With 81% of Americans active on at least one social media platform, it’s more important than ever that your brand join the conversation for inbound marketing. In fact, it could be said that your absence from sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter is akin to not picking up your business phone when it rings.
Consumers want to hear from you on social media, and they want to hear from you quickly. Studies have shown that customers expect a response on social media in as little as 30 minutes from the initial contact.
Know you’re missing out on a good opportunity, but don’t know where to start? Here are 10 tips to get your business social media to account up and running, ensuring that you’re ready to answer that phone when it rings.
1. Keep a complete profile
No matter which platform you choose to use, your profile should be complete and current. List your hours of operation, a method of contact and basic information about the services you provide. When something changes within your company structure, don’t forget to update your social media profile!
Your social media profile should include a link to your website, current profile pictures (or your business logo) and the email address of an actual person. For instance, include the email address firstname.lastname@example.org rather than email@example.com. People want to know they’re corresponding with a person.
2. Interact with customers
Social media is a great way to show your consumers that there’s a person (or group of people) behind the business name. The easiest way to do this is by interacting with your followers and others on social media.
Your conversations don’t have to be all business, all the time. It’s perfectly okay to chat about the Olympics or about the weather. Be sure, though, that you steer clear of sensitive topics like politics or religion.
3. Respond to complaints … sometimes
Social media has become an extremely popular place for consumers to air their grievances. Unfortunately, that means you may come under fire every now and then.
If this happens, it’s important that you respond promptly and professionally. If the situation can be resolved online (in public) then, by all means, do so. Others will take notice of your responsiveness, too.
However, sometimes it’s best if you take the conversation offline. Call your customer directly and resolve the issue in a non-public manner. To put it quite simply, make the world a better place and help keep social media drama free.
4. Use your hashtags
We at DuBose have a love-hate relationship with hashtags. On the one hand, hashtags are a great way to get noticed by people who are not your followers on social media. For instance, using the hashtag #montreal will interject your post into a conversation people are already having about the city.
On the other hand, #hashtags can be #insanely #overused. When you string together too many hashtags, it makes your message confusing, and it also makes you look unprofessional.
Using hashtags the right way can be a great way to get noticed. Go ahead and use them, but keep them relevant and professional.
5. Don’t forget the visuals
Don’t stick solely with text in your posts and tweets. Instead, inject a healthy dose of infographics, images, and even video. These posts are easily noticed, sharable and relatable – your followers will love them!
6. Don’t be spammy
Customers follow your social media account because they want to interact with and learn more about your business. The unfollow your social media account when your posts get salesy and spammy.
It’s okay to post offers every now and then. However, it’s more important that you use social media to be social. Keep your ads simple; just post an exclusive coupon or a special every now and then. Save the sales pitch for later in the marketing funnel.
7. Reach out to your colleagues and your competitors
Following your competition online can do wonders for your business. And the objective isn’t necessarily to steal business away from them.
Reaching out to your competitors and your colleagues on social media can help you expand your customer base … and your industry knowledge. Don’t overlook the referral opportunities presented by social media, either.
8. Create interactive content
Engage your followers, and encourage them to interact with you. There are a number of ways you can do this. You could create a poll (which also helps you learn more about your consumers). Or, you could sponsor a contest. For instance, ask your consumers to post a photo of them using your product. Then, give an Amazon Kindle away to the most creative.
People love to be heard. No matter how you encourage them to interact, be sure it’s fun and positive. Be smart about it, too. Use these opportunities to get to know your consumer better.
9. Be consistent
People check their phones an average of 74 times per day. That translates to many opportunities for your post or tweet to be seen.
However, it’s important that you be consistent in your social media posts. Don’t overdo it with a post every 15 minutes. Do post frequently, though. You don’t want to post so infrequently that your message gets buried.
10. Have fun!
Finally, and most importantly, have fun! Social media is a completely different animal than, say, your email marketing campaign. It’s okay to interact, make puns, and cheer on the Broncos. Have fun with your social media account – your followers will notice.