Social Media includes a broad spectrum of tools and platforms, but for the purposes of this blog, we will focus on Facebook. At this point, most business owners are aware that social media is a legitimate way to connect with people in your area. But what is it exactly that makes social media tick?
Social Media is just that – social—and as a small business, you probably know that personal referrals and word of mouth are two of the best ways to gain new business. So why not put your business on a platform that is free where people spend hours per day making and taking recommendations from their friends and families – social networks like Facebook and Twitter?
Social Media can influence your search ranking
Many a blog has been written over the years by Internet Marketers on the subject. Search Engines are beginning to harvest popular links shared and viewed on social networks into their “real time” feeds. Search engines, like Google and Bing, are using their algorithm to evaluate who the movers and shakers are on Facebook and Twitter and are beginning to include links shared by influential personalities. See example below.
Google used to only share content from people within your personal social network. For example, if a friend wrote a blog post relevant to your search, it would appear on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). However, now they are taking it one step further and are including a link your friend shared of a blog post someone else wrote that is relevant to your search query.
Social and Local colliding with Mobile
You may have noticed that social and local have combined to make incredible social apps like, Foursquare and Facebook Check-ins – where users can announce to their network where they are and who they are with. The Google Places app allows users to find restaurants, bars, hairs salons etc. within their vicinity—as well as allows them to then write reviews about each venue they visit. This same idea is employed on Foursquare as well, where users can leave tips and redeem deals as they share where they are with their social community. Embracing this social/local combination will help to secure your business in the future.
What makes a strong Facebook strategy?
When using Facebook to leverage your business in the social sphere there are a variety to techniques and best practices that you or your social media team should follow:
Build Your Brand
The most important thing is to create your brand and to do so correctly. Determine who will own your social media presence; maybe an intern, a tech-savvy customer service associate, or possibly even the business owner, themselves but whoever it is needs to have the time and the passion to network, converse and connect.
We recommend that you use social platforms, like Facebook, to humanize your business. Instead of uploading your logo use a personal photo of whoever is monitoring the Facebook account. Providing that personal visual lets users literally see who you are and proves to them that an actual person is engaging on the site, updating the status, and commenting on other’s profiles.
*You should a Facebook business page for your business and keep the personal profile separate.
Tips to Try:
- Use your own personal Facebook account to invite friends to connect and write a review on your business page
- Post about more than just the products and services you sell
- Loyalty – offer rewards or discounts to social connections
- Share – repost relevant articles, news and updates
- Referrals – did a customer have a great experience? Ask them to share it!
- Differentiate – make your business stand out; post office pictures, interesting status updates, etc.
- HAVE FUN! – What are some thing you personally like? Music, movies, skiing, surfing, whatever you are interested in and talk about that, be personable.
If you do the above then you can….
- Sell – tell people what you offer and why they should buy it.
Building a Fan Base
Another top priority of social media is, creating a a connected social community.Facebook makes it really easy to connect with people both inside and outside of your network; it really all comes down to getting likes.
Tips to Try:
- Your Page – make sure your page looks great have some one make a great cover photo that is 851x 315
- Profile – make sure you all your relevant information, including about section, address, and number.
- Send an Email – ask current clients to like your page
- Email Contacts – import your email contacts into Facebook
- Offers for new “Likes” – have a good call to action
- Connect with other businesses & organizations – many tend to like back!
- Start conversation – don’t just post, ask questions who has a better chance of winning the world series X or Y?
Last but certainly not least, use software to better find and engage with people. Many allow you to connect many profiles and schedule posts in advance. We will cover some of these in future posts but many have sprung up. Just do a search for “Social CRM” or “Social Media Management tools” and you will see what I mean.
Looking for more ways that you can effectively build and engage your social community? XO Digital Marketing can help. We specialize in Digital Marketing for small business, dedicated to discovering the latest and greatest social strategies. Contact us today for a free consultation.