It’s no secret that social media is both extremely popular and exceptionally powerful in building connections between individuals, artists, businesses and civic organizations. Just a quick glance at the numbers proves this point:
- Facebook: 1 Billion Active Users
- Twitter: 560 Million Active Users
- Google +: 400 Million Active Users
- InstaGram: 150 Million Active Users
- Pinterest: 70 Million Active Users
But while the numbers present a strong case for why businesses need to use social media, it doesn’t completely offer insight into how businesses can engage most effectively with their customer base. Here, then, are a few practical tips on how to not only get started but also to create interesting, buzz-worthy content your audience will enjoy.
- Choose The Right Platform: It’s easy to look at usage numbers and simply choose one or two of the largest platforms, but that’s not the best way to select the one you’ll use. Instead, if yours is a retail, home decor or DIY business, you may find more customers engaging on Pinterest or Instagram (which are both highly visual sites). Twitter messages are limited to 140 characters or less–great for quick updates and news on-the-go. Facebook often combines written and visual media. Look to platforms that work best for your product line, for your style and for your customers. Take a look at this infographic from Leverage for more information on the platforms, and consider setting up a customer survey via SurveyMonkey if you’re still unsure.
- No Spamming: Your customers are not interested in being bombarded with ads, disguised as social media content, in much the same way you’re not interested in telemarketers calling your business all day, disguising themselves as customers or friends. Instead, offer useful tips, relevant news, interesting video, etc. — and do it often.
- Good Content: Good content is the kind your customer is interested in and wants to share. A good example: A southern law firm used advertising and social media to create relationships and buzz with potential clients by urging clients not to wait to speak with a lawyer, simply saying–the details can change. In it, he flashed pictures of himself with his dog, then without; with a tie, then without; with one suit color, then another. In another post, he thanked educators and mentioned that his mother was a career teacher. In short, he drew others into his world, creating relationship.
- Consistency: If you think you won’t update often enough (you should update every day, often multiple times per day), set up an account at HootSuite to schedule posts for a later time. You can set the day and time the information will go out, but don’t use services like this exclusively.
In short, find your audience, then build the relationship by engaging frequently with content that engages you both. Your customers will appreciate it, will forward it to others and begin to see you as the go-to store or service.