The corporate application and popularity of social media has soared in recent years – especially in terms of its impact on businesses and branding. Creating a social media presence and engaging with current and potential customers and clients via platforms such as Instagram and Twitter is now considered an imperative part of being a successful business owner.
That said, some organizations and individuals have been slow to get on board – perhaps not completely sold on the idea or understanding of how social media could benefit them. If you are only just starting to realise the positive effects that social media can offer your company, then this guide is for you.
Rest assured, social media is far more than just seeing what your ex is up to on Facebook (let’s face it we’ve all had a cheeky stalk) or sharing funny cat memes (yep we’ve all been there too haven’t we?). This article will review the social media hacks that you absolutely should be doing – no excuses.
Okay so you’ve got yourself signed up for the big dogs in the social media world. We’re talking LinkedIn for networking, Twitter for responding to customer questions and queries and Instagram/Facebook for that all important branding. Perfect.
The thing is, as important as social media is, it’s not practical (or really possible) to be online and posting at all times which is why automation tools are an absolute godsend. Automation tools can also help you with scheduling posts for times when your engagement rates will be highest and when your audience are most likely to be online and utilising social media (which isn’t necessarily when they and you are at work!)
One handy tool that you can use for automation is Buffer which is completely free to use and enables you to set your Facebook and Twitter to share witty, insightful, inspiring (delete as appropriate) posts at regular intervals to remind your customers what an absolute treat you and your business are. You can load 10 posts in your free buffer account which should have you ticking over for a day or so. Jarvee is another example of automation software which can do be used on Google plus, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and even YouTube.
Prioritize Your Platforms
Have you ever heard that phrase “Jack of all trades but a master of none”? If you are trying too hard to juggle multiple social media platforms and manage each one with the same level of dedication and work then you are going to struggle purely because you will be spreading yourself too thin. Choose which platforms work best for you and try to dedicate yourself to one or two social media platforms (you can still have something of a presence on the others but you should limit your focus).
Deciding which one to prioritize will also depend somewhat on your business niche and customer base. For example, if you run a home interiors business or you are a professional photographer then your business is all about the visuals and as such Pinterest and Instagram may work well for you to drive sales and site traffic.
Alternatively, if you run a B2B consultancy company then Pinterest may not be the best choice, and you may prefer to focus your energies on writing and curating informative, insightful posts for LinkedIn and Google Plus.
Centralize Your Social Media Operation
In a similar manner to automating the process so as not to waste precious time, social media becomes more manageable if you centralise everything in one location. Tools like Hootsuite enable you to easily manage and post to several social media accounts from one place so you can easily check in with your followers and customers and you are not forever scrambling around trying to remember all of the various passwords and account details that you have in your repertoire.
Don’t Be Afraid to Show Your Personality
People always think that there is a very distinct and clear cut line between using social media for business promotion versus using it for personal use. While that’s true to an extent (your B2B consultancy clients don’t really need to be seeing photos of your dinner in their feeds or rants about how you are not happy with the season finale of your favorite TV show) but don’t be afraid to let your personality, sense of humour and unique traits shine through.
Afterall, people love the human touch behind business collaborations and buying from a particular company and they much prefer the personal effect as compared to feeling like they are dealing with a robot who only shares complex industry news in complicated jargon.
In LinkedIn We Trust
LinkedIn is a great way for networking with those within your industry. You should not hesitate to make new connections via this platform and reach out to those who are working within your field who could be interested in working collaboratively in the future or may find your service offering interesting.
A simple message introduction can open many doors for the future. (If you are nervous about this, consider reviewing this guide on how to send a better LinkedIn message).
Conduct searches to find people of interest that work for relevant businesses or in specific industries. When reviewing the profile of a particular person, the “people also viewed” tool can help you to find other relevant individuals.
The wonderful thing about LinkedIn is that the feed is typically not so jumbled up with posts and shares as compared to say, Facebook or Twitter. This means that content that you share is more likely to be noticed by your followers and not lost in the abyss. Consider making use of this by sharing relevant news and developments from your business.
Explore Your Options
You can also use the blog section to share useful insights. For example, if you run a digital marketing company and you share LinkedIn blog posts about the latest developments and algorithm changes surrounding SEO, then people will start to take note of you as someone who knows what they are talking about.
They will begin to trust in you as a business provider or partner. You may even begin to be considered as a thought leader in your industry. There are plenty of options to consider when you’re looking into social media hacks. Keep these tips in mind when looking to improve your social media skills.