With over 11 million Australians active Facebook members, and an equally impressive number of people using Twitter, and heaps of people use YouTube to search for information so the need for businesses to find a way to engage via Social Media is great. Your clients are hanging out in Social Media land so this presents a fantastic opportunity for you to make new connections and establish your businesses expertise. However it hasn’t been easy in the past.
“Frustration” – a word frequently used to describe companies new to social media and those who have been involved in social media but have yet to enjoy a return.
The problem is two-fold. First, establishing a social media presence takes time and continued effort. You have to be consistent in your involvement with the social media medium and remember that returns will not be overnight. Second, you have to make sure that you are using social media in a way that makes sense for your business.
If you are not sure, ask yourself these simple questions:
– Are you using the right platform?
First, remember that there are a variety of social media platforms for you to consider – most notably Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Further, within these platforms, there exist variations on the theme. For example, in Facebook, you can have a “Page,” a “Group,” or a “Community.” Each variation has its own set of tools, purposes, and capabilities. In addition, you may decide to participate in several social media platforms at the same time. For example, if you have a fitness centre, you may want to use your YouTube channel to publish videos on how to perform certain exercises or tapings of classes you offer there while using Facebook to build a sense of community through candid photos, listings of hours, available classes, and upcoming events.
– Have you scrapped past attempts?
However, you also need to remember that whatever you take on has to be maintained and updated regularly. This can take up valuable time and people resources. While it can certainly be worth it in the long run, remember that consistency is key. If you do not think you will be able to maintain various platforms (or you have already started and stopped using a platform) be sure to erase or delete those accounts. Otherwise, you stand the risk of eroding your brand value when a customer (current or potential) stumbles across your forgotten Bebo account. Instead, make sure that what you have is the best it can be and do away with anything that you are not actively using.
– Are you providing the type of information and interaction that your audience wants?
Ask yourself what it is that your audience would want to read, not what you want to tell them. Providing discounts or having giveaways can be useful, but you have to have more substance than that. Consider posting facts about your company, the brand, or its products. Think of the tidbits of information you encounter everyday that make you stop and say, “Really?” Examples include fun facts about how long you have been in business, what happens “behind the scenes”, why your business operates as it does (e.g. why Yoga class was cancelled on Tuesdays, why you do not serve poppyseed bagels, why you buy local, why legal documents are presented in blue card stock), etc.
– Are you listening to your audience?
Likewise, are you listening to your audience? When they make a post, do you respond? Do you stay on top of when your company is mentioned on other sites, blogs, social media, etc., and make relevant comments to that affect (on that site and yours)? Remember that social media has developed because of the continued interaction it affords. Its purpose is not to simply broadcast, but rather give people a voice in things they would otherwise not be privy to.
– Do you allow them a voice?
Similarly, make sure that you give your audience a voice. Ask open-ended questions, run surveys and polls, include them in new product decisions, etc. – the more things like this you do, the more valued your audience will feel. Remember that interaction is a large part of a successful social media campaign. If you miss out on this, you may already be out of the game.
Social Media can be a key part of growing your business and brand to attract local consumers. Local Internet Marketing isn’t just about having a website, it includes being findable in multiple places when local consumers are looking for your product or service.
The best way for a business to handle this is to outsource the day to day management of these Social Media accounts, to a firm who can ensure that you are actively posting and commenting and providing the type of information that your business and clients want to see. This can be achieved with a small monthly investment with Exposure By Design. We take the hassle out of Social Media for you.