Your business has profiles on major social media sites. You’ve filled out your profiles completely, and you’ve gotten some followers or “likes.” You’ve covered the basics, but now what? It’s time to create some engaging content to engage your existing followers, get more of them, and really put your social media profiles to work for your business. Here’s how.
Make It Valuable
Step into the shoes of one of your customers or clients: What do they want to know about? Content that relates to your business and provides your followers with information they want to know is a home run. It’s more likely to get them to take action, whether that means sharing your content, clicking through to your site, or using a coupon code.
While we’re talking coupon codes: one way to make your content valuable to customers who connect with you on social media is to literally give them some value. Offering discounts just for social media followers also reinforces a feeling of specialness among your customers — by connecting with you, they’re part of an “in” group. It can also help you assess which social media sites are working best for you. By using different codes on each profile, you can see where customers are finding you.
Whenever possible, include images and videos in your updates. As a general rule, anything visual will get you more comments, clicks, and shares than plain text. And be brief. While Twitter limits you to 140 characters, even on other sites you should keep your text short and to the point: You don’t want to post anything over 250 characters. If you have more you need to tell your followers, link to a page or a blog post on your site.
Share and Share Alike
One key way to establish your social media bona fides is to share not only your own content, but others’ as well. After all, regular, non-business social media users don’t just talk about themselves or share their own photos and videos. A big part of social media is reusing — retweeting, favoriting, reposting, liking, etc. — other users’ content. If there’s a post or a tweet that you think would interest your followers, repost it (with proper attribution, of course).
The more that your social media followers see you as a fellow user, the more they’ll value your posts. If you bombard your followers with constant posts that provide little information or are basically ads, you’ll find your profile gets unliked, unfollowed, and un-everything else.
Also, though many social sites try to “help” you by allowing you to connect your profiles and thus automate sharing your content, it’s best to post to each site separately. For example, when you post a photo to Facebook, it will automatically prompt you to post it to Twitter. What does that tweet say? “I just posted a photo to Facebook,” with a generic Facebook link. Not very inviting, is it? And if you’re clogging your Twitter followers’ feeds with this kind of bland update, you’re not going to hang on to many Twitter followers.
Find Your Frequency
And speaking of bombardment: To get users excited about your content, you need to find the sweet spot in terms not only of what to post, but also how often to post. This varies depending on the site. You need enough posts to be impactful, but not so many to be annoying. But what’s annoying on Facebook may barely make a dent on Twitter! Here’s what various social media research firms have found as best practices for major social sites:
- Facebook: One to two posts per day is the ideal frequency. Once a week is too little to connect with your audience, but more than twice a day may be annoying (engagement with posts goes down, per Track Social). That said, Facebook can be tricky. Facebook’s feed algorithm keeps being updated, and it can be unclear at times how many of your followers are actually seeing your posts. Experiment a little to see what gets you a good response. Be sure to check your page’s Insights to know what content most resonates with your fans and their friends.
- Twitter: Post as often as you are able — for small businesses, try to aim for at least five tweets per day. Tweets are short (140 characters are less!), and the unwritten “rules” of Twitter are that users post regular, if not constant, updates. If you are posting useful, engaging tweets — even if you’re just retweeting somebody else — you can get a robust level of engagement on Twitter. Even if you have just a few followers at first, stick with it and keep tweeting to build your presence.
- Other sites: There’s not as much research on other social media sites, but there are some ballpark guidelines out there. According to LinkedIn’s own marketing research, 20 posts per month — so, one update per workday if you work Monday to Friday — is the sweet spot. The best estimates for Google+ are roughly the same. YouTube updates can be much less frequent, since unlike on other sites, on YouTube you only share your own, original video content. When you do post a video, use your presence on other social networks to promote it.
Have questions about setting up social media profiles for your business or deciding what kind of content you should be posting? Call us today at (760) 881-4736!