Social media has become second nature to us. We check our social icons on our phones as much as we breathe. We leave reviews, check in to our favorite restaurants and share pictures to ensure our Insta is always on point, so why not leverage it to your advantage? Check out 15 things you can start doing today to bring in more growth for you and your business by using social media marketing.
1. Determine your objective and the presence you want to have in the community
Before we start, get out a pen and paper. Now, ask yourself the purpose of your business or imprint you want to leave behind in people’s memories. Jot down 3 objective goals for your business. For example, if you’re a vegan restaurant owner in the food industry your objectives might be:
- Creating awareness for vegans
- Focusing on healthy and organic foods
- Customer service/engagement
Once you have your objectives down, refer to them when you post to make sure you’re true to your social media marketing goals.
2. Create Your Business Persona
Create a theme for your social networks. Do you want to be portrayed as humorous, factual or free-spirited? For example, the Twitter handle for Wendy’s does a fantastic job creating a sassy persona and not giving a F&*k.
She does a great job engaging with her audience and sticking to her character in every response. Creating emotion for your audience is essential. Wendy’s posts makes their audience laugh, so ask yourself how you want your readers to feel when they view your posts. Do you want your audience to start eating healthy? Do you want them to get up and conquer the world? Or give them facts about life that leaves them curious? You still got your pen and paper out? Write down some emotions you want your readers to feel from your posts.
3. Be Personable
Pretend that you don’t have a computer screen blocking you and your audience. Make your captions as if you’re talking to someone face to face. When you write your captions, step back from your computer for a second before hitting enter. You don’t want your content or writing to come off as robotic or impersonal. Try sharing personal stories or examples to relate to your readers. If you’re stuck, refer back to your business objectives!
4. Use Social Media Marketing Networks That Make Sense For Your Business
Put yourself in the shoes of your audience. For instance, if I was into vegan food restaurants and looking for somewhere to eat where would I search? Yelp/Google/Instagram. Use the social networks that make sense for your business. You won’t find it necessary to be on LinkedIn if you’re into vegan foods. If you’re not sure which ones to use, go in the search bar for each social platform and type in your business market. Using the previous example, I would type in “vegan organic foods,” then I would see what type of results show up. If they aren’t related to my business goals or my market, then use a platform where you think your audiences will be searching for you. Always think in your audience’s shoes!
5. Use All Social Networks Differently
All social media contains some content and image. However, each outlet serves a different purpose. You wouldn’t use LinkedIn the way you used Facebook. For example, you would use Instagram to display your images, whereas you might use Facebook to post more videos. Just as you would use LinkedIn to grow your business professionally while using Facebook to get personal with your audience. Now that you have what social networks you want to use, think of ways you can use each a little differently.
6. Using Hashtags
Hashtags sometimes get overlooked, or people don’t always know how to use them correctly. Think back to your business objective. You want to make your hashtags as relevant as possible. You also don’t want to throw in spammy hashtags and use the same tags for all the pictures in your account; this could raise a red flag. We found a list of top 100 hashtags to use for 2018 that could help your business grow. Don’t forget to add personal hashtags on what your business is about; include a hashtag for your company. That way if someone ever searches for your company your pictures will be consolidated by one hashtag. Take a second and jot down your 30 hashtags (adding more will give you an error on IG) somewhere digital (phone/computer) so you can copy/paste when needed.
7. Creating Hashtags (30 Max)
Once you’ve created your hashtags for your social media marketing it’s time to post! For Instagram always add your hashtags in the comment section immediately after you post your picture. Now that you have your 30 hashtags add the 5 dots like the picture to the right. Immediately after you post your pic, copy-paste these tags (along with 5 dots above) and post these tags in a comment on your picture. The 5 dots ensure that your tags don’t pop up in your post. Instead, they’ll show up in the comment section as “…” This helps to keep your captions clean.
