Whether you’ve just started your business or you’ve rebranded and got a fancy new website, odds are you’ll want to share it with the world in hopes to drum up some business. The best way to do that? Through social media, of course!
Why Social Media
There are a lot of people that spend copious amounts of time on social networks, making it the perfect channel to get your business in front of the masses. Sharing your content via social media is the key to driving traffic to your site, increasing your customer engagement, and ultimately improving your conversions. You can also get feedback on your products or services, explore analytics on your campaigns and posts, help grow your brand’s recognition and increase its loyalty. But, most importantly, you can positively affect your SEO score which is what actually drives traffic to your website.
Picking the Right Channel
First things first: you have to join a social network for any of this to work. Considering you may be just starting out as a small business, there won’t be much in the analytics department that will guide you to your target audience or their preferred medium. That being said, do not make the all-too-common mistake of delving into each and every platform immediately.
Start with one social network. Realistically: start with Facebook—the majority of people use it and you run a better chance of reaching your target market even if your business is niche. After you’ve worked out a solid strategy then you can replicate it on subsequent platforms.
Like Facebook, Twitter is another great medium for business-to-consumer (B2C) interactions. LinkedIn is great for business-to-business (B2B) interactions. And whether the nature of your business is to consumers or other business, Google+ will help optimize your postings and increase the traffic to your website. If your business is better highlighted with visuals, such as photography and infographics, try Pinterest—you can curate “pinnable” content that users can save and reference at a later time. Retailers and restaurateurs will find fortune on Instagram where they can beautifully display their products and, now, offer a built-in call to action.
It should be noted that, although you will start with using one social network platform, it is highly recommended that you go ahead and set up your other potential social channels (if for no other reason than owning the social real estate). You don’t want to find your company’s name is already in use on a platform! So, sign up for whichever channels you feel your company would like to be involved in and make sure your profile is consistent with your brand’s aesthetics so users can make certain that it’s you. Make sure you link to your website in your profile whenever available, too.
What to Post
Start by doing some research: what are your competitors and complementary businesses posting? Be sure to check out any social accounts you admire, even if the nature of their business isn’t yours.
When it comes to generating content, there are numerous online tools (many free) that can help you. Posts with visuals statistically get more views and comments, so try out Canva for putting together intelligently designed images. Also try Infogr.am for infographics. Include hashtags, emojis, and shorthand colloquial text whenever relevant. You can even re-share other posts you’ve come across— just be sure to give credit where credit is due.
The main goal, at first, is to be consistent. Try scheduling similar posts throughout the week while peppering in a unique kind of content to observe how it performs against your normal flow.
After some time, you’ll find your company’s voice and tone, which will help in molding future content—but first, you have to test the waters and see what works and what doesn’t.
Here are some excellent examples of the best types of posts to make: promoting your blog posts, running a contest, announcing events or livestreaming them, participating in industry discussions, and sharing thought leadership pieces.
When and How Often
There’s nothing worse than having a company spam your news feed 10-15 times a day. Even if people would enjoy the content you’re posting, they will more than likely unfollow you without reading it to cut down on all the noise.
Social media marketing automation tools, such as Buffer and HootSuite, can help. They offer many great tools, like optimal post scheduling. They analyze the activity of your followers and their engagement, and allow you to schedule based on those metrics.
Of course, starting out, you may just want to use best general practices. On Facebook, posting between 1:00pm and 5:00pm (relative to your timezone) on weekdays is best, and 1-2 times per day is considered appropriate.
What Does It All Mean
Driving traffic to your website isn’t an immediate result of being on social media, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results right away!
The key is to set up measurable actions and track their performance.
Facebook’s Insights tool is constantly updated to reflect your page’s development and track patterns that form. It’ll show you best times and days to post, and even what type content is most popular. Similarly, Twitter has their own set of analytics tools. If something isn’t working, try another tactic—there’s no exact science here.
Ultimately, have fun with it, and that positivity will shine through your channels and people will be attracted regardless.
Collin Pierce is a front-end web developer who consults and manages various businesses’ social strategies in Atlanta, GA. While adhering to the maxim “Expert of everything, master of none,” Collin aligns his marketing talents along with his developmental and design skill set in order to maintain fluidity throughout his work.