19 May Leveraging Social Media for Your Business
By now, you almost have to be a complete and total digital recluse to not have at least some sort of social media presence for your business. While practically every business in the San Antonio area has a social media account or two, many prefer to use it sparingly or not at all. Instead, these orphaned profiles sort of sit idle and do very little to help the businesses they represent grow and expand. While I’m personally not a huge “share everything in your life online” type of person, I am pretty savvy at finding digital opportunities to grow businesses, and I’m here to tell you that leaving your business social accounts to rot is a huge missed opportunity.
Now, before you roll your eyes and skip over this blog post, let me clarify – not every business is going to see a ton of engagement and interaction from their social media sites. I’m also not going to try to tell you that social media activity is necessary for every business. There are examples in which social media is never really going to make a big difference in a business’s online presence. For the majority of businesses, though, not leveraging social media for your business is like having a phone line that’s not connected to anything – it’s there, but is it doing anybody any good?
To that end, we’re focusing on how to better leverage social media for your business in this month’s blog post. Hopefully, there will be at least a few useful pointers to glean from this article that might help you easily and proactively grow your online visibility through social media.
Know Your Audience
This point is one of the most obvious, but also most missed, in how to using social media for a business. In order to reach your audience, you need to know who they are. Are you targeting foodies? Looking for families and homeowners? Want to cater to the “upper-crust” of society? No matter who you’re targeting, you need to figure out who they are and what they like. You can’t possibly be expected to be successful reaching your ideal followers/customers if you don’t have them clearly defined.
Know Your Brand / Space in the Market
I’ve kind of split this point up into two separate bullet points, but they’re similar in importance and approach. The business accounts that have the most success on social media know who they are and what space they fill in their market. Take, for example, the Instagram profile of Daniel Gluckin, aka @danielgtherealtor.
View this post on Instagram
He knows who he is – he’s the creative, outgoing, kind of funny realtor who doesn’t take himself too seriously. Because he’s nailed down his niche and targeted his idea audience, he’s gained a ton of followers and his posts always get scores of engagement.
Perhaps that’s too lofty a goal for your social media aspirations, but that’s okay. You’re not trying to be Daniel. Just figure out who you are trying to be, and embrace it. Do you offer service with a little bit of pizzazz? Feature it. Do you cater to people looking for budget options? Showcase that. Are you big on family-oriented business and old-school business values? Lean all the way into that.
Knowing who you are and where you fit in the industry you’re in will go a long way to making your social media content more approachable and engaging.
Follow Trends… or Set Them
One of the best ways to create engagement for your social media posts is to jump on current trends and incorporate them into your content. These can be creative, fun ways to showcase your products and/or services without having to recreate the wheel. Take, for example, one of our most viewed/liked posts on our Instagram account…
View this post on Instagram
Nothing super unique here – this “coffee creamer revealing a message” format was trending at the time, and we were able to get hundreds of likes on a video that didn’t require much more than a cup of coffee, a few minutes of time, and a sharpie.
See what the accounts that you like are doing – or better yet, see what the posts/videos that the platforms suggest for you look like. Chances are, emulating those formats will work well for your business.
Not a follower? That’s ok. Find a creative concept and create your own trend. Inspiration can come from anywhere, so don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
Use the Best Platform
This is similar to the “know your audience” point, but it’s important enough that it warrants its own mention. Making sure that you’re active on the right platform can be a make-or-break deal for you. Each platform generally caters to a slightly different audience. Sure, there’s overlap, but generally different generations and demographics like different platforms.
Want to cater to an older population? Facebook might be your best bet. Want to engage customers directly and build a following off your opinions? Hit up Twitter. Looking for the Millennials who buy based on visuals? Try Instagram. Want to hit the younger population with something they’ll be entertained by? TikTok is the way to go.
Focus your content on the right platform and you’ll see your engagement go through the roof.
It may seem slightly counter-intuitive, but you’ve got to fight the urge to do two things that businesses frequently fall into: 1) making every post about selling themselves and 2) trying too hard to be something they aren’t.
The first is simple – viewers don’t want to see a commercial on their social media feed. Even the posts that are commercials (paid ads) are usually dressed up in ways that make them seem less salesy and generic. They highlight the quality or uniqueness of the product. Viewers on social media want to engage businesses that offer interesting, unique, entertaining or informative content. Focus on that and not on hawking your product.
The second is way harder to avoid. There’s a temptation to jump on every trend and opportunity that arises in social media. Don’t do that. Just be who you are, be who your brand is, and be genuine. If you’re not the “make a silly dance to a song” type of person or business, don’t post that type of content on your profiles. Be yourself, embrace your brand, and let creativity find you where you are.
Don’t Be Too Proud
There’s also a temptation in social media content to avoid following others in your industry because you don’t want to cross-paths with competitors. Don’t do that!
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with following accounts that do what you do. In fact, it can be a great way to accomplish two things. 1) You get to see what your competition is doing and if it’s working well, and 2) you increase the likelihood that the platform suggests your account as one to follow to those who are already following the competitor.
That’s how the “suggested accounts” algorithm works. If a consumer follows three home builders in the area and you’re a home builder that ALSO follows those, the overlap will help your profile show up to that consumer. It’s an easy way to increase your exposure.
Be More than Just a Poster
One of the other common mistakes that businesses make in their social media approach is using their profiles to disseminate content, but never engage it. Social media is supposed to be social. Don’t be afraid to like, share, follow, retweet or stitch content that you like. The more active you are as a consumer of social media as a business, the more you’ll be seen favorably by both consumers and the platform algorithm.
There are a lots of ways to leverage social media for your business. Your customers are already on social media for hours every day, so it just makes natural sense to leverage that to your benefit and put your brand in front of them.
For all your social media marketing and management needs, feel free to reach out to our team here at Odd Duck Media. We put together strategies and content to help you maximize your accounts, grow your following, and engage your customers in ways that pay real-world dividends to your business. Contact us today to learn more about how we can leverage social media to help your business!