You have been told over and over again that you should use social media to promote your business. I’ll assume by now you have already set up a company Facebook page but all you get are those annoying random “Hi” messages from people who have no intention of buying from you, which makes you wonder if social media can really help you acquire new clients.
Another thing that frustrates most entrepreneurs is lack of reach, which means unless a post gains many likes and shares or gets boosted with ad spend, it tends to be seen by only a small percentage of your Facebook’s page followers.
Let’s clear this up right away: You don’t have to use all the social media platforms out there. Choose only three or at least four platforms that will have an impact for your business and focus on them only.
Recent studies give a clear picture of the way social media platforms are evolving in South Africa:
- Facebook has 16 million users.
- Smartphones and tablets are the preferred devices to access social media platforms.
- Twitter is growing by leaps and bounds.
- LinkedIn has grown steadily to 6.1 million users.
- YouTube has seen a marginal rise at 68% growth.
Here’s how you should use social media:
1. Format your posts to suit each platform
Tweak each post so it suits the platform. Why? Because each platform is different, and your content should be fluent in the language of that platform. Otherwise you’ll never be able to have a real conversation with your followers.
Furthermore, avoid reposting the same message on the same account. Your followers will notice this and it may disengage them. Besides, platforms such as Twitter are limiting automation and identical content as part of their effort to curb bots and spam accounts.
2. Have a posting schedule
Develop a posting schedule and stick to it.
Use scheduling tools like Hootsuite and Buffer which allow you to schedule posts, so you can spread them out and send them at the optimal times.
If you choose to post on Tuesday, Thursday and Fridays, be sure you stick to that. Your audience will get used to look out for your posts on those specific days.
3. Share content that relates to your business
The content that you share should promote your business, after all, that’s the aim of sharing content on social media. Getting more likes shouldn’t be your ultimate goal though, while likes can make you feel good, they can’t be converted into sales.
Last but not least:
Use social media to boost all your marketing efforts, because it’s cheaper to use, and in most cases costs nothing. Share videos, infographics and behind the scenes stories.
Remember, there must always be a purpose for using each platform.For example, you may share content on Twitter to drive traffic back to your website. Facebook to reach and connect with your existing and potential customers. LinkedIn for generating leads, and so on.
Social media content is not suitable for a hard-sale, so in all your engagements remain subtle and relevant to the audience. After all, the most effective marketing strategy relies on creating a strong emotional connection.