There’s no question that successful businesses have learned how to master the art of social media. For smaller businesses it’s impossible to manage a presence on all of the platforms, so choices must be made. But how do you know which ones are worth your time? That’s what we’re here for. SCM has been helping businesses manage their online presence and we know a thing or two about where to focus your efforts.
Although each platform has its perks and setbacks, there a couple of things to keep in mind with all of them. In order to find success on social media for business, your accounts need to be active with consistent posts at the very least once per week. Know the people that make up your audience and be sure that you are sending out messages that are relevant and useful to them.
How could we put together a social media list without starting off with Facebook? With being the largest social network to date, brands who aren’t using this as a tool to reach their customers are seriously missing out on a huge opportunity.
Facebook is an easy and effective tool for breaking into social media for business. It is simple to set up a business account and invite people to like the page. Once you get followers it is easy for them to share your posts with their friends, putting your information in front of an extended audience who you may not have in your own network. When posting, just remember that your Facebook profile is supposed to be used to create a community among your followers and as a tool to build relationships with them.
SCM Tip: Don’t fill your Facebook profile with advertisements, your fans don’t like seeing promotional brand posts in their newsfeed. Instead, make your profile personable. Let them see what your business is like from an inside perspective.
An added perk: Facebook also has it’s own advertising system which makes it easier to target specific demographics on the network.
Twitter is another major social media platform. Posts on Twitter are limited to 140 characters making them direct and to the point. Even though the posts are shorter, to make an impact on this social media network you need to put in a little more time. Do your research to find which hashtags are relevant to your industry and what people are talking about. There’s also the retweet, where you are sharing someone else’s tweet to your followers. Be careful with what you’re retweeting – make sure that it is in line with the message your brand is portraying online, especially if the tweet has a link in it.
SCM Tip: Twitter is all about building conversations. Make sure that you are replying to questions and are using the right tone in your tweets. If you do use this platform to promote your products or give out deals, be sure to make it conversational.
LinkedIn is especially popular within the B2B community. It is a helpful tool for hiring, networking, and gaining new clients. When posting to this platform, remember that people are in work-mode when they are on it. Share relevant articles about current events and new research findings in the industry. It is also a great lead generation tool to figure out who needs your product or service, and have them come to your organically through this platform.
SCM Tip: Join LinkedIn groups that are related to your field. This will allow you to provide your own insightful information and let you promote your expertise.
If you couldn’t already tell by its name, Google+ is owned by Google the search engine. Therefore, having a Google+ account is a good idea because it improves your rankings on search engine results pages. Every type of business can benefit from having a Google+ profile.
SCM Tip: Sign your business up for a Google My Business account so that your Google+ links to Google local searches.
Since the platform is photo based, Pinterest tends to work better for brands that use strong visuals in their advertising. Retailers, manufacturers, and businesses in the travel industry have seen particular success on Pinterest. Is your target market predominantly female? If you answered yes, Pinterest is an obvious contender for your business’ social media line-up. When creating pin boards and pin descriptions be sure to use targeted keywords so that people can find your pin when they search for something.
SCM Tip: Stay updated on popular search terms. Create boards and pins that are related to stay on top of your SEO.
Here is the other image based app in the social media world. Instagram is a popular photo editing and sharing app that is popular among the younger Millennial demographic. It is a great tool for restaurants, hotels, travel-related businesses, and consumer product companies. To see success with this platform, make sure that you’re taking pictures that make your brand unique.
SCM Tip: Instagram works great when paired with Facebook and Twitter. Maximize your efforts by having the same image posted on all three platforms.
Every now and then, business owners need to step back and re-evaluate their goals and business objectives. Businesses grow and evolve, and it’s their responsibility to have that reflect in their customers and branding. You may think you know your company, but from time to time it is necessary to re-evaluate and define your brand again.
Sure, we live in a time where definitions and labels seem unnecessary, but in business it is essential in order to find success. The definition of your brand and business is what gives you direction, and what sets you apart. Want to define your brand but don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Ask yourself these 5 questions so you can start defining your brand and your business.
At first, it may seem that your mission is obvious. But make sure that you’re really thinking of what you want to accomplish with what you do. Are you consumer focused, or is your eye strictly on the prize (a.k.a. the money)? Do you want to be the cheapest, be an idea innovator, be the most knowledgeable? These are all things you should consider when thinking of your mission. Remember: your mission is the core of your business model and your brand. Make sure that you understand it and stick to it.
Now that you know your primary goals and overall purpose of your business, check to see where you stand with your competitors. What do they do? What do they rock at doing? How is this different from you? What do you do better? When your customers come to you, they are often playing the field. You need to know what sets you apart so you can focus on that to gain more customers.
It’s okay to narrow down your target customers. Shorten your reach and make valuable connections. You want your customers to find value in what you do. Take the extra time and figure out who is looking for your product or service, and finds true value in it. You don’t want to waste your effort reaching out to just anyone. Save time and focus on people who are willing to make an investment and an impact on your business.
What people say about you matters. And it’s especially important that you know what they are saying. Send out an email survey, check social media, ask your current customers what they think. This can either re-affirm what you already know, or give you some valuable insights on what you are doing well and what you can improve on in the future.
This question ties it all together. When you define your brand, the most important thing to remember is that you can tell people what to think. If you don’t like what they are saying, you can change their perceptions with a simple change in strategy. This is easier for new businesses who are starting off with a clean slate. But for the seasoned veterans of the industry, this can prove to be more of a challenge. Take that challenge in stride because it will definitely pay off.
You may have an awesome website and clever logo, but that doesn’t mean you’re winning the branding game. Branding is all about building and maintaining perceptions with your customers. Hopefully with these tips you have some ideas to use for your own brand. If not, contact SCM Marketing Solutions for more advice.