I’m not going to talk about why it’s important to have a social media presence – you already know. Unfortunately, some content marketers treat social media as another task to complete instead of taking the time they need to really build their profiles.
That just won’t fly in the Bikini Marketing world. Getting the most out of social media means creating detailed strategies.
Yup, strategies. As in, plural.
The idea behind social media sites might be the same (building awareness and engagement), but each site has differences you must think about. For example, the environment on LinkedIn and Pinterest is completely different. Each social media site has a different audience, different features, even different times of day when users are on the site.
Trying to follow the same schedule for all your profiles makes no sense. Developing different strategies for each site might require some extra work, but it will more than pay off in the long run.
Identify What You Want Out of Each Site
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be on every social media site. The beauty of so many different social media outlets is that you can choose the ones that most benefit your business. Think about your target market, the type of content you want to share and how much time you can devote to maintaining your social pages.
Facebook and Twitter, also known as the staple social sites, work well for most businesses because of their popularity and versatility (you can post written content, photos, videos and graphics). Visual businesses such as retail stores or design firms will benefit most from image-heavy sites such as Pinterest, while corporate businesses such as law or accounting firms will probably get the best response from LinkedIn.
Just as important as identifying what sites will work best for you is identifying what sites won’t do much for your business. Companies run by one person really have no need for a YouTube account unless they upload podcasts or webinars. The same thing goes for Instagram; opening an account with no intention of posting photos regularly really makes no sense.
It’s better to have a few well-maintained social media profiles than multiple, poorly managed sites.
Interact with Your Followers
One of the best features of social media, especially for content marketers, is the ability to interact with customers. From sending a shout-out for a complimentary tweet to dousing a fire from an angry follower, social media gives you unprecedented contact with your audience.
Take advantage of this.
It’s important to respond to comments (both good and bad) in a timely manner. People are loyal. They give their business to companies they respect. Don’t make the mistake of blowing off a customer comment.
Offer Exclusive Specials
Another social media feature you must take advantage of is rewarding your followers with discounts or special offers. More than 70 percent of social media users say they are more likely to buy a product from a brand they follow online, according to balihoo.com.
Interacting with your followers on a targeted social media site is a great way to build relationships with customers whom you would otherwise never know. Make sure they understand how much you appreciate them, and they will return the favor.
Now, analyze your social media presence. Really evaluate what each page is doing for your business and what it should be doing for your business. Then, make the necessary changes. That’s the only way to truly harness the power of social media.