Maybe you’re using social media, but don’t feel like you’re maximizing your efforts. Maybe you’ve resisted jumping on the bandwagon thus far and realize you can no longer ignore what others are saying is a powerful marketing channel.
Using social media isn’t complicated, but it can help to have a few tried-and-true tips to get you on the right track.
Don’t waste your time on the wrong sites
Instagram. Facebook. Pinterest. Twitter. LinkedIn. Snapchat.
There are so many social media sites available to you, you might assume you need to spread your seed across all of them. That’s a common mistake.
In fact, you’re better off limiting your efforts to two or three channels, focusing on the sites that your target demographic spends time on. If you’re trying to reach 20somethings, certainly Snapchat or Instagram could be effective, but if your audience is older, Facebook or LinkedIn may be a better fit.
Connect your content marketing to social outreach
If you’re regularly publishing blog content to establish thought leadership in your industry, social media can help you reach even more readers with your content. Set up a workflow so that every time a new post is published on your blog, it’s promoted on social media.
There are automation tools that can make this incredibly simple, but don’t rely on them alone. You can also manually share your blog links, along with enticing copy that will make people want to click. Use a quote from the article, a statistic, or a question.
Commit to building your following
Naturally, the more people that follow you on social media, the better the impact your efforts will have, but you can’t be passive about this. Spend time each week following people on your social network(s) of choice. A small percentage of the people you follow will return the favor. Yes, it takes time to amass a significant following, but after a while, your efforts will snowball.
Stick to following people and companies who fit your demographic. You can search hashtags to follow those that mention a relevant one, or people who have attended an industry event you’re following.
Don’t spend more time than you have to
I’m keen on finding ways to spend less time on social media while still being effective. I use scheduling tools like Hootsuite, where I can sit for an hour and schedule updates for an entire week. I curate links to content on other sites that I think are relevant and interesting to my audience, and I reply to people who have sent me messages.
It’s easy to get sucked down a black hole when visiting a social site, which is another reason I prefer to use a social media management dashboard. I can manage all my various brand accounts in one place, and don’t (often) get distracted with cute llama videos!
Scheduling also ensures that even when I get busy, my social media engine keeps chugging along.
Hire help if you need it
Entrepreneurs are often reticent to hire help and tend to try to do everything themselves, but sometimes you’ve got to know when you’re getting in your own way. If managing your social media takes a backseat to everything else in your business, you’re not doing yourself (or your business) any favors.
It probably costs less than you’d think to have someone spend a few hours a month managing your social accounts, and they can do so quicker and more effectively than you can. Spending a few hundred dollars a month can be well worth the investment, particularly if it brings you new business.
Pay attention to results
The great thing about social media these days is that each platform has useful analytics built in. When you log into Twitter, you can see which of your posts are getting shared the most. This is helpful because you understand what subjects and types of tweets are resonating, and which aren’t. Don’t waste your time on those that aren’t, and try to replicate those that are drawing more people to your business.
You can also log into your website’s analytics and see how much traffic each social site is sending your website. You don’t have to be technical to understand these analytics reports. Just look at the basics to see what’s working, then modify your social media strategy accordingly.
Social media isn’t rocket science. It does require dedication, and patience. If you’re willing to give it that, you’ll see it boost your business.