Guest post by Matt Broderick
With 73 percent of adults active on at least one social network, social media is the perfect way to attract and engage with potential customers. On social media, you can’t drive people to your business; instead, you need to draw them in by being interesting and easy to find. To build your audience and engage with them, follow our easy tips for small business social media success and you’ll be a master of each platform on which these strategies are most effective.
1. Advertise Your Profile
Works for: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
By running ads to your profile, you can introduce your business to users who have never heard of you and encourage them to like or follow your profile. Once they do, they have essentially subscribed to your posts and you can continue to grow that relationship with further engagement and targeted messages.
2. Add Relevant Hashtags to Posts and Profiles
Works for: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Hashtags identify your profile or posts with certain topics. For example, if you manage a B2B sales consulting firm, you may want to add the hashtags #b2b and #b2bsales to your Twitter profile description. That way, when Twitter users search for profiles related to #b2bsales, you will appear in the search results. In the same way, by adding a hashtag to your posts, they will show up in search results for that hashtag.
Some hashtags are searched on a daily basis, while others get no traffic. Like keyword research for your website, identifying relevant hashtags for your business takes some time and experimentation.
3. Post Contagious Content
Works for: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest
Social networks make it easy for your fans and followers to pass your message on to their own friends and connections through shares, retweets and repin options. If you craft shareable content, your message can spread beyond your immediate fans and followers to new, interested followers.
4. Interact with Individuals
Works for: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram
Commenting on and replying to others’ posts can help you break through the clutter on social networks. Make sure your comments are thoughtful and relevant to the topic and refrain from self-promotion.
5. Join and Interact with Groups and Organizations
Works for: Facebook (Users), LinkedIn (Users)
Getting involved in social media groups and organizations is a great way for business owners or sales staff to network with potential customers; however, self-promotion is usually discouraged. Instead, you should provide valuable information that also exposes members to your business.
Once you have an audience that wants to interact with you, the easiest way to help them progress is to ask for an email address or other contact information. A great idea to get people to part with their fiercely protected contact information is by offering a giveaway prize, freebie or discount. Here are 4 strategies for collecting potential customers’ contact information while offering them something they value.
1. Run a Giveaway
Works for: Facebook
In addition to the collecting information, giveaways also help you attract more attention, as entrants share the giveaway with friends and connections. Be sure you’re sharing your giveaway socially, too!
2. Run a Contest
Works for: Facebook
Like giveaways, contests often offer a prize, but winning can be based on a number of votes an entrant receives, rather than a random drawing. This is a powerful incentive that gets people sharing the promotion and opportunity to win.
3. Offer a Freebie
Works for: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest
Freebies like e-books, newsletters and whitepapers are great incentives in exchange for users’ contact information. You can either promote the offer through ads, or sharing them with your current fans and followers, just make sure they provide a good amount of value.
4. Offer a Discount
Works for: Facebook, Twitter
Similar to giving away a freebie, offering a discount on your product encourages potential customers to become valuable leads. A good way to keep those leads after they’ve received their discount can be to offer future promotions in the form of loyalty rewards.
I’ve seen small businesses use these tactics very effectively, with one gym even tripling its revenue. Your business can also tap into social media’s lead generation potential, so apply a few of these strategies this month and start filling your sales funnel! Check out the Big Ideas Blog’s tips for social media for small businesses through the end of the month- we’ve got a lot of them!