Post to multiple networks
Not all your customers use the same social network. If you truly want to reach as many people as possible, you should post to multiple sites. Use variations on the same posts to cut down on the time commitment.
Follow relevant users
You should dedicate part of your social media workflow toward finding and following new users: people who might be interested in your business and its posts. The larger your circle of followers, the more other people will want to follow you.
Respond quickly when contacted
Treat contacts on social media the same as you would voicemail: a relatively timely communication that should be returned as soon as practical. Most users expect a response within 24 hours. Use social media alerts to keep on top of new messages.
Don’t jump into conversations uninvited
If you see your customers engaging in social media conversations among friends, butt out unless you’re asked to contribute. Many users find it disconcerting when a business comments on something they consider personal—even if they’ve already shared it publicly.
Encourage users to share
Social media is all about sharing, and the more your posts get shared, the better. So while it’s important to set yourself goals for posting quantity, you also need to keep an eye on quality. If you’re feeling burned out on social media, find someone else in your business to take over for awhile. You should also set up content feeds that automatically find useful stories for you.
Actively ask questions to your followers
Active involvement leads to greater returns. You might ask customers what they like or don’t like about your business or what they thought of a recent post. Also consider surveys and promotions that require users to do something in order to win. Getting people to take an action is the most important part—what that action is doesn’t matter as much.
Employ a Call to Action
Certain lessons from traditional marketing apply equally to social media, and the CTA is one of them. Make sure you know what you want your users to do, and then ask them to do it. This simple concept often gets lost in all the intricacies of social media etiquette. You don’t want to embed a hard sell into every tweet and post, but you can include a prominent CTA in the design of your social media profiles; for example, “Come Visit Us Today!” or similar embedded into your profile picture.
Acknowledge both source and author
When you repost information from another social media user, cite both the user’s handle and that of the original source. For example, if user @JohnDoe tweets an article originally appearing on Scientific American (@scntfc), mention both when you retweet the post. That way, the audience for your reply automatically doubles.
Use a variety of content
Alternate between original insights, promotions, interesting news or blogs, reposts, pictures, and videos. The more kinds of content the use, the more dynamic your social profile becomes. This in turn makes it more interesting to users and fosters greater engagement. Ideas include:
- Photos or videos of employees hard at work, volunteering, or engaging with customers and the community
- Employee spotlight – let your fans know how knowledgeable your staff is
- Local deals or promotions
- Ask for local photos of customers enjoying your product or service
- Any local or community events you sponsor
- Happy customer photos – make sure you get permission
- Local news that impacts or involves the neighborhood – store and restaurant openings
- Seasonal and holiday events that you host or attend
- Employees sharing quick, educational videos on how to get the most out of your product or service
- Trivia or fun facts about your industry/product