When it comes to navigating social media as a business owner, there are many factors to consider. What, when and how often should you post? The list of questions on how to do social media “right” is a long one. While the logistics may be confusing, the goal is to use social media effectively to ensure your company is connecting with its customers in a real way. After all, that’s what social media is about— creating meaningful connections with people and brands you care about.
In today’s post, we are sharing our thoughts on four major social media dos and don’ts. For more tips on improving your social media strategy, check out this article from Business 2 Community.
DO: Know your customer
Knowing your customers well enough that you understand their wants and needs (and then meet those needs) is a vital component of true business success. This knowledge will enable you to tailor your social media posts to the topics that interest your followers. While you want to incorporate originality into the content that you post, it’s also essential that you are posting about topics that relate to your audience. This will help generate more shares, likes, and overall more active engagement with your followers.
Here are a few ways you can get to know your customers:
Survey your followers:
Surveys are a great tool because they are a simple way of gathering a lot information in the matter of a few short questions. You will also remind your customers that you value their thoughts and opinions. But remember, your survey is only as useful as the questions it asks. So while it’s great to add a few short sections that pertain the demographic of your audience, it may be more important to ask them about which topics interest them and which ones do not. Which posts would they like to see more of? Are they more interested in video content or written blog posts? What are their overall expectations for future posts?
While there are dozens of questions you could ask, try to refrain from making your survey too lengthy. This could jeopardize the rate of participation. Opt for something short, sweet and to the point, keeping in mind that you’re simply trying to gain a better understanding of your customer base. Here is a helpful article that provides tips on how to get to know your customers better. Tip #5, “Investigate Competitors,” is especially interesting.
Keep track of what posts receive the most attention:
It’s important to note which social posts accumulate the most likes and shares and which ones do not. By keeping track of posts that gain the most attention from your followers and finding the connections between them, you will begin to develop a better understanding of what your followers are interested in. With that in mind, you can begin to tailor your posts to the topics that actively engage them.
DON’T: Make your post sound like a sales pitch
While having a social media presence offers enhanced customer exposure to your various products/services, try to avoid making every post sound like a sales pitch. Even better, aim to have most of your posts focused on your customers’ interests – not about your company or offerings. Your followers may be off put if they constantly feel like you are trying to sell them something. While it is perfectly fine to feature a certain product or service every once in awhile, try to do so in a tasteful way.
Remember, having a social media account allows you the perfect opportunity to connect with your customers, so focus on that. Simply tell your story, don’t sell your story. You will be surprised by the improved engagement that will come if your posts provide real value and solutions to your customers.
DO: Be Consistent
You know how variety is the spice of life? Well, to us, consistency is the spice of communication. And when it comes to social networking, consistency is key. It’s not enough to simply have a Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn account, you have to use them! Not only is it important that you actively create and share content on your page, but you need to have a clear direction when doing so. For example, if your followers are used to your posts about business advice and quality leadership, they may be a little thrown off if you were to post about something totally unrelated like tech support. Again, this goes back to really knowing your customer and posting about topics that interest and engage them on a consistent basis.
Here is a great resource that will help you create an effective posting schedule based on your target market.
As much as we cherish consistency, it is important to walk the fine line between being consistent and being spammy. Over posting and over sharing content tends to flood your followers feeds and can often seem like spam rather than quality, engaging content. In fact, think of the consistency of your posts on a quality versus quantity basis. Throughout the course of the day it is better to post one or two quality pieces of content that engage your followers rather than 10 or 15 mediocre ones that barely attract any activity at all.
Keep in mind that every site is different in terms of how often you should post and when you should be posting. Here is a great resource that will help you determine how often you should be posting based on which social media outlet you use.
So the next time you create content on your various social media accounts, think of these tips. Remember, it’s not so much about promoting ourselves, but making our customers feel engaged and important. Increased exposure is simply a bonus.
If you’d like more information on the Dos and Don’ts when it comes to social networking for your business, check out this article.
So, what is your favorite social media strategy? What is your biggest social media frustration? If you need additional help with social, click the button below and we'll help you out!