There's a lot of noise on the social media channels and getting noticed can seem a task akin to pushing a large bolder up an icy slope in gale-force winds blowing down off of the mountain. But it's not as hard as you think. Here are several tips to help you get your business noticed today.
Post the Easy Shares
There are certain types of posts that a large number of people respond to. These include:
• Funny posts
• Statistic or data posts (if it's from your business, even better)
• Inspirational quotes
• Dramatic images
These sorts of posts are easy because not only are they popular with most audiences, you're not creating them, merely curating them. A quick search will land you several. You can auto-schedule them for times throughout your week.
This is easy if your business is a restaurant but if it doesn't lend itself to images, you can still be creative. Use pictures of your community, the weather, your team, your pet… just give people something to look at.
Social media shouldn't be your business shouting into a bullhorn at other people. You want to create an environment in your social media profiles that is conducive to conversation. To do this effectively, apply what you know about starting conversations in the non-virtual world? Begin by asking questions.
Hashtags help people find conversations and topics they're interested in. Use hashtags for your industry, business, town or whatever applies to your posts.
If you notice a hashtag is trending on one of the social media platforms use it but be respectful of your audience. Make sure your share is related to the hashtag. People don't enjoy a hasthtag hijacker who uses a trending topic on a post that is completely unrelated.
If you're sharing something, make sure it can be viewed on a mobile phone. Mobile is becoming the way to access social media and the Internet. Don't tease your audience by sharing something they can't see.
Remember It's About Them, Not You
A good conversationalist does not make it all about him/her but creates a dialogue instead. A great conversationalist learns quickly the interests of the person he/she is speaking and turns the conversation to those. A safe topic is the other person since most people find themselves incredibly interesting. The same is true of good social media practices. The conversation needs to be about your audience 80% of the time. You can occasionally (20% of the time) mention something about your business directly.
Give Them Reason to Follow
The key to getting more shares is getting more followers. If they don't see your content, they can't share it. Most people follow brands and businesses for discounts or coupons. Keep this in mind and offer discounts to your followers or give them information before anyone else sees it, this could be a product preview or access to early buying opportunities.
Use Evocative Headlines and Teases
Imagine you ran a pool company and you wanted people to click on your URL in your social media post. The best way to do this is to use a teaser or appeal to the audience’s natural curiosity. Like this:
"Doctors say if you have this condition, swimming is the best form of exercise for you." Your audience will wonder, What condition? Do I have it? Maybe I need to swim more. Click.
Present the reader with a problem, allude to the fact that the clicking on the URL will tell them how to solve it, and then sit back and watch the interest grow.
To improve your social media reach for your business, remember social media is no different than how you build a relationship offline. You want to be a good conversationalist. Talk about something other than yourself; involve the person you're speaking with, have a dialogue, not a monologue; and don't dominate the conversation. Social media takes work, just like building an offline relationship, but a consistent presence and caring attitude will take you and your business far.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and Memberclicks. She’s just your average bookish writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.