arnold on Nov 30, 2018
How Can your Business Reach More People?
Social media platforms provide several methods of growing your small business. Knowing effective ways of reaching your intended audience provides the most value for using online platforms. Here are basic growth strategies for the top five sites.
The best way to grow on Facebook is to attract your target audience through engagement; include questions, stats, contests, behind-the-scenes, photos, and demonstrations in posts to improve interaction. Post 1-2 times a day to see how your activity affects engagement, and keep posts shortened to 120 characters.
Facebook also includes a function for local searches with their Marketplace site; this can be useful for searches with physical addresses. Marketplace automatically shows products and services in the local area and lists products based on the user’s browsing history.
Brands can further build their community through a Facebook group. Groups are people who share a common interest; they can be closed, public, or secret. Public groups can require heavy moderation, but the page allows your small business to monitor and react to posts. This is useful way to encourage audiences to join your community.
Perhaps use the Facebook live feature to respond to questions or show an event that not everyone can attend; live events can be scheduled in advance, so people can plan on watching and interacting. Facebook live also allows viewers to comment and react to what is happening in livestream.
To communicate with customers over Instagram, businesses have several methods to choose from. Ask questions, post tips/recommendations, and use emojis; users can also ask for viewers to comment and tag a friend or ask for an opinion. The more customers feel involved with a company and brand, the more likely they are to follow the account.
It is a good idea to publish different types of content which can range anywhere from tips to reminders to events. Follow hashtags and accounts relevant to your business; Instagram includes a feature for users to turn on notifications for important profiles. Further, businesses should like and reply to every comment for better interaction as well as delete any kind of spam. Post 1-2 times a day if your business is highly visual; due to Instagram’s generous character limit, you can be informative and tell stories in the captions.
Another way to grow is using Instagram Stories; with a 15-second limit, Stories are great for how-tos, behind-the-scenes, lists, takeovers, and announcements in video or picture format. In addition, Instagram posts tagged with another user or location have significantly higher engagement rates; a collaboration can help grow an Instagram account faster than accounts with no outside associations.
Take businesses in the food and beverage industry as an example. Small companies in this sector should have an Instagram feed as more than 200 million posts are tagged with #food, and another 23 million are tagged with #drink. Highly visual products like food can benefit greatly from an Instagram account and can be included in a search, made easier by the account featuring location, hours, and contact information. It might seem like some industries such as insurance or consulting have little opportunity to grow using Instagram, but it is a platform where businesses can be seen.
While the Twitter cycle sifts through content faster than Instagram’s cycle, the app is valuable for particular uses; due to a different algorithm that shows relevancy over chronology, it is not an optimal platform for mass marketing. Twitter is a tool for content marketing which includes articles, blogs, and links to websites; it is useful to promote the same content multiple times given its quick cycle, just use slight title variations. Users also search the network for phrases and keywords, and businesses can see conversations happening relevant to your industry. In doing so, you can figure out the needs and challenges that your goods or services can address.
In addition, Twitter can be used to improve customer service; it can provide one-on-one interaction which increases the scope of communication channels. Here, business can respond to customer complaints or questions in a timely manner.
Use hashtags that relate to your location, industry, and product; add two of them to each tweet. Keep tweets to 120 characters, so people can respond without going over the character limit. Start with 3-5 tweets a day to measure engagement over time. Keep retweets to below 20% of total tweets, so the majority of your account is filled with content uploaded by your business.
In order to grow on Pinterest, remember to Pin consistently. Your business should focus on pleasing visuals as lifestyle images tend to outperform product pictures. It is also important to include a description of relevant and searchable information or a link. Pinterest is a social network at the core even if it appears to be a billboard of visual content. Get audiences to contribute to your boards; follow boards and accounts in your industry; like other user posts and engage through comments and Repins.
Content for your business can be products, visual guides, photography, and infographics. It is further good practice to stick to one topic per board to keep your profile clear. Then, users can follow your whole profile or specific boards for what best meets their needs.
Small companies should focus on keeping their page updated and polished with credentials and experience; it is good for your business to encourage people within the company to share connections. Small businesses should also prioritize the business; as an owner, it is important to tell the story of the business and brand over the career of individuals. LinkedIn is also a great source to ask for help. Ask the network for their expertise as they can help in areas of strategy, management, and new hires.
LinkedIn is strongly used for professional development. Like Facebook, LinedIn Groups include people who share professional interests and knowledge for engaging conversations. Users are also able to send announcements, so people can respond to meaningful conversations.
Share company specific news and recent additions to your company. Be concise and post at least once a week. Include links in all posts as well as an image or video.