebook and Linkedin), an icon, a concise About, a link to your website, and a map, if applicable.
Remember that your Google+ is publicly accessible, the same way your other social media pages are, and don’t leave it blank. More people use Google+ than you might realize.
As with other platforms, you should post links to your blog posts to your stream and add people and businesses to your circles for the best reach.
Build Your Instagram
Instagram is still hot, and is a must-use social media platform if you have (or want) a younger demographic.
Like Pinterest, Instagram is highly visual. If you’re a product-based business, it’s a great way to show off what you offer — you can even sell via Instagram by having people “order” via comments, or by setting your store as the linked URL (you can’t put URLs directly in Instagram captions).
Since Instagram is all about photography, that’s what you should focus on, as opposed to the infographics that do well on Pinterest. Still, text on top of photos is a good way to add information to your posts.
Another great way to use Instagram if you’re more of an informational or service business is with short video. Create quick tips with your phone and post them. Instagram isn’t the place for full tutorials — think 10-20 seconds. Longer than a Vine, but shorter than a regular video.
Get the Most Out of Youtube
The most successful Youtube channels literally do function like real, interactive channels, complete with scheduled programming and monetized advertising. For some businesses, Youtube becomes a central part of the job.
Most business owners don’t have the time and resources to run a full-fledged channels, but you can take some cues from successful Youtubers:
- Make your videos valuable, whether it’s a tutorial, a web talk, or infotainment.
- Choose a place to film your most of videos (a “set,” basically, though it can be your desk or other place you use for other things, as long as the background looks nice) to give your videos a consistent look.
- Post videos on a regular basis, preferably on a set day, like every other Tuesday or weekly on Monday evening.
- Use your branding in your videos
- Use the xxx feature in every video, linking to your site, a product page, or whatever is relevant.
- Read the comments and respond when it calls for it. (Leave negative comments alone unless they give false information).
- Look for comments that request topics for future videos. Fulfilling requests not only gives you expert credibility, it’s a powerful kind of interaction that leads to loyal followings.
- Go with the flow — a schedule is good, but if inspiration hits in between schedules videos, go ahead and do it. Most of your followers will receive alerts by email whenever you post.
- Have fun. People don’t tune in to Youtube to be bored. If your topics aren’t entertaining in an of themselves, let your sparkling personality show through. Sometimes two people in a video makes it more engaging.
Social media is fast-paced and quickly-evolving. If it feels like you’re just going through the motions with little to no reward, it’s time to freshen up your marketing strategies and try something new.
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