Social Media For Business – Don't get Left in The Dust by your Competitors
When using social media for business there are a few things that you should ALWAYS do. Make them a part of your social business culture, make them non-negotiable. Here are the things that we think are social media for business MUSTS:
1. You MUST be consistent
This is number one for a reason. And the reason being that the most effective way to build a presence on social media for business, is to be consistent. You have to be relentless. You have to be present, be "social". If you are not present, there is no "social" media. Just an empty platform. Consistency is one of the biggest factors in increasing your engagement. Here's a great tactic for those of you pressed for time and lacking social media consistency: Schedule your social media time! You can use a tool such a Crowdbooster to see when the majority of your audience is engaged and then schedule your time accordingly. Maybe that means 30 minutes in the morning, and 30 minutes at night. Remember consistency is not about quantity. Use this time to say hello to new connections, share some of your amazing knowledge, share knowledge from others, and answer any mentions, tweets, statuses, or updates that are directed your way.
2. You Must make meaningful connections
It is NOT enough to have followers or fans. You actually have to make some connections. You have to network and build relationships. You do this by talking to people. Trust me, a little "hello" can work wonders. Remember, social media is like being at a cocktail party, only the whole world is there and the space and time are unlimited.
3. You MUST utilize the best platforms for your business
If you are a fitness instructor I better see a booming YouTube presence or else… If you are making crafts then you better be on Pinterest, and Facebook. EVERYONE should be on Twitter-period. My love for twitter runs deep. Find out where your customers are, and then be there, and work to create a strong presence. B2B companies- LinkedIn is your baby… It is hard to do everything well. So choose your focus wisely and focus on building that presence.
4. You MUST utilize the search function
I have got to mention Kim Garst in this because, well, she is amazing when it comes to this and taught me how as well.. Such a simple concept, but so often overlooked. Use the search functions to find out who is talking about your industry, who is looking for your services, you can even narrow it down to your immediate area. You can actually generate leads right from search!
5. You MUST be authentic
We could never stress the importance of this more. Our clients genuinely "like" us. Not that you have to be friends with everyone, and believe me, not everyone will like you, no matter what you do. But being authentic is part of what makes you unique. It is part of what will set your marketing strategies apart from your competition. And guess what? Being "liked" means being referred. Who doesn't want to be referred?
6. You MUST listen to your audience
Social media for business is a two way street. It gives you an opportunity to share with your audience but don't forget to also take the time to listen to what they say. Don't be afraid to ask questions to determine how to better serve your clients. Use polls, surveys, quizzes, etc. Or just simply ask.
8. You MUST use Google+
Google+ is not just a social network. Everyday we are found on Google, not just because of keywords, or social media necessarily, but because of Google+. I'll explain how this works. At the core of Google's launch of their plus1 platform is fine tuning your search experience. By providing you the best results based on what you are looking for, Google stays on top of the game. Enter Google+, designed to allow you to plus 1 what you like Google can now easily see what you want by your plus1's. And when you search while logged into Google, the results of articles that have been plus1'ed by you and people in your circles will show up first. Get this in your marketing strategy, like yesterday. Many people don't understand Google+. It is so much more than just another "social network".
9. You MUST use other marketing strategies
Although social media plays a very important role in you inbound marketing activities it is not the only activity that is important and to have an effective marketing strategy you will have to integrate other forms of marketing into the mix. Email marketing, SEO, and blogging are invaluable to creating a powerful marketing mix and should not be overlooked. Social media is a great tool, but your marketing efforts MUST not stop there. Inbound marketing has to be a mix of several elements.