Your business is on social media. Now what?

W. Dan Marks
June 26, 2017
Like most small business owners, you should know how important it is for your company to have a presence on social media. In fact, over 82% of small businesses recognized that importance and used at least one form of social media in 2016. But even if you’ve created a Facebook page and a LinkedIn profile for your business, are they helping you grow your revenue?
 
As a small business owner your time is limited, so you should pick the social channels most relevant for your target audience.  For a B2B-focused company like a professional services firm, concentrating on LinkedIn, Twitter and perhaps emerging channels for publishing thought leadership like Medium or Quora make sense. 
 
If you are a more consumer-focused business, it's probably best to concentrate on Facebook, simply because of the huge number of users. Likewise, if you sell a visually-appealing and exciting product or service, try Instagram or Pinterest
 Your business is on social media. Now what?
Focus on what matters
Recent research has debunked the myth that posting more often is correlated with better engagement.  In the increasingly crowded and mature space of social media, quality and relevancy have become more important than ever. Post about topics that are most interesting to your audience, and are the most likely to generate leads and purchase intent. Of course, this is a little bit like saying the goal in golf is to hit the little white ball into the cup.  Easy to say, harder to do. 
 
In social media it will take some experimentation of different approaches and types of content to figure out what converts best for you. The good news is that you don’t have to get it perfect the first time, you just have to reach the handful of prospects and clients that you need to meet your revenue goals. Start with your own observations: what do your most loyal clients or customers love about what you provide? Be sure to add a mixture of personal and casual as well as more product or service-focused items. Also, don’t forget to use your employees as your social media army - encouraging and incentivizing team members to share brand messages on their own social media accounts can tap into hundreds of new followers.
 
 Remember, it’s a conversation
Respond to questions and comments, and, yes, complaints or bad reviews. Prospective customers are using social media to do research into your company as they consider whether to buy from you. People understand that mistakes happen so they generally are not looking for an absence of bad feedback but observing how you handle situations where expectations were not met or mistakes were made. Be sure to respond with empathy and candor while also respecting and guarding privacy. Always remember to thank followers for their comments. Your attorney can be a good resource to help think through how to respond in a way that enhances your brand and complies with applicable laws, regulations, and privacy standards.
  
Share and comment on links to other interesting web sites that contain news and blogs relevant to your business or industry. Your business’ followers will appreciate the information and will remember to look on your page for similar content in the future. Sharing a mixture of your own content and linking to relevant content from related sources can be a way to build your visibility, both directly and by building up cross-links to other reputable websites.
 
Make social media work for you
Include images in your post. Posts that contain photos or videos are more likely to be seen and shared by a larger number of people, including prospective customers. Also consider making a blog on your website the hub of your overall content and social distribution strategy. Research from Instapage, HubSpot and other sources has shown that blogging has a positive correlation on lead generation.  There are multiple software programs and services that streamline and allow you to coordinate the publishing of content on your blog and your targeted social channels and then track how those posts turn into views which can help create sales leads.
 
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