Love them or hate them, ignore social networks at your professional peril! It’s a fact, social and professional networks present powerful marketing opportunities for small businesses.
Interactive, immediate and engaging these online social spaces are where it’s at for the small business operator when it comes to positioning and promoting your brand. Ever so softly though. Unless you are paying to advertise, your content should be focused on remaining informative and helpful. But before you even produce your own content, you can still be active in these spaces, building awareness and joining the conversation in your industry. All it takes is a few minutes every day and a little discipline.
Here are some suggestions to get you started. For the purposes of this blog, we have focused on the four main social and professional environments: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
Daily Tasks - Engage and Monitor
LinkedIn- check LinkedIn Pulse, and any published material through LinkedIn Publisher from people you follow.
Twitter - check search streams set up to follow industry news, @mentions of your brand, branded hashtags, and anything else you may have missed in the first block.
Facebook- browse your Feed, and any search streams you may have set up for news in your industry. Check notifications.
Google+ - see what’s been going on with people in your Circles, and check your notifications.
Twice Weekly Tasks - Post
LinkedIn - publish or share a post through LinkedIn publisher.
Twitter - pick a customer Tweet to retweet: look for those that contain images or videos, or a happy customer testimony. Post a Tweet that drives followers to your own website.
Facebook - post a resourceful and relevant article, either from your own content team, or shared from a trusted and informative source.
Google+ - post one piece of original content or share one piece of useful external content.
Weekly Tasks - Analyse
Analytic tools let you know how your social media account is tracking. They can tell you about the performance of several social networks at once—such as Hootsuite, or Google Analytics. Set aside time each week to look over your social media reports to make sure you’re on track with your goals.
LinkedIn - LinkedIn offers analytics on the right side of the page, which includes your profile ranking.
Twitter - gives you information on Tweet activity such as Mentions, Retweets, link clicks and number of impressions.
Facebook – use Facebook Insights.
Google+ - Google Analytics can generate reports for several social media channels.
Scheduling tasks to help you collate content for the next day, pick optimal posting times based on your audience’s habits, and find relevant social media content for your channels. Space out Tweets and posts so your followers don’t feel ‘spammed’. And use different formats e.g. photos, videos and articles. This applies to all forms of social media.
7 bonus tips to make the most of your social media strategy
Tip 1: More people will read your Twitter post weekdays between 5-6 pm when they're commuting from work.
Tip 2:The worst times to post on Facebook are weekends before 8:00 a.m. and after 8:00 p.m.
Tip 3:The best time to post on LinkedIn is midweek from 5:00–6:00 p.m.
Tip 4: Strong images deliver the highest impact and attract attention. Invest in a good stock photo library membership for quick and easy access and download. Most libraries stock video footage as well.
Tip 5: Make quick checks on your social networks throughout the day. Many customers expect a timely response to a Tweet or comment.
Tip 6:Make sure your alerts are turned on (adjust settings on your smartphone) so you are notified when someone is engaging with you on social media.
Tip 7: Spend spare time researching – being social media savvy means keeping abreast of what’s new in a still rapidly expanding network.
Good luck – you’re all set to go!
If you think your small business would benefit from some expert social media advice, contact Content Empire.