10 Ways to Succeed Using Social Media

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Knowing how to attract and keep more followers, all the while promoting your products, requires a certain amount of finesse in your approach to using social media for local business marketing.

Here are ten ways that can help.

1. Give People a Reason to Follow You

Many businesses ask people to follow or like them on social networks but rarely do they tell them why they should.

A person who knows little to nothing about your business will be more hesitant to follow. Sharing items such as your company history, behind-the-scenes looks at your store or office, day-to-day business operations, and employees can help engender trust.

2. Offer Exclusive Discounts and Contests

Another way to attract people is to offer incentives, such as exclusive discounts or contests.

  • Exclusive Discounts. Provide discounts on products or services that only those who follow your business can take advantage of, and reward them as soon as they follow you.
  • Run Contests. Contests will not only keep your followers engaged but will encourage others to follow you as well.

3. Curate Content Created by Others

Share helpful content created by others in your industry. And when you share, tag the author. This action will alert the author that you have shared her content, and it’s likely that she will appreciate the gesture and follow you. It’s also possible that she will share your post with her followers, which could lead to a percentage following your business.

4. Encourage Engagement

Post open-ended questions that encourage participation. If you find yourself stumped for what questions to ask, reference this list from Kissmetrics, to get your creative juices flowing.

Open-ended questions ideas, from Kissmetrics.

Open-ended questions ideas, from Kissmetrics.

Also, respond to comments, as time allows. Use the name of the person you are responding to within the comment, as doing so will foster a more personal connection.

5. Focus on Follower Interests

Social network followers are often easy to get but difficult to keep. If most of your posts are promotional, your followers may either unfollow you or ignore your business altogether.

While you can certainly use social media to market your products or services, such activity should comprise only a small percentage of your updates. The majority should focus on providing information that your followers would find helpful, entertaining, or engaging.

Adhere to the 80/20 rule, where only 20 percent of your updates are promotional and 80 percent center around follower interests and needs.

6. Know Your Audience

Running an effective social media strategy demands that you have a clear picture of your ideal customer. It requires you to identify information such as the customer’s location, income level, gender, and how she uses your product or service.

Armed with this data, you will have a better understanding of the types of incentives and updates that resonate with your customer the best.

7. Create a Call to Action

People are more likely to take action if you tell them exactly what you want them to do, such as like, comment on, or share your post.

For example, Walmart encouraged people to like or share a post based on the type of cheesecake flavor they preferred.

Sample call to action, from Walmart.

Sample call to action, from Walmart.

In another example, Subway asked followers the question, “What’s your fiery footlong of choice?” The post elicited over 11,000 likes and 576 shares.

Subway’s call to action involved asking a question.

Subway’s call to action involved asking a question.

8. Choose Social Networks Carefully

Just because other businesses in your area use a particular social network doesn’t mean you should, too. First, discover which social networks are best for your business, concentrating on those where your customers are most active and involved.

For example, 85 percent of Pinterest users are women, according to eMarketer. If your target market consists of women primarily, then Pinterest is a social network you should consider.

Even though Facebook and Twitter are two of the top social networks used by U.S. companies, if you cater to a B2B market, LinkedIn may be where you want to spend the bulk of your time and energy.

9. Be Active on Social Media

Failure to actively engage with your social network accounts can cast your business in a negative light. Consider spending a minimum of 30 minutes a day updating your social media accounts and responding to comments and questions.

10. Optimize Your Social Network Profiles

Your social network profiles have a bearing on how followers perceive your business. Optimize profiles by adding your company description, operating hours, location, telephone number, photos, and any other detail that you believe would be helpful.

Resources: webmarketingtoday.co

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