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Setting up a good foundation on social media can help you build visibility and connections for your business.
In this article you'll discover six tips to get your business started on social media.
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#1: Create Profiles on Multiple Social Platforms
Social media-friendly businesses don't simply create a Facebook page or Twitter account and leave it at that. They target multiple platforms, including LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and perhaps even Tumblr, too.
From the outside, it may seem unnecessary to have an account on each of these channels, but from an SEO perspective, it absolutely is. When potential clients do a Google search for your business name, you want them to see a full list of your social media profiles in addition to your website. Chances are they'll click through to read your reviews, see how many followers you have and maybe (hopefully) even ask a question.
KnowEm is a quick, easy way to find out if your business name is available on specific social networks. Enter your business name in the search box, and the tool will search for your name across different platforms. There's also a special category for business networks.
#2: Fill Out Your Profiles Completely
It's important to fill out your social profiles completely. Incomplete or inactive social media business profiles give visitors little reason to like or follow your business. And inactivity is likely to have the same effect. You'd be surprised how many social profiles are incomplete or inactive for months on end.
When filling out your social profiles, keep these questions in mind:
What will people gain by following you? Remember that people are busy, so you need to give them a reason to follow you.
Do your profile summaries and descriptions include the who, what, where and why of your business? Also, make sure that your contact information is clearly visible.
#3: Allow Blog Comments
Commenting systems such as Facebook Comments, Livefyre and Disqus make it easy for people to interact with your content through social media. Each system has its advantages.
Livefyre is ideal if you want to encourage discussion. It's used by popular websites like Hootsuite, CNET and New York Magazine.
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Facebook Comments is the best choice if you get most of your engagement through Facebook, and it allows for direct Facebook shares.
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#4: Add Share Buttons to Your Blog
Include share buttons on your blog posts, home page, landing pages and anywhere else that provides value to visitors.
For articles or other high-value content, try placing share buttons at the top, bottom and side of the page.
#5: Connect With Your Followers
Don't forget that social media is all about being social. If you only post about your products and services in an attempt to generate sales, you'll likely hear crickets in return.
Your message won't be heard on social media unless you're actively speaking with people. It's not necessary to reply to every comment of course, but at least try to stimulate engagement by responding to questions or providing further value when and where you can. This is called proactive engagement, and it should be an important part of your business's social media plan.
Follow these key guidelines when interacting with customers through social media:
- Show some personality. Be lighthearted and humorous, but also serious when it really matters. People buy from people, so the more you show your brand's human side, the more likely people will engage with you.
- Respond to questions. Whether they're positive or negative, answering your customers' questions is important. Like Henry Ford said, it's not the employer who pays your wages; it's the customer. Plum Deluxe does this well on their Facebook page.
Does your business come across as human, as opposed to just another company? It's vital to humanize your brand to build meaningful relationships with your customers and prospects.
#6: Ask for Customer Reviews
When was the last time you dined out or made a large purchase without considering what other people had to say about it first? This is known as social proof. It's the online world's version of worth of mouth.
Research shows that people take online customer reviews and opinions into account when faced with a purchase decision.
If you're not getting many online reviews for your business, ask people to post a review on Google, Facebook or another channel you want to target. That's a great way to find out what customers think about your products or services.
Over to You
It doesn't matter how large your business is, the social media landscape is a level playing field. The main difference between success and failure is often how social media-friendly you are.
Social media offers easy ways to build community, humanize your brand and generate interest around your products and services.
What do you think? If you're new to social media marketing, have you tried any of these techniques? What tactics do you recommend? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Social media icon photo from Shutterstock.
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