How to Use Social Media for Business: 4 Tricks for More Impact
Using social media for business seems to be a pretty hot topic these days.
The effectiveness of social media for business and marketing purposes has been proven time and time again. Despite this, using social media correctly and actually having some impact seems to be an elusive goal for many business owners.
So how can you leverage social media for business and marketing – correctly? What can you do to give your company’s social media campaigns more impact?
1: Use the right tools for the job
Would you use hand tools to build an entire house? Of course not! There are far more effective, efficient and reliable tools out there that will help you accomplish your task more quickly.
The same principle applies in using social media for business. Are you still hand-writing all of your social media campaign posts? Are you posting to each social media account individually? Are you spending hours each day keeping all of your accounts active?
If you answered yes to one or more of those questions, you need to look into using a social media management platform. Personally I prefer HootSuite. Services like HootSuite allow you to link all of your social media accounts under one dashboard to write, schedule and publish your campaign posts simultaneously.
Most services also allow you to track followers, direct message people who follow you, and even manage your mentions across the social networks.
One really cool feature that I love about HootSuite is their post aggregator. This tool automatically pulls in posts from other accounts that are related to your niche. You are then able to schedule times to share those posts so that you can keep your accounts active and filled with relevant content.
HootSuite offers all of these services, and also allows you to link RSS feeds to your accounts to auto-share new content on your website. Their pro version ($15/month) has some great features, but their free version is sufficient for most people. I highly recommend them!
2: Reach out to people in your market
This is by far one of my favorite methods of growing my business’ social media following!
Instead of paying for advertising, going on ‘follow sprees’ or just sitting around waiting for followers, I go to them! Anytime someone follows me on Twitter, I tweet back to them with something along the lines of “Hey there @username here, thank you for following! What are you working on?”
Since my target market consists of entrepreneurs and other young professionals, reaching out and asking them to share their current project is an easy way to make new connections. Most entrepreneurs are more than willing to talk about their current project or another subject that they are passionate about. This can lead to some truly engaging discussions and lots of new networking opportunities.
You’re probably thinking “Yeah, great, but those are people who are already following you, not new followers.” Right you are!
The cool part about using these ‘outreach campaigns’ is that when a person replies to your tweet, all of their followers see it too. If you get even a moderately high-profile account to reply to your tweet, you’ve just gained several thousand free impressions for your account!
A slightly more aggressive version of this strategy is to visit the profiles of people who reply to your tweets, and look for discussions that they are having with their followers already. Once you find a conversation, jump in on the discussion! Offer an opinion, give them commendation on something they shared. It can feel a bit awkward at first jumping into other people’s conversations, but you would be surprised how many people actually enjoy the extra engagement. Remember, by interacting with those people you are promoting their account to your followers too! Free exposure for everyone!
To prove my point here: I tripled my following AND engagement by reaching out to people in this way.
3: Be consistent in your strategy
The biggest roadblock in building an effective social media strategy for your business is inconsistency.
Today’s world is centered around instant gratification, instant results and instant success. Sadly, instant success just doesn’t happen most of the time, especially when it comes to social media for business.
It takes work to build a consistent social media following for your business. It takes even more work to maintain that following. However people are far more likely to follow you, engage with your business and ultimately buy your product if they see you as an active member of their social network.
Building a social media strategy for your business takes a lot of trial and error. The important thing is to keep trying even if you keep failing. The more you can refine your strategy, the more likely it is that you will see better results. Be consistent in applying your strategy and if you aren’t quite satisfied with the results you are getting, refine your social media strategy and start again. Be consistent in your efforts.
4: Share great content from respected sources
Social media for business can be a tricky topic, especially when it comes to having enough content to share with your followers.
A great solution to this problem is to share other people’s content. This may seem a bit counterproductive since you are trying to promote your own content, but by sharing content that is useful to your followers you can increase the value of your own account in their minds.
If a new follower reads a few articles each week from your account and each one of them provides valuable content that helps her to grow her business, that follower will trust you more. Since she has already benefited from the content you share, she is more likely to check out any other content you put out there.
As you grow your followers and show them that the content you share adds value to their business, you will see more traffic to the content you share. This means that when you share links to your website, your followers will be far more likely to visit the page and trust that what you are sharing is worth their while.
My favorite way to find new content to share with my followers is to use an RSS aggregator to follow great blogs in my industry. For example I follow blogs like Search Engine Journal, Blog Tyrant and Higher Visibility. As I read their articles on Feedly, I look for any information that would be valuable to my target audience. When I find a great article that I think is worth sharing, I schedule a post with a link to that article through HootSuite.
I hope you’ve found these 4 tips on leveraging social media for business useful. What you is your strategy for using social media for business? What have you found that works well? Let me know down in the comments!