Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram strategies are outlined thoroughly below. When you understand how they all operate and which will fit your business best, learn how to manage them as well as other variables such as SEO, reviews, and more!
Facebook, Google+, & Twitter
What works: Pictures, videos, calls to action, industry-related content, general share-worthy content.
What doesn't work: Lengthy content, dull content, poor business/related/share-worthy balance.
Videos and pictures are best used to catch the eye of social media users, though video works a little better to hold the audience's attention. Whether it's directing consumers to your website or online store, or getting them to stop and check out an interesting piece of content titled by your company, images and videos are your support.
The three best ways to get traction from your viewers are to:
- Get them to go straight to your web site or store
- Get them to like/follow
- and/or get them to share your content
Let's say three users see your business posts about that 2 for 1 sale. These posts are not likely to be shared, so those same three individuals will see all your posts, and that's it. Once users begin liking and sharing your posts, you'll begin to see new eyes on your page. This is where industry related/general share-worthy content comes in.
If you're a physical therapist, for instance, get your readers excited to see and share those workout tips and you'll have a better likelihood that someone who needs physical therapy will come across them. Having a good mix of these types of posts is incredibly important.
When you've gotten the attention of your viewers with a picture or video, a call to action is a great way to direct them to their next step.
"Do you like these home renovation ideas? Let's start with yours!"
As seen with this above example, calls to action can be utilized for almost every type of post. Tell your reader to look at your website for a business related post, or tell them to check out the article or video you're sharing. Though industry-related or share-worthy content might not lead your viewers straight to your site, the posts are more likely to get likes and shares.
Packaged in with the importance of shared content is the name of your company. Every time your post is shared, someone new has the chance to see you. That's brand-recognition, baby! When the time comes for that individual to need an attorney, they'll remember the interesting law posts you shared and seek out the name they remember seeing or hearing about.
On the other hand, lengthy content, bland posts, and a poor balance of business/industry/shareable don't work well on these media channels. Lengthy content is a particularly bad choice for Twitter's 140 character count limit. When it comes to Facebook and Google+, users simply do not have the attention spans to read posts that are more than a couple of lines long. Keep them brief and concise! Do not post dull, filler content like, "Happy Friday!" unless people have a reason to share it. "Happy Friday, here's a hilarious cat meme" can improve brand recognition, but only if shared- use humor to your benefit.
Find your balance between business and shareable content. Too many boring business related posts and calls to action can result in a stagnant viewer count, while too many share-worthy posts might result in your readers not knowing what your company does.
What works: Pictures, videos, industry related content, basic share-worthy content.
What doesn't work: Lengthy content, bland content, and it might not suit your vertical.
Pinterest, like Instagram below, is all about the photos. If you've ever been on Pinterest, you know that it's an extremely visual sight to see. The hook of Pinterest is that users are searching for ideas. This will work best for you if your company gives ideas or the means with which to make ideas happen. A hardware store can benefit from Pinterest because you might share tree-house building ideas with your store's name attached- do not forget brand recognition. Once people get the ideas from you, they'll come into your store to get the tools they need for the job! The greatest use of Pinterest involves non-business related content. Show people ideas that might lead them to your business, but do not try to sell them right then and there.
However, Pinterest may not suit your vertical, and it definitely won't thrive with too much focus on text. Many verticals such as plumbing simply do not have a lot of corresponding ideas given the nature of the work. In this instance, Pinterest can only be used for shareable content and brand recognition. The text attached to Pinterest posts is typically ignored, so any relevant text should go into an infographic displayed as an image. That isn't to say that you should not use any kind of text. A small headline or message will suffice here.
What works: Pictures, projects.
What doesn’t work: Basically everything else.
Instagram is an odd beast. The whole point of this channel is to encourage users to follow you and discuss what you provide. This works best for verticals like restaurants because your customers can post photos of your food for their friends to see. This also works great for verticals like home renovation. In this vertical, your company can post projects and progress pictures of what you've been working on. Seeing these images and sharing them can work well to compel the reader to seek you out.
Instagram posts can't include web links, so just like Pinterest, the objective here is brand recognition. Can you consistently post interesting enough images for your audience to remain interested? Not every company can.
Now that we've covered the main social media channels, let's go over other ways they can be used. Facebook, Google+, and other media channels support reviews. Apart from the engagement from posts, reviews can make or break a business. You might be thinking "I can't control what consumers rate my business", and you 'd be right. Nevertheless, you can control how you respond to consumers. You can turn around even the angriest rater by replying to their review in a quick and professional way. See our other articles to learn more about the importance of reviews!
Forbes discusses social listening as identifying where your audience is discussing matters related to your brand. People are discussing cars somewhere, and these are good topics for your car dealership. The short and sweet of this is that you need to be researching your competitors and your peers. What are consumers discussing, liking, and sharing, and how can you get in on it? You'll want to mold your social media strategies around what's getting the greatest traction everywhere else. Get exploring!
This probably isn't the first time you've read about the importance of SEO, and it certainly will not be your last. When you search your company's name or keywords associated with your work, how high on the results page does it appear? The more you and your readers are mentioning your name and other keywords in connection with your company, the better your SEO results will be.
Finally, take a step back and take a look at what you're doing. Naturally, you'll want to find what's working and what isn't. Whether you're counting likes and shares by hand or utilizing Google Analytics to track the information for you, recognizing your trends may just be the most important part of the process, so what are you waiting for?