Since social media first hit the scene over a decade ago, it has grown into one of the most powerful, widely used marketing platforms in history. Social media allows companies and organizations to reach target audiences on a regular and consistent basis, giving them a new outlet to attract new customers. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are invaluable to today’s market, thanks to the many benefits they can provide both companies and their customers.
You probably have an idea of how powerful social media can be, but getting the most out of social media can be a difficult undertaking for some. We can’t count how many times we’ve consulted with entrepreneurs who are trying to make social media work, but somehow can’t get their feet off the ground. In some cases, social media success is the result of luck – a tweet gets retweeted by a famous celebrity with millions of followers, a Facebook post gets shared 50,000 times, a YouTube video goes viral – but there are a number of tactics you can use to influence this luck and make it work for you. There is no set formula for success on social media, but we’ve compiled a list of ways you can improve your presence online:
1. Ask Yourself “Why?“: Why are you using social media? For the purposes of this article, we’ll assume you’re using social media from a business perspective, not a personal perspective. If you’ve created social media accounts for your business, you’ll want to outline what you expect from your online presence. When you came up with the idea to create social media accounts for your business, what was the main reason behind doing so? Has that reason changed at all with time? Does your social media presence help your clients? If so, in which way? Is social media proving to be an effective method of reaching your customers and clients with new information? Are you building better relationships with your customers because of social media?
You’ll want to list the answers to these questions, and further evaluate from there. Social media only works to benefit you if it benefits your customers as well, so you’ll want to make every post or tweet count. Many customers interact with their favorite businesses on social media because it gives them an efficient and reliable way to reach out to companies with questions, comments, or concerns, so make this a major part of your social media presence. Social media should be used not only to reach newer, broader audiences, but should be used to build a more personal connection with your already existing customers. If your answer to “Why am I on social media?” doesn’t center around benefiting the customer, you may want to re-evaluate.
2. Draw the Line: Social media is so popular worldwide because it gives everyone a platform for their voice to be heard. Discussion on social media is inevitable, and in many situations, it can be beneficial. That being said, not all discussion on social media is constructive – in fact, you may receive comments or messages that are designed to make you lose your ‘cool’.
The phrase “don’t feed the trolls” comes to mind with this step. If you receive annoying or aggravating comments from customers or clients, be very aware of how you respond. Understand the difference between real criticism and ‘internet trolling’, and draw a line between the two. When responding to honest criticism, always be humble, gracious, and helpful. If you target a younger audience, you’ll be more likely to experiencing ‘trolling’, but older social media users tend to share constructive criticism. Make note of how you will respond to different types of messages or comments, and stay within those boundaries. While you may want to put someone in their place for publicly humiliating your company or product, you’ll end up doing yourself more benefit by responding politely (or in some cases, not replying at all)!
3. Be Different: The key to success on social media is being different. How does your company differ from others? Does your social media page embrace your differences? Make a list of things your company does that sets them apart from others, and highlight these differences on social media. If your product is handmade, or if a portion of each sale goes to charity, promote this! Your social media followers will appreciate it, and will be more likely to promote your company based on your uniqueness.
4. Master Branding: This tip ties into the tip above about highlighting your differences. Your company should have at least one factor that sets them apart from competitors, and this factor should be enveloped into your company’s brand. Logos, slogans, color palettes, and even font designs are all part of your brand, and you’ll want your brand to be entirely unique. If your customers see your brand and immediately think of another, they may pass you off as a copycat – so stay original!
5. Outline Success: Success has an entirely different meaning for every individual on Earth. You may have a vague idea of what success on social media means to you, but you’ll want to write it down and expand. Do you want thousands or millions of followers on social media? Do you want to improve your email list because of social media? Are you looking to improve your sales numbers and conversion rates?
Success can mean anything when it comes to social media. Write down exactly what you wish to achieve with your social media accounts, and begin listing the steps you’ll need to take to achieve them.
6. Understand Social Media Marketing: Your marketing strategy likely involves a lot of emails, content, and coupon codes, but does it include social media? Social media is a marketing tool, and should be used as such. In fact, we recommend marketing on social media as much as you would using any other platform, thanks to its sheer power. Post sales, new products, and any other information your customers should know on each of your social media accounts, as they may prove as useful as your email list.
Ultimately, there is no set formula for success on social media. In order to succeed, you’ll need to continually adjust your social media marketing tactics. Run tests to see what works and what doesn’t, and make improvements from your findings.
Are there any social media tips we missed? How did you find success on social media? What are some troubles you may be having that are preventing you from succeeding on social media? Let us know in the comments below!