4 Simple Ways To Spread The Word With Social Media
Remember the days when satisfied customers would tell their friends and neighbors what a good job you did over a coffee or the backyard fence? In today's technology driven world, more and more word of mouth referrals come through social media communication.
People share their approval and disapproval of recent purchases or consumer experiences through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or other social media platforms. As a small business owner, you can use these sites to inexpensively promote your own business, and let the vast online community spread the word through social media magic.
Promote Great Content With Share Buttons
The most important thing to remember when planning a social media business campaign is that content is king. Don't tweet or post links to website articles and pages that contain out-dated or incorrect information, and double-check all posts for grammar and spelling mistakes. Great content should be useful, timely, and pertinent to your business and the interests and lifestyle of your target market.
Make it easy for readers to share your content with friends and followers by including social media share buttons with every blog post and on all pages of your website. Display social media follow buttons on your homepage as well. Instead of the traditional call-to-action text that often accompanies these buttons, such as "Like us on Facebook," or "Follow us on Twitter", give visitors to your site a reason to take these actions. "Get the latest discount coupons here" with a link to your Facebook merchant page gives readers an action to take as well as a reason to visit your Facebook page.
Post Infographics, Slideshows, Videos and Images on Your Social Media Sites
Words aren't the only thing shared on social media sites. Shared images and videos are on the rise, especially through Facebook and Pinterest. Women in particular love to share images of food, home decor, and crafts. Brainstorm ways you can create videos or slideshows your readers will want to share. Tutorials or how-to videos are popular, especially in the do-it-yourself home improvement categories. Step-by-step cooking, baking, crafting and gardening slideshows or videos are another good way to spread the word about your business.
An infographic presents facts, statistics, timelines, and other information in a visually appealing combination of text and graphics. This is a good way to provide numbers-based information your readers can bookmark and share with others.
Time Your Tweets for Maximum Exposure
Studies show there really are best times of the day and week to post updates on Twitter. According to social media experts, tweets sent out midweek or on weekends receive the most exposure, while daily tweets sent out at noon and six in the evening have the best chance of being seen.
For busy entrepreneurs who don't have time to send out tweets at the lunch hour or during dinner, a social media management app such as Hootsuite or buffer is a useful tool. Load up your account (or buffer) with tweets for the next day or week according to your preferred schedule. Both apps have a free version as well as a paid version offering more options, and can manage your Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and select other social media accounts in addition to twitter.
Create a Facebook Community
Facebook is a good place for many businesses to establish a social media presence. Setting up a Facebook merchant page is simple, easy and free. Once your Facebook merchant page is up and running, post links to your website and other sites your followers may be interested in. The key to Facebook success for businesses is to develop an entire Facebook community around your brand.
Don't limit your Facebook business use to posting. Create interactions with readers as part of your social media marketing strategy. Using polls, quizzes, contests and time-limited giveaways. Ask members of your community to post favorite pictures, stories and uses for your product. The more engaged your Facebook followers become, the more likely they are to spread the word to their Facebook friends.
Ensure your Facebook account is connected to your other social media accounts as well as your business website. Incorporate a Facebook widget showing Likes and Comments into a sidebar on your homepage.
No matter which social media platforms you use in your online marketing plan, encourage followers by offering solutions to likely problems instead of commanding readers to follow you. Experiment with different social media sites, types and timing of posts to discover the combination that works best to promote your business online.