There are no shortcuts if you want results. Social media results take time – think 3-6 months of effort before you see changes. Don’t attempt to hurry the timeline. Like any marketing, it’s important for best results to put solid foundations in place first.
1. Go deep instead of wide to make the most of your time and effort. Find the one or two social media sites that work best for your business and focus your efforts there. Learn the details of your site thoroughly including privacy, visibility and virality.
2. Use calls-to-action (CTAs). These action filled words (like, share, comment, retweet, click) should help your viewer know the next step to take. Phrases like “check it out,” “find out more” get people to engage or follow your link.
3. Your goal should always be to start relationships on social media and then have a strategy to move the relationship to your own property—your website, blog or email list.
4. Pay attention to images on every site. Most of your posts will get more attention if there is a compelling visual to go with it. You will want to get familiar with making custom images so they convey both your branding and CTAs where appropriate.
5. Leverage trending topics any time you can make a connection to your field and your brand. Facebook, Twitter and Google+ list trends for you or you can use a service like BuzzFeed or Reddit. Find your own unique angle, approach or commentary and show your audience you are on top of what they care about right now.
6. Use hashtags.
7. Deliver content consistently on your chosen site(s) in order to grow your network and create engagement. In addition to adding new information frequently, you need to have a presence on the site to respond to others. Daily posting is not too often on most sites (but nowhere near frequent enough on Twitter).
8. It’s time to face the fact that Facebook has become a “pay to play” site. You might as well shut down your Facebook business page if you have less than 1500 fans and low engagement. If you still want to play with Facebook, using the paid ad feature is very powerful. Just make sure you learn in detail about how Facebook ads work.
9. And while you still market with Facebook, make it easy for people to “Like” your page without visiting Facebook. Use a plugin from WordPress or Facebook on your blog or website in a prominent location.
10. Twitter is so fast moving with so many tweets that you must do something to stand out from the crowd. Adding an image or multiple images allows you to do just that for your most important content.
11. Experiment with the option of adding cards to your Twitter account. Twitter cards are an integration between Twitter and your website or blog that allow you to display images, video, audio and product details in rich ways despite Twitter’s limited character count. The cards themselves drive traffic from Twitter to your site.
12. Take advantage of the new profile features to add variety to your LinkedIn profile. Describe and display the results you bring to your clients with multimedia additions. The days of your profile looking like your old resume are long gone!
13. Use the LinkedIn publishing platform. Get exposure, build your expertise and your reach by adding long form content which gets displayed to all LinkedIn members. Publish only one article at a time and be sure to promote it yourself to get people interested in your piece. Create professional looking content with valuable information and LinkedIn may pick it up and promote it for you.
14. If you use this photo site for your business, the Instagram management tool Iconosquare allows you to respond quickly to comments and helps develop relationships with loyal followers. They also have a WordPress plugin that allows you to display an Instagram gallery on the sidebar of your site to help build your following.
15. This site is great for traffic and videos create engagement anywhere. Don’t worry about over-producing your videos because lower quality works fine on YouTube. Be sure to always share your videos on other social media sites as well.
16. While Pinterest is an obvious choice for businesses with physical products, it can work well for service businesses too. Best results come from traffic to your site so run some tests to see what results you get from pinning images from your blog posts. Make sure to include CTAs on your images or descriptions to maximize results for your business.
Author’s content used under license, © Claire Communications