Social media is one of the most popular Internet inventions that has the potential to cause massive division. Many people find great success with it and others struggle to use it effectively and therefore avoid it at all costs. Regardless of how you feel about social media, it’s here to stay and can be a valuable asset to any business. Before you jump in and start parading around Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, there are a few things you should know about utilizing this great tool.
Hire the Outsider
Using a social media marketing company is a great way for any business to get in on the social media game. Hiring a company means they already know the best practices to build a following, maintaining a positive public image, and engaging with the followers for the best possible results. Social media marketers have spent plenty of their time learning the ropes and offering you the freedom to run your business without stressing about maintaining an online presence.
Save Money and Do it Yourself
Many small businesses are not in a position to hire a social media expert and have to rely on to handle the online presence. They can either encourage their employees to help run it or they do it themselves. The hard part about this is that it requires time to get into the groove. Once you understand how social media helps business and you find your own way in posting and responding, it does get much easier to maintain. If you are going to take care of the business social media accounts, here are a few tricks to help you figure out what to post:
- Post during your business hours so that people know when you are open
- Share sales, promotions, contests, and post them often
- Create unique hashtags (ex: #fallshopsale) to create buzz around a sale, contest, or event
- Answer all questions pertaining to the business
- If there is a complaint online, don’t engage online but invite them to call you personally to give them the best customer service
- Try not to miss any responses to your postings or personal messages
- Create online contests to drive traffic to your business
- Follow back all people in your field and customers who are reaching out
Own Up to Your Mistakes
Regardless of if you have a social media marketer or you are handling your own accounts, a mistake will be made. It happens to everyone and to the best of people, so don’t take it personally. The important thing is to own up to your mistakes and use social media to announce how you are handling the situation. While people online love a good witch hunt, most will forgive you quickly once they see that you are making an effort to right your wrong. If you choose to ignore it, you can fuel peoples’ anger further and find yourself under a firing squad or a boycott. Most businesses can bounce back from a mistake so rest assured you will too.
Avoid the No-No’s
As with most businesses and their marketing techniques, there are certain mistakes that can make it hard to gain a following. If you are always posting about a sale but never answering folks who have questions about the sale, you will be distancing those sales. If you are not posting on a regular basis, you will get lost in the algorithm game. If you never answer private messages, your service or product will not be on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Remember that engagement is key and you are using social media to build a relationship!
Overall, save yourself the time and energy and hire that social media marketer. Save the DIY for when you absolutely cannot squeeze it into your advertising budget. Social media does take a bit of time and you could drain yourself long before you see the positive results.