Have you been doing social media for a while without getting the results you think you should?
That happens to a lot of businesses.
And really that can be the way things go with any marketing effort. It can take a while to figure things out, but with social media it can seem like others are having success and you can’t put your finger on why they’re doing well and you aren’t.
So let’s take a look at a few things that the successful companies are doing on social media that helps lead to their success.
1. Target Audience
It seems simple, but the first step with any business and any marketing effort is knowing who your target customer is. And it’s better to focus on your absolute best customer and stick with them.
If you do that it can seem like you’re leaving some folks out, but what you’ll find is that when you are narrow with your focus that you’ll treat those people really well and you’ll get others that are just outside that scope that are still attracted to what you’re doing.
And that really applies on social media. Focus on the people that really love what you’re doing. Share the content they love and keep doing that and others will follow.
It’s better than trying to do everything for everyone where things will seem bland and nobody will care.
2. Broad Approach
By this I mean that you can’t go on social media and talk only about yourself. It can work for some businesses, but for the most part people aren’t really thinking about your business all the time.
They are, however, thinking about what’s going on in their lives.
If you’re a B2B, think about all the things your audience cares about as it relates to their job. Let’s say that you’re a web design firm. You don’t want to share content that’s all about web design all the time. But your target audience cares about running a business, markets that business and deals with issues of being an entrepreneur. You can share all kinds of content about that.
And for B2Cs, you can focus on all the things that your audience does in their spare time. You could talk about what they do for their job, but more about their life in general and things they like doing. Let’s say you’re Whole Foods. You can share content that is about urban life, biking, organic food and things like that.
3. Consistent Schedule
I really believe in the power of a consistent schedule. Social media is like investing. You kind of want to put it on auto-pilot because you’ll keep doing it and you’ll check in and realize that you’ve actually done quite a bit.
So many businesses start with social media only to get busy or to lose interest and after a few months they’ve given up and they really have a dormant Facebook page or Twitter account or whatever.
Commit to a consistent schedule and stick with it. I would suggest for at least a year, but probably for two years. It’s going to take that long at least to see the results you think you should be seeing. Look at the businesses you admire and see how long they’ve been sharing content on social.
It takes commitment.
4. Sources For Content
Look for multiple sources of content for your social media account.
One source could be within your business. You might be a restaurant and you could share regular photos from inside the restaurant or outside on the deck or whatever. But you need a basic system for someone to take a photo and share it on the company’s profile.
If you have a blog you can share the posts on social.
There are probably other social accounts that you can use to find content and re-share their content.
You can find industry publications where you can get content your audience will like and share it on your profile.
I’m a believer in hashtags. And not the kind that are funny although those are good sometimes.
You should have about 10 hashtags that your audience is most likely to follow and you should use them in most of your posts. Hashtags allow you to expand your reach on social media including Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
6. Committed Person
Social media is going to be more of an effort than you think. It usually works out that way. In a small business the owner will often think that they can put something up on Facebook everyday and that is probably true, but it’s difficult to keep up with that.
So it’s good to have someone dedicated to doing it every day. It doesn’t have to be a full-time person, but probably a big part of someone’s job. Let’s say you pay someone for 20 hours a week. Tell them that for one hour each day they are in charge of social media.
And the other option is to hire a freelancer or a social media firm to handle it for you.
7. Mission Statement // Cultural Understanding
I like to add this one so that the person that in charge of your social media understands what you’re company is all about. A mission statement is something you share with your team and with your partners and customers so they know why you exist and where you want to go.
It also helps provide a glimpse of your culture and it’s really important that the social person understands this. So sit down with them or talk with them so they understand what you’re all about. And you’ll have to decide if the person is the kind of person that fits with your culture. Do that and you won’t need to have rigid rules for what they can and can’t do on social.
8. Partnership Ideas
Partnerships are good for business and they’re good for social media. It’s good to work with complementary businesses on social media. Share their content and maybe do something like a co-contest or something like that. The more you work in partnerships the larger your business will grow because their fans will see you and some will become your fans.
Measurement is important. You don’t have to get crazy, but it’s good to know what tweets or updates are getting the more comments, likes, re-shares and things like that. Social is driven by that engagement so it’s important to know what is working and do more of those kinds of things.
That being said…
It’s also good experiment. I would say that you want to do something like 75% of the time sharing posts you have a good idea will work and get comments. Then the rest of the time, 25%, you experiment with something new. You can tweak that a bit. In the early days all your updates might be all experimenting, but that’s a good rule of thumb and you want to keep experimenting because you never know where the next great type of update will come from.
If you’re struggling to get results from your social media efforts there’s a good chance that your strategy needs a few tweaks. Based on what I’ve seen successful companies doing I really think that following the tips above will help get your social strategy back on track.