Learn the social media marketing basics to improve your business marketing
BIO: Cristina Caldera is a social media marketing expert at Business.com
Hi, I’m Cristina Caldera, Social Media Manager at Business.com, and I’m going to discuss how to make social marketing work for you. So, if you’re currently putting time and resources into social media, but you’re not getting the results that you think you should be getting, I’m going to help you take a look at your current strategy and optimize it for success. I’m going to do this by addressing three of the most common challenges small businesses like yourself face when it comes to social media, and I’m going to provide tips and strategies to overcome these obstacles.
The first obstacle that small businesses face when it comes to social media is deciding on how much time to spend. Of course, every business is going to be different, but what all businesses can do is make sure that the time they are spending is spent efficiently. So, here are some tips on saving time. The first one is using a management tool, such as HootSuite or TweetDeck. These are great resources because you’re able to manage all of your social media accounts at once. You’re able to update your status or manage your online community without logging into each account individually. Because, as you know, if you have a Facebook account or a Twitter account or even multiple Twitter accounts, if you’re logging into them individually every day, this can take up a great deal of your time. So, what these tools will help you do is manage it all at once, and they also have some great features that will allow you to schedule messages in advance, and they also provide insightful reporting, so it will help you get a sense of what your online performance is, how your performance is doing.
Another great resource is WeFollow. Now, this is specific to your Twitter account, but what WeFollow does is single out influential accounts that you should be following in a specific category or topic. This saves a great deal of time, because if you’re trying to find people to follow and searching sites individually, this will take up a lot of your time. So, it’s important to follow influential people on Twitter, because they’re usually the first to recognize any new trends or industry news that you should know about.
Another common obstacle that small businesses face is building relationships online. So, if you’re having trouble increasing the amount of followers on your Twitter account or the “Likes” on your Facebook page, here are some tips. First off, make sure that people can actually find you. Take a look at your marketing material, which includes your website and any emails that go out to a large list. Make sure that you’re incorporating social media icons where it’s visible and providing a link that redirects to your networks.
Another suggestion is to incorporate your email marketing efforts and your social media efforts. An example of doing this would be — say you have a monthly newsletter that goes out to your clients and prospects. The next time you send out this newsletter, add a little area that asks your readers a question or asks them to share their success stories or any advice on a particular topic. Include links that redirect to either a Facebook page that has a discussion already started or possibly your LinkedIn group. This is a great way to drive traffic to your networks, and people who engage with you there are more likely to either continue following you or revisit your page.
The third obstacle that small businesses face is getting their content shared online. So, if you’re updating your status, how do you get people to actually share this with others? I suggest to incorporate relevant keywords in any status updates or even on a new posting on your blog. This makes it easier for your target audience to find you and your message.
Another suggestion is to evaluate the actual message that you’re sending. Are you sending strictly promotional messages that are always alerting people of a new sale or promotion that you have for your business? If so, this is a great way for people to disengage in your community. So, make sure you’re sharing meaningful, relevant content with your online audience and stuff that they actually want to hear. For example, if I’m a small business that provides tax services and I’m trying to use social media to gain leads or sales, and I’m updating my status to show the latest discount or promotion that I have running, instead of doing this, I should be sharing free tips for small businesses on how to save money maybe the next time they file their taxes.
And, remember, as a small business, you have the advantage over larger companies. You’re able to react to the environment quicker, and you’re able to show personality. So, remember, just have fun and show personality.