By Pamela Starr, Southeast Area Director, Constant Contact
If you are like many of the small businesses I work with across the Southeast, you already know how important social media can be for your business. You’re on Facebook and on Twitter. You might even be on Pinterest and Instagram. Things are going okay, but you’re not getting the amount of engagement and participation that you were hoping for. You still struggle to get new “Likes” for your Facebook Page and/or new followers on Twitter, and people aren’t liking, commenting, or sharing your posts across any of your networks as much as you hoped.
There’s got to be something you can do to fix this, right? Yes, there is. There are a few things actually, and once you have the right foundation in place you’llbe able to ensure your business achieves the best results from your social media efforts.
Follow the 80/20 rule
Social media is about people engaging with content they find relevant, useful or fun. Eighty percent of your content should fall into this category. This helps your social connections get to know, like and trust you. As this content helps you establish and deepen these relationships, you’ll be better poised to get great results for the other 20 percent of your content: special offers and promotions.
They don’t call it social media for nothing. Be sure that you’re responding to the people interacting with you. And even if you find questions that aren’t directed at you but you can help with them — answer those too!
Do something unique on each of your social networks.
Sharing the same content across each network is not really taking advantage of each site’s unique features and characteristics. And frankly, it doesn’t give someone much reason to follow you on all of your networks either.
Think about sharing word images on Facebook. Or run a Facebook sweepstakes campaign. Host or participate in a Twitter chat or start a hashtag for your followers to add content to. You could also invite people to a group board on Pinterest so you can all collaborate on a relevant project.
Promote your social media efforts in your email marketing
Let people know about the cool things you’re doing on social media in your newsletters. This goes beyond the “Follow me” buttons or letting people share your email on their social networks. These are both good things to have but a bit passive compared to directing attention to something specific.
Point people in the direction you want them to go for better engagement. Tell them what’s going on, tell them why they should check it out and tell them what to do next (otherwise known as your call to action). For example: “We’re currently running an exclusive sweepstakes on Facebook. You could win a dinner for two at our restaurant. Enter the sweepstakes.”
Pretty simple, right? Your newsletter allows you to reach people where they are every day — their inbox. And you get to focus their attention on something specific about your social networks that will drive engagement and participation.
By following even just a couple of the tips above, you’ll be well on your way to achieving social media success.