Written by Nicole Smith
When you hear the buzzwords social media, what do you think? Perhaps you think of that crazy Facebook “thing”’ that kids use, or Twitter, something you don’t really understand how to use or why anyone would! Perhaps you understand what social media is, but you don’t really know how to use it effectively in order to benefit your business.
The best way to describe social media from a business perspective is that it’s the cheapest, fastest and most effective advertising available—if you use it the right way. You need to interact with your audience, no matter the size, so that they may see value in what you say, and then share your content to others and ultimately increase your audience. It’s pretty simple!
Before you even do this, you need to know why you want a bigger audience and how are you going to benefit from it. Do you sell a product online? Could you create a product or service if you don’t already have one? Do you have other ways to interact with clients, no matter where they are located? Make sure you work this out before you start sharing with anyone, otherwise you could be overwhelmed!
Once you’re in the social media space and ready to start firing off interesting sound bites to the world, there are some key tips to follow:
1. Be authentic: Make sure you share information in a way that shows you’re a human. Humor is a wonderful tool here! People want to get to know you, so a layered approach of business and personal content is good.
2. Use video on your Facebook page and website: Get yourself on camera! Think of it as window shopping. If people like what they see and you’ve created some trust, people will do business with you. Google now owns YouTube, so it will really assist in increasing traffic to your website.
3. Make sure you have the Facebook ‘Like’ button on your website: You can add it to each blog post as well, so that your readers can immediately share a blog post with their Facebook friends and don’t have to leave your website. There is enormous potential for increased traffic to your website.
4. Link your blog posts, Twitter and Facebook: Make life easy for yourself—link everything! If you have a blog, make sure each post automatically goes to Facebook and Twitter as well. This saves you time and brings people back to your website.
5. Facebook ads: Now that you have Facebook account, why not use Facebook ads? You can advertise to the exact demographic you want, located anywhere in the world for extremely reasonable prices!
6. Use hash tags: When you tweet on Twitter, you want to enable others to find you by your location or industry. For example, if you’re a Sydney architect tweeting about a house you designed, you would use #Sydney #architect in your tweet. This makes it easy for those searching to find you.
7. Frequency: How often should you post or tweet? It depends on how much traffic you want or need. If you want to increase the numbers dramatically, you should be interacting several times a day, but remember that you don’t always have to be “selling something.”
8. Diversify your channels: Twitter and Facebook are great tools, but they can also waste a lot of time you may not have! A great way to limit your time on these sites is to use a tool like Hootsuite. You can manage all your social media from the one dashboard and don’t even need to log into Facebook or Twitter separately! You can even schedule tweets or posts for different times and track results.
9. Make sure your Twitter and Facebook pages have good content: They are almost like quasi websites and need to be attractive to your reader, so tell them about yourself or business, include pictures and let them know how to contact you and link to your website.
10. Outsource your social media: If it’s too difficult and you just don’t have the time, then outsource to a business that can. You may just want a small amount of work done on a weekly or monthly basis, or you may want greater activity on a daily basis. You can outsource anything these days!
Nicole Smith is the director of Blue Fish Social Media. Learn more about her work at www.bluefishsocialmedia.com.