by Lexie Lu
Having a social media presence is vital in today’s online marketing atmosphere. You’ll attract new customers, learn from your competitors, and engage with current customers.
Social media usage has grown to historical levels: 2.34 billion people use some form of social media, and 77% of Americans have a social media profile. Spending at least some of your marketing time improving your social media channels is a smart investment.
Here are nine things you can do today to make your social media pages the best they can be.
1. Stick to Your Basic Color Palette
If you’ve been in business for a bit, you likely have a brand color palette that centers on your logo. Your website has a specific look, as do any materials you send out to customers. Your social media channels shouldn’t be any different. If a visitor comes to your social media page, they should immediately recognize that page as part of your brand. Use the same logo and color choices as you use on your website and in other marketing materials.
2. Build Trust
Why should a customer do business with your brand over all the other brands out there? The person landing on your business page on social media likely doesn’t know much about your company. You have to educate them about your brand, and build a level of trust. One way to do this is by offering reviews on your social media pages, so users can see what others think of your brand.
In addition to featuring specific trips for sale, Intrepid Travel also has a link on its Facebook page that goes directly to reviews others have posted about their trips with Intrepid. It also includes a video so people can see highlights from their trips, which builds another layer of trust.
3. Add Videos and Photos
Posts that have videos or photos tend to get more likes and shares. Nearly 50% of consumers are viewing videos each day on Facebook according to Forbes. Experts predict that in the next few years, people will spend most their time online watching videos. Adding video is a move you can make now that you’ll see results from for years to come. Visuals add high value to your social media profiles.
4. Integrate with Your Website
If you aren’t already integrating social media with your website, then you’re missing out on ways users can connect with you and continue to engage. Many people expect fast responses on social media. Adding links to your social channels from your website allows users to connect on the fly, and ask a question or stay updated on specials and sales.
Like most companies, Cherry’s Industrial Equipment links to its social media channels in the footer of its page. Anyone who looks for contact info is likely to scroll to the bottom of the page, where they’ll find links to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube.
5. Understand Your Audience
Nearly every form of marketing starts with the primary tenant of understanding your audience and what they want. Take the time to poll your social media audience the same way you study the data for your website. The two audiences may have some key differences. At the same time, understanding the type of customer who buys your product, allows you to target any social media advertising to the kind of person who purchases your products or services.
Make charts, read analytics, take polls, and survey your current customers. The more in-depth you understand your typical customer, the better you’ll be able to reach them effectively on social media.
6. Create a Sense of Urgency
The online world changes rapidly. Lose your viewer’s attention for a split second, and you risk losing it forever, as they bounce out into the vastness of cyberspace and find other things that interest them more. If you can create a sense of urgency, so they take an action immediately, then you’re more likely to gain a new customer. You can do this through limited-time sales, indicating when you only have a limited supply left, or showing why the person needs the product now and not later.
Burger Revolution does a couple of things to get people to turn out for its burgers. It shares interesting news from customers, shows up at festivals and special events, and even indicates when it’s about to run out of a particular burger for the day. One of the most effective thing it does is share a secret menu item several days throughout the week. These are chef specials and are only available for a limited time, so fans rush to the restaurant to get the secret menu item before it’s gone forever.
7. Expand Your Channels
Take the time to study the different social media channels and which ones have the user personas you wish to reach. If your target audience is married women between 26 and 36, Pinterest might be a good choice for you. On the other hand, if your audience is career women, then LinkedIn is a better place to start. Conduct a full survey of the channels you’re on and how much traffic you’re getting from each social media network. Then, either add or replace other networks that might work better for your brand.
8. Stay Active
It’s easy to get distracted and forget to post on your social media channels for a while, but in this fast-moving world, silence is a death knell. Instead, create an editorial schedule and use automated programs to schedule posts, photos, videos and even polls for your followers. You’ll still want to engage and personally answer any questions or comments, but the posts themselves can be easily automated with programs both free and paid.
9. Stop the Constant Promotion
Social media is a lot like forums in that people like to engage with one another, make comments, ask questions, and learn new things. If all you ever do is post what is on sale or that you have a new product, your followers are going to become bored. Instead, make a video that educates or makes their lives better that relates to your industry—or share one from a non-competitor. Post a fun photo, share news about your employees, and highlight your favorite customers. Tell a story, and stop only telling them to buy your product.
Improve your social media presence by studying current trends. Watch the types of posts your competitors publish. How can you be better than they are? You’ll also want to read through surveys of social media users to find out what features they want most and then figure out how you can offer them. Be sure to provide the best user experience possible to see the results you deserve.