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Social Media: Don’t set it and forget it

By Sam McCue - Last Updated on 03/07/2016
Adding social media to your online presence can be a huge advantage to your business. Build up a Yelp listing for your restaurant and you will be able to show off your prized menu items. Roll out a Facebook profile for your graphics company and you get the opportunity to humanize your brand. The more widespread your name is online, the higher you will rank and the more opportunities people have to interact with it.

Lets face it, social media marketing is often more work than you bargained for and many people forget, or don’t have the time, to maintain their accounts. To put it simply, a social media account is only useful if you use it. Taking the time to properly set it up, groom it, and position it as a marketing tool takes a concerted effort. Here are some tips to keep in mind when running your business's social media accounts —

Put Your Aces in their Places: Choosing the right platform.
Each social media platform caters to its audience in a unique way, and you need to take that into account when developing your strategy. According to Pew Research, 42% of all online females use Pinterest, compared to 13% of all online males, so if you are trying to target men, Pinterest may not be where you want to concentrate your marketing. If you own a restaurant, you may want to showcase your prized creations on Instagram. A simple search of the hashtag “#food” yields 179,265,515 posts and counting. If you have a bakery, post pictures of the creative cupcakes and other confections you make to get your followers’ mouths watering.
food hashtag results.
These strong audience indicators should be factored into your digital marketing plan, so you can begin strategizing what times of day/week they are active on social media.

Utilize all of the Features.
Physical addresses, maps, contact information, website links and company names are examples of things that should never be left incomplete on a social media account. Just like your website, your social media site will show up in your customer’s search results as well and they will expect to be able to find all of your information on whatever page Google shows first. Take the time to make sure you have filled out all of the appropriate fields when setting up your social media accounts.

Perhaps not all the features pertain to you. If you run a ecommerce-based business and you don’t have a brick and mortar location, then an address may not be necessary on Facebook. It is important, however, that users know how to contact you.

Post Something. Anything.
Okay, maybe not anything. You need to be posting on a regular basis to receive decent engagement from your followers. You will need to find out what works for your business, develop a voice, and make sure you are posting content that is consistent with the core values of your business. It doesn’t hurt to share other page’s posts once in a while to show your followers that you are engaged in the industry. In fact, in recent years, radio stations have made a point of sharing and spreading viral videos on their pages to engage and expand their follower base.

If you are posting original content, don’t make the mistake of uploading it to Facebook. By doing this, you miss the opportunity to redirect the follower to your website, where you can get customized analytics on how they interact with your site. When posting original content, share it as a link to your site. This leads right into the next point.

Calls to Action.
Make the user want to click the link. There are generic calls to action, such as “Click here, see how, join now, etc,” and then there are CTAs commonly known as “Clickbait.” These are titles that are so intriguing, you’ll have to click it to satisfy your curiosity. Here is an example:
an example of clickbait.
The urge to click that link is almost irresistible. How will you know what she said unless you do? That is the essence of clickbait, and it is considered less savory tactic mainly adopted by mass-content publishers. As a business, steering away from these types of CTAs will only help your credibility, and prevent your followers from thinking you are “duping” them into clicking.
Orvis' Facebook page entices you to click, which brings you to...
...the Orvis website.
The Orvis Company is a great example of a business that has an integrated content marketing strategy without the use of clickbait. On their Facebook page, they have an enticing call to action. “This looks like a blast, and the savage strikes are incredible!” is a line that would make any angler hungry to see what it is all about. Then when you get to their site, there is a very visible, very incentivized email signup right next to the video. If the user signs up to receive emails, Orvis can market to them directly.

Talk Back.
Facebook or Instagram is a great place for a follower to ask you a question, in a less formal setting than a customer support form. Not responding to your followers will show the world you don’t care. Social media has become an incredible medium for conversation about brands. Companies who are diligent at responding, do so because it is a public exchange. People can see what kind of questions are being asked about the brand, how long it takes them to respond to an issue and how they handle it. Make sure you take the appropriate time to draft the appropriate response, and use the voice you want your brand to have. The most important aspect of your response should be the value it creates for those who read it.

Start Small.
Make sure you define your overall goals, which should be congruent with your business goals. From there, use the steps outlined here to make sure you social media accounts are working as effectively as possible to make your website a success. When used tactically, your social media can be a valuable way to make your message heard and gain your followers’ respect.

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