When we talk about social media, we immediately think of Twitter and Facebook, because these two are the most popular platforms. But if you want to make sure you reach all the people who might be interested in your products and services, you need to find out where your possible readers spend their time online. So many people are dependent on YouTube, so why would you ignore such a great opportunity to reach your audience? Don’t forget about Google+, which has been gaining ground really fast lately, Flickr, Pinterest, or Instagram. And we all know that LinkedIn is the best social network for professionals. If you think you might find your audience there, you must have an account.
Of course, you don’t have to have accounts on all these social media platforms. Actually, it can get quite overwhelming to post on all of them, and I’m telling you this from my own experience. There still are days when I don’t feel like posting the same thing on all my profiles, but I know I must do it. If I’ve just written a blog post, I have to let all my readers know about it, and I can only do this by making sure I post a link to it on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
You don’t want to miss an opportunity to reach your potential customers where they gather most. This is why, in the beginning of your plan, it is important to take into consideration all social media platforms and research them carefully. Consider their potential and try to figure out if they might become even more popular in the future. Don’t ignore the ones that might require more effort from your part, such as YouTube. Creating videos will take you a lot of time, at least in the beginning, until you get used to it, but you’ll see that any promotion on YouTube can be very rewarding. People love to watch videos. It’s easier, and the information reaches them more directly than when they read an article.
Always plan your content
Don’t use social media randomly if you really want to be successful and drive traffic to your website. The content you post on these sites needs to be well planned, even though a lot of what you’ll post will be in response to your reader’s comments and discussions. It is a great idea to be engaged with your community, but you also have to make sure you place links to your website strategically where people are more likely to see them. Then make sure you deliver quality content on a daily basis. Take a longer break from social media and you’ll see that your followers will soon forget you.
This is what happened to me at least two or three times. I was still posting on my blog two times a week and made sure I let my readers know on Facebook and Twitter, but I didn’t feel like spending too much time on these platforms to post daily and interact with my followers. I immediately saw a decrease in visits on my blog. Less people were “liking” my content and commenting on it.
Always plan your time
If you are an entrepreneur, you are always very busy. You might not have enough time for social media, at least not every day. Or at the end of a stressful day, you might not be in the mood to interact with your followers, no matter how important you know they are. If you leave the work on social media for later, there is a good chance you’ll forget about it completely and become very sporadic in your postings. And as I said earlier, take a longer break and the audience you took so much time to build will forget about you. No, it’s not because they are not loyal, but because your competitors will not make the same mistake as you and will keep them interested and engaged.
The solution is to make a plan to spend a certain amount of time on social media every day, preferably between the same hours, so it would become a routine. Consistency will ensure great results. For instance, I made it a habit to spend one hour on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ in the morning, while I drink my coffee. I answer my readers’ questions, I read through my fellow bloggers’ content and leave comments where I feel I have something to add, and I re-tweet things that grab my attention. If you think this is too much, a simple “good morning” on your Facebook profile can mean a lot to your followers.
Engage your audience
The most common mistake that many businesses make is posting links without any kind of engagement. It’s not enough to link to quality content, which is not necessarily your own. You don’t want to be seen only as a good resource, because that will not bring you the results you want. You have to talk to your followers and help them know you and your company well. That doesn’t mean you have to post very personal things, like what you had for lunch or what your plans for the day are. But you can ask them for feedback, you can organize polls and ask them different questions about what else they want to see on your website. Thus, they will know that their opinions matter and this will encourage them to get more involved and leave comments to all your posts. Make sure you answer their comments and re-post their content. All these efforts will help you build a strong relationship with your readers, which is exactly what social media is about.
Use social media correctly, and your community will grow stronger and stronger, which will pay off in your business. You’ll see that your traffic will increase, and the number of customers will grow with each “like,” “share,” and “re-tweet.”