Today, simply creating a Facebook page or Twitter handle for your small business is not enough.While establishing a presence across social media is important, making lasting relationships is the key to long-term success.And as we know, creating meaningful relationships and winning over todays consumer across social media doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a commitment to sharing relevant content in a way that inspires your fans and followers to interact and take action.It also requires consistent conversation. Conversation that allows you to easily stay connected and top of mind. So how can you create vibrant conversations that fuel visibility and increase awareness around your small business?Below are easy and effective small business tactics for better social media connections!
Create Better Social Media Connections
1. Create Social Networks Worth Visiting
Are your social channels appealing?Have you created a space that’s inviting to both visitors and current followers?
Spruce it up by answering a few quick questions!
- What’s the first impression anyone landing on your site will receive? You only get one chance, so take this one seriously!
- Are you sharing relevant content in a way that resonates with your potential clients?
- Do you discuss local matters in a way that makes sense to your community?
- Is your page or profile interactive?
- Do you have a Call to Action?
- Have past clients given testimonials?
- Are you sharing multiple forms of content including video, images and text?
- Is your content easy to read and well-written?
Social media is fluid. In order to maintain fan and follower attention, you need to constantly adjust to meet their needs.Add the above questions to your calendar and run a review quarterly to stay ahead of the curve.
2. Be an Active Listener
Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are excellent catalysts for conversation. Nevertheless, a conversation doesn’t truly become beneficial until both parties are involved.Become an active listener in order to quickly respond and meet the needs of your fans and followers in real-time. Tools such as Social Mention allow you to monitor the conversations happening in and around your business.Use it to search your company name, local phrases like your city or community, and keyword search terms. Once you begin to dive into that information, you can use it to create content. Write a blog post around a specific question or create a video tip responding to a need.You can also use Twitter Advanced Search to monitor your name or keyword phrases. Monitoring certain phrases will allow you to respond while the thought is fresh in the mind of the consumer.Lets say you're a real estate professional, an example might be a search for your local area. Anyone looking to“buy a home in Denver” could be a potential client. Searching that term will bring up anyone who uses that phrase within their tweet.If you don't have the time, put someone in charge of monitoring these tweets so you can respond with engaging -- not hard sell and spammy tweets.
3. Be a Resource
Gaining a social media following will require that you share relevant content along with your thoughts, ideas and insight around the topic or your industry/niche.As a small business owner, understanding the needs of your consumer is critical. Below are a few tips to help you become the go-to resource.
Content Ideas to Share
- Unique photos of your business with fun and engaging questions. Example: “Who wouldn’t want a tasty ice cream sundae on a hot day?” We know we would!”
- Always add a call to action – what’s the next step you would like anyone connecting with you on social media to take? Make it simple for them to ask a question or click through to your website to learn more about your company.
- Talk about an upcoming local or sponsored event, why you’re involved and why it matters to your social media fans and followers.
- Tell the stories of past and current clients. How did your company solve a problem or help when no one else could? People love feel-good stories and stories humanize a business.
- Answer questions around your business or product and share how you make their life easier. The key is to make the buying process feel safe and comfortable.
4. Get Visual
The results are in. We live in a highly visual world.Studies have repeatedly shown that people respond positively to photos and videos far more than they do articles.Use this to your advantage.
Two Visual Content Post Ideas:
- Quotes from your latest blog post – use a tool like Save Publishing to pull quotes from your blog posts. Then add them to a high-impact graphic.
- Unique product/service features – what makes your product or service special and what makes you stand out? Identify what differentiates you and then share that in a way that captures the attention of your target audience.
5. Stay In The Conversation
Is your company guilty of posting and then running off, never to return? If you’re using social media as a one-way bullhorn, you’re missing the point.Social media is interactive. It’s a vibrant, lively space. But only when you take the time to stay in the conversation.While sharing valuable content is important, it won’t automatically create conversation. Take the time to ask questions, listen to your fans and followers and respond in a timely manner.
You’re building relationships and relationships take time. Get involved in the conversation or you'll find you're talking, but no one is listening. >> TWEET THIS
Just as in the offline world, it’s considered poor etiquette within social media if you “run into the room” screaming about your company, and never take the time to get to know anyone.
6. Track Your Success
And finally, track, measure and adjust your strategy.Winston Churchill said it best,
“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” Lets face it, at the end of the day if we achieve results then there is always a cause for celebration.”
As a small business owner, your responsibility is to generate sales and increase revenue. Put a plan in place that will let you easily create, manage and follow a daily social media strategy.Set aside time to work with key people within your company to create your roadmap. It’s that important to your success!Your turn! How are you building meaningful social media connections?
This article was originally written by Rebekah Radice and posted on Maximize Social Business.
About Rebekah Radice
Rebekah Radice, co-founder of BRIL.LA, has traded narcissism for purpose. When not driving growth, you'll find her tricking family into thinking she's Emeril Lagasse - likely covered in marinara. The spotlight was fun, but impact is better. These days she's using 20+ years of brand brilliance for good.