Today, I have a wonderful guest post from Ruth Romano of RuthRomano.com. She shares with us some wonderful tips for using social media.
Social media is amazing, unique and frustrating! Amazing because it enables us to communicate with our customers in a way that just isn’t possible with traditional marketing methods. Unique because it allows us to build relationships with our customers and connect on a more personal level. It can also be frustrating because it can often feel like our efforts are getting us nowhere fast.
We have all reached the point where we feel like giving up on social media but in my experience, there are two factors required for success, patience and being consistent.
Nobody has ever become an instant success on social media and as with everything in business it takes a bit of time and effort before you will start to see results.
The key to social media success (and by success, I mean using it to grow your business) is to manage it well and don’t let it control you. As we all know it’s far too easy to become side-tracked watching cute kitten videos!
Here are my five quick wins on social media to put you back in control and help you focus your efforts for maximum results.
Use a Weekly Planner to Schedule your Posts
If you have a plan of what you are going to post and where you are going to post it this can make your life a whole lot easier. You can use a social media content calendar in the form of a simple spreadsheet. If you put aside time to complete it each week in preparation for the following week you will start every week ahead of the game.
Think About the Best Times to Post
There are certain times of day when people are most active online and it goes without saying that these are the best times to share your content. Although various studies have been published on the best times to post on different platforms, they all seem to conflict. Thursday and Friday afternoon might work well for Facebook whereas Instagram sees more engagement on Monday. It’s really a matter of trial and error to find out what works best for your business.
Use Relevant Hashtags to Make your Posts More Visible
If you are not using hashtags then you are missing out and your shared content might go unnoticed. For example, images with hashtags on Instagram receive at least three times more engagement than images without them. Do some research to find the best hashtags for your market. Hashtagify is a great online resource to search the most popular hashtags that are used on Twitter which will also give you an idea of their popularity in other apps.
Make Sure Your Interactions are Genuine and Real
If a customer posts a comment like it. If they post a question answer it. If you have ever commented on a post and not received any acknowledgement think about how it made you feel? If it made you feel like you had been ignored or unnoticed that is obviously the last message any of us would wish to communicate to our customers. It is worth making the effort to respond and will make you stand out from the crowd.
Use Current Events to Spark Conversation
Current stories can be a great way to increase engagement and the right ones can really strike a chord with your audience. For example, use World Health Day as an opportunity to promote a healthy offer, share your healthy eating plan or ask customers if they are doing anything special to mark the day. People like being asked questions on social media as it makes them feel involved.
And finally, don’t let yourself get caught up in the social media ‘trap’ to the detriment of other areas of your business. You should use it as a tool to complement your other marketing activities.
Ruth is an experienced marketing professional and a Huffington Post blogger http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/author/ruth-romano
She owns an award-winning soap business based in the UK http://www.ruthromano.com/ and runs regular soap making classes, teaches a cosmetics business course and provides a consultancy service.