According to BentoBox Media, 30% of the U.S. population gets its daily news on Facebook. You don’t need stats to realize that social media is all around us whether we like it or not. Most people are engaged in social media in their personal lives. However, there are still many that aren’t fully utilizing social media from a business standpoint. They either don’t realize that it can be an amazing tool to promote their company, or they might not understand what it takes to effectively use social media for business purposes – pictures of your cat or favorite meal won’t generate leads on your business page, even though they will probably get many likes on your personal page.
At the Maine Public Relations Council annual conference earlier this month, Shannon Kinney of Dream Local led a session on Maximizing Social Media Marketing. She touched on some general rules for using social media effectively, and also some specific tips based on certain outlets. Some may seem obvious, but they are all important when trying to successfully market on social media.
The use of photos and videos creates a greater chance of your post getting liked, shared, etc. Most of the time when there is a link included, an image should be sure to follow. Keep this tip in mind when creating content and choosing topics for posts.
Including tags, links and hashtags will make your content more relevant and easier to search for. The beauty of social media is the way it can connect so many people in an instant. Content is key, but be sure to be proactive in spreading your message.
Be a resource for your customers/followers – be able to answer their questions. No matter what industry you’re in, make sure people view you as someone that can help them be a better person, employee or company. For instance, a car service company might post about the top five things to do when your ‘check engine’ light comes on.
Understand which outlets are similar and how they are different when creating content. For example, LinkedIn is focused around the business world and its leaders, whereas Twitter relies on more frequent, brief messages that can be tied to other users or topics. Research each outlet to make sure that your message is getting to the right audiences.
Social media as a marketing tool in the business world is here to stay, and is becoming more prevalent in that space everyday. Good business people need to adapt to changing times no matter what their position or company. Be sure to continue to embrace what you put out there, have fun and tell your story. — by Nick Cormier, Operations Coordinator at Broadreach Public Relations