As the weight of social media signals (Facebook likes, Google pluses, tweets, stumbles, pins) increase for marketers, it’s vital for any business to engage their community of fans and super-fans with shareable content. The following are 7 social marketing tips to help your business understand the social media environment and take advantage of simple growth opportunities.
#1 – Personalize your content
Type the way you talk – don’t be a robot. On social media channels like Facebook and Twitter, people are posting in their own voice. It’s much easier to communicate and engage your followers with personalized content. As a small business one of your primary social marketing goals is to create real relationships. Twitter can be a highly effective way to have real conversations with your community. Don’t be afraid of the public – interact with them as you would with friends.
#2 – Be relevant
There’s nothing more deterring than seeing stale content. Don’t play catch up – stay on top of your industry. When you post content your fans already know about, they devalue your brand.
Be fresh. Use the search tool Topsy to find out what people are currently writing about in your niche and try to come up with something similar. Sometimes it can be as simple as being timely with an upcoming Holiday or event. Vista College posts about National Nursing Assistants Week and a respectful Memorial Day tribute. This helps establish emotional values with their followers and improve their image.
#3 – Flaunt your good stuff!
This one’s easy. You wouldn’t be in business if you didn’t have something people wanted. Make sure you know what people are talking most about. Is it Product “A” or Service “B”? Once this is clear, add a slight twist to it and promote it.
Do people love your new pizza? Are your followers’ big sports fans? Try designing that same pizza in the shape of the teams’ logo. Now you’re being creative and promoting your best product. This type of content is fun to share and will earn some serious social capital.
#4 – Get savvy & offer rewards
Do you have regulars? Do you still have that bulky punch – rewards card? Consider signing up for LevelUp or Groupon. This adds some tech savvy-ness to your business and makes your regulars feel extra-special when they earn rewards. Even more importantly, social signals are integrated with these services. You can easily create a Groupon and promote it on your social channels.
#5 – Connect with each other
Know the saying, “the more the merrier?” This is true for small businesses. Most small businesses have a demographic aligning themselves with the “Go – Local” movement. This is a prime opportunity for you to connect with other local businesses and work together. This can be the form of a “Buy 2 of Product A at My business, Get 50% off at Their business.” There are many possibilities and room for creativity. Keep in mind, the goal of this tactic is to get your business promoted on other businesses social channels. By forming meaningful relationships with competitors and neighbors, you create mutually beneficial social engagement.
#6 – Stand out with creativity
You don’t have to have an exciting business to be attractive. Get creative and start brainstorming ideas. Here’s an example of interesting content by 12 palms recovery centers. They created an infographic-video about the effect of drugs on pregnancy. While they are a recovery center, they branched out with a creative piece of content that is easily shareable.
Now my next example may be a little “too creative” if that’s possible. Little Baby’s Ice Cream is a small but growing ice cream business that started off as just a cart! They put their money into a video that went viral, pulling in over 3 million views. While the video shocked many and may have scared off some potential customers, their brand and online social identity became one of the top searches for that week.
#7 – Most importantly, be shareable
If you’ve followed steps 1-6 but your social buttons are non-existent, you’re only hurting yourself. Let’s say you’ve got a killer blog frequently updated with quality photos of your awesome products. But there’s no little bird or thumbs up to click. Most people are impatient on their internet, and if they have to manually copy the URL onto their respective social media accounts, you are only hindering potential traction. Install a social sharing widget or embed some code – it’s simple.
Good luck with all your social marketing. If you have any questions or extra tips, post a comment below!