8. Post Consistently
The amount you post depends on what social media you’re leveraging. For Instagram, posting every day is essential to keep your following. However, posting everyday on LinkedIn would overwhelm your audience, especially if people mostly go on LinkedIn to job hunt. They don’t want to be bombarded by content every day. Here is a listed of the suggested amount of posts per week:
- Twitter – 3 times/day
- Facebook – 2 times/day at most
- LinkedIn – 1 time/every other day
- Google+ – 3 times/day
- Pinterest – 5x per/day
- Instagram – 1.5 times/day
- Blog – 2 times/week
9. Post during times you know your viewers will be present
Once you’ve decided where you’re going to be posting and how many times per/week and day, research the times your audience is present. Go to your Google search bar and type in “what time to post on social media for ‘industry you’re in.’” For example, if I’m posting content for vegan food restaurants, I would type in “what time to post on social media for restaurants” I would want to post when people are deciding where they should go for lunch or dinner, i.e., 11 AM and 6 PM. This also differs day to day, because over the weekend people eat a little later than usual. Post according to your business and when your audience will be searching. If you can’t find what times to post, put yourself in the shoes of your audience on what time they would be online searching. Having trial and errors is okay. Once you start posting more often, you’ll get a feel for when your audience is most visible to your content.
10. Make Bio Your Straightforward
People don’t have much patience when they search. Think back to your own user search experience. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, most of the time you get impatient and leave. So keep that same user experience for your audience. When people get to your page, they should be able to see within 3 seconds what your page is about. Your bio should contain:
- Your business name
- Where you are based
- Something unique you offer/persona
- Link to your website or blog.
Wendy’s does a great job with their bio. They have their name and website present, you know what they offer, and you can see their sassy business persona. It’s easy to find/read and its straight to the point!
11. Post Quality Pictures
Think quality over quantity for social media marketing. This VeganFoodSpot does a great job with their lighting and content. When posting stick to a color scheme and one filter that you use on all your pictures. You can have different edits using different brightness/contrasts, but try and stick to one filter. This post above has greens and browns as their color scheme. They stay in unison, and their posts don’t look messy. The pictures flow and make you want to keep scrolling.
12. Keep Your Post Captions Clean
Referring back to #7, cleaning up your hashtags and adding them to your comment instead of your caption makes a HUGE difference. You also want to stray away from excessive use of emojis and punctuation.
13. Interact With Your Audience
To get more engagement or comments on your posts in social media marketing, don’t be afraid to ask your audience for their input. Relating back to my vegan restaurant scenario, if I posted content of vegan dessert on a Friday night, I might ask “what pairs best with this dessert?” or “what’s your favorite vegan dessert” in my post to get more engagement from my viewers. Once you start getting comments from your audience, stay attentive and respond back. Going back to #3, make sure you’re staying personable. Stay aware of users that are replying to your posts, if it’s the same audience who keeps responding, maybe reach out to them personally and offer a giveaway or a free dessert next time they come in to eat. Think back to your objective, if customer service is one of them then follow through!
14. Ask To Collaborate
Don’t be afraid to slide into other bloggers/restaurant owners DM’s and ask them to collaborate with you. In other words, they talk about how awesome you are on their page and vice versa. This way you get new set of audiences looking at your page which builds your awareness. Take a second and go to Instagram/ Facebook/ or even Google and type in “vegan restaurants” or “vegan bloggers” or whatever matches your market. Find an account that fits with your business objective. Ask yourself if their content is clean and a place where you would want your brand being shown? Once you’ve found them, follow them or like their page and then send them a message that says something like:
“Hey ‘insert their name’ I have been looking at your page and the vegan content you’ve been posting. My name is ‘insert name,’ and I’m a Dallas based vegan restaurant owner. My content is centered around promoting veganism and all natural foods. I see you also have an interest vegan restaurants and food. I would love to collaborate with you, so we can both share and spread our love for everything vegan. Looking forward to hearing back from you! Much love – ‘insert your name.’”
This is an example of a collaboration message you could send for your social media marketing. Alter it according to what your business has to offer, refer back to your business objective if you’re having trouble starting.
15. Build A Relationship
If you’re seeing similar people responding to your posts, then do your background research on them and see what they’re interested in. If they love vegan desserts, then you might want to tag them in a vegan recipe on a Facebook cooking video. People love feeling appreciated; if they like the treatment they’re getting then they’ll spread the word to their friends and so on. Keep your audience in mind and your objective.
Use this list as a guide to leveraging social media marketing on growing your business. Always think back to your business objectives if you get stuck. Comment below on your thoughts and other tricks on how you leverage social media marketing to grow your business.