Over the course of a decade, social media have evolved from being just “social” to a necessary selling channel for businesses. This poses the challenge of finding the best ways to leverage social media’s popularity to not only interact with your customers and prospects, but to turn that interaction into actual business. While social media is an extremely powerful tool, it’s possible that you are making social media mishaps that could be costing you sales. With that being said, we’ve put together a simple guide for you to follow.
- What’s your overall goal? Before you create any social media page, you have to have an idea of what the goal or purpose of doing so is. Are you looking to simply showcase your products? Are you aiming to reach a new audience? Do you want to interact with your customers? Each social media platform has it’s own strengths and weaknesses. For example, Twitter is ideal for sharing stories and networking with others in your industry, where platforms like Instagram are better for showcasing product images. Once you know exactly what you want to achieve, you can choose the right platform and create fitting content to go with it.
- Don’t feel the need to join every single social media site that exists. In order to make the most out of your social media time and strategy, it’s important to be selective, which is key in getting the kind of interaction that you are looking for. Spend some time researching the right platforms. Look at the audience breakdowns of each platform. Are they among the audience that you are aiming to reach? Does it include your target market? Being on every social media platform may seem like a good idea initially, but spreading yourself too thin will exhaust your content (and you for that matter) quickly. We recommend choosing at least two platforms and pouring your best efforts into them in order to have the most influence.
- Don’t sound like a robot. Social media is incredibly dynamic and is the best way to show the human aspect of your business. Creative content and the right messaging will always yield better results. There are social media management apps out there that can save you time, but you still want to keep everything personal, as opposed to an automated robotic feel. Try to be as consistent as possible as well as relevant. And don’t be afraid to share impromptu posts, such as behind the scenes happenings. Posts of this nature give your audience a sense of inclusion. If something random or fun happens along the way, grab your phone, snap some photos or videos and post away. We also recommend Facebook Live videos!
- Include as many photos and videos as possible. Posts that include photos or videos tend to get far more interaction than posts that include only text. Think about your audience as they scan through their newsfeed. Make it your goal to get them to stop on your posts. Aim for the curiosity factor!
- Never ignore your followers. Sounding automated is never a good thing, but ignoring your audience is much worse. Make sure that you always reply to your audience. After all, social media is meant to be conversational as opposed to a one-way form of communication. Building a following takes some time and when your followers choose to interact with you, it’s a prime opportunity to lead them down the path of becoming a customer and an advocate for your company.
- Always acknowledge feedback, especially the negative. As a business owner, negative reviews and feedback is something that you dread, but unfortunately, it’s going to happen at some point. And thanks to social media, those reviews can spread like wildfire. Ignoring complaints means that you lose a chance to really showcase your level of customer service and publicly turn a bad experience into a good one. Don’t be afraid to face the negative feedback head-on. First, apologize for the experience and secondly, always post how you are going to make it right. In the best case scenario, they will turn that negative review or feedback into positive feedback and compliments. As tempting as it may be, never delete negative feedback. This will case a dishonest light upon your business. Reviews and responses won’t always be positive, but how you handle them is key.
- Try paid advertising. Facebook has changed it’s algorithm. Did you know that on average only 2% of your followers actually see your posts in their newsfeed? Basically Facebook indicates that if you want to reach your ideal target audience, then you’re going to have to pay for it. The best part about social media advertising, is that you can choose your own budget. Facebook has made it easy to create ads, choose your audience and get the most for your money. You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to make a lasting impression.
- Test ideas and crowdsource your content. Your social media audience loves to feel included. So take advantage of the resources that you have for brainstorming and getting personal feedback. After all, your followers can ultimately be your consumers.
You can do it! Social media, when used effectively can be an excellent addition to your communication efforts. The best part, is that it’s free to get started. Remember to incorporate social media into your overall communication strategy. In today’s society, it’s absolutely essential. By avoiding these common mishaps, you’re sure to not only gain followers, but new customers as well.