How do you use social media? Do you check Instagram to keep up with your friends' daily lives? Or check-in with them on Facebook for the big moments - engagements, weddings, baby announcements, new jobs? Do you use LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram to follow your favorite brands?
Social media is meant to be social. As entrepreneurs and business owners, most of us try to keep our business social media very separate from our personal social media. The question is this:
How much is the RIGHT amount of social in your business' social media?
Let's start with different types of posts. We can narrow most social media posts down to:
Cross-promotional (highlighting/tagging other influencers or businesses)
Engagement (asking your audience to participate)
Personal (sharing bits and pieces about the lives of you and your employees)
Promotional (Buy from me! posts)
There are SO many more types of posts like sharing memes, quotes, and articles from other people. These posts can usually be categorized in the six areas above. Let's take a deeper dive!
These posts tell our audience something. Maybe it's a "how-to" for your product - SheFit does a great job with these types of posts on social media! Other examples include sharing information about your product, your industry, and offering advice for your ideal client. You may follow your local garage on Facebook because they share posts on maintaining your car or driving in winter.
Consider your audience: What other brands do they likely follow? What other products and services do they probably use? Creating posts WITH those companies can help you gain followers! You could host events together, sponsor giveaways in exchange for tagging friends and sharing posts, and so much more! Going live with other business owners or influencers can help increase your followers, too! Followers are the people who "like" or "follow" your page and see your posts in their news feed.
We ALWAYS want people to participate and engage with our posts on social media - that's how they get seen! There are ways to increase engagement. Asking questions would be a basic way of doing this: "What do you think about the Michigan weather?" could get some people talking. Even better? "Using GIFS - how are you feeling about the Michigan weather?" Followers love having the opportunity to get creative! Engagement posts ALWAYS require a call to action: answer the question, tag your friend, share the post, etc.
Every so often, show your followers who you are. It's most effective if what you share is authentic and meaningful. If something BIG happens in your life like getting engaged or getting a puppy - these are great things to share! You are in no way required to do this to gain followers, but showing that you are a real person can help a lot! Consider sharing that your favorite pastime is watching football and including a picture of you and your family in your Lions gear (if that's true of course!) Still too personal? Maybe sharing that you're a big fan of pizza and tagging your favorite pizza place when you're getting take out! Being human is a BIG part of social media, find the balance that works for you.
Followers LOVE knowing what goes on behind the scenes of their favorite brands. Videos are a great way to do this! Consider recording a short tour of your facility or going live to show how something is made. Video is a HUGE draw on social media! Just make sure that everyone involved is cool with being on camera.
Finally, one of the most important posts: ask people to buy from you! You don't want EVERY post to be asking for money - that's an easy way to have your followers click that "unfollow" button. Try a 6:1 ratio for engagement posts to promotional (buy-from-me) posts. Post that video, link to that blog, etc. and then about four posts later remind your customer that they would probably LOVE your products and services and HEY - here's the link to buy!
Once you've got the posting down - maybe it's something you do every day, maybe you use an app to schedule it, or maybe you use a marketing company (hi there!) to handle it all for you - once you have that down, it's time to engage! Followers want to hear from you when they reach out!
Some tips to engaging on social media:
Respond to EVERYONE - even if it's just to say "thanks for your response!"
EXCEPT for trolls! - if someone isn't happy and says so on your social media, ALWAYS handle it privately. Ask for an email or offer to send a PM (private message), and then DO NOT ENGAGE.
Encourage user-generated content - ask customers to come in to leave reviews, check-in at your location, or even take pictures/record videos of their experiences with your products and services!
Speak in your brand's voice! - if your brand is cheeky and funny, use that voice in responses! If your brand is more about being an expert and professional, let that shine through.
Engage with others business and entrepreneurs - Get out there! Be active with *quality* contributions in Facebook groups, on LinkedIn, etc.
Reiterate the call to action - "Did you check out our website yet?" "Thank you for your kind words, have you left a review?" "Have you bought your ticket yet?" Then, make it VERY easy for them to DO it! Post a direct link anytime you can! Never ask someone to "search" for something - do the work for them and make it very easy to do!
You can probably tell why it's becoming more common for companies to have an entire position dedicated to social media! This role would respond to messages and posts, create content, and make sure everything is effective in driving traffic and improving conversion. If the size of your business doesn't require forty hours a week of social media work, consider a marketing company - like us! - to take some of the work off your plate by curating quality promotional and engagement posts that will get the party started for your followers!