I speak to businesses every day and they all want to promote their businesses on social media. They see it as the perfect place to get customers. They see social media as a great tool to do this but are not sure of the right approach. So how do you do this?
Where to Start with Promoting Your Business Using Social Media
The important thing here is promote. Yes you may be having fun on social, chatting, following, liking and loving. Great, carry on that is the core of social. You need and should be doing this as just pumping out sales messages will drive people away.
So have a business or a service and want to promote and tell people about an offer, a service or what you do. Social media is a great place to start. It is also a great place to fail.
First, you need to have something that is useful, relevant and interesting to promote. This is often where businesses make the mistake of rushing and promoting something on social that is not fully formed, not useful or most importantly not interesting or relevant to their audience.
Don’t promote mindlessly. Why? It looks mindless and unplanned.
So here are some guidelines on how to promote properly, sensibly and without driving your audience away.
Note all of this takes time and effort.
The goal of all of this is to generate new business for you through social media. Business for you generates revenue so taking the time to do this is worth it. This isn’t a post to show you how to use social in a nice organic fun way (please do). It is to show you how to get eyes on your product and service on a regular basis.
Ask Your Audience and Conduct Research
I am sure you know your current audience or know your competitions audience. So you need to see what they are interested in, reading, liking and so on. This takes research. Investigate keywords, check other social profiles, YouTube, blogs. Spend a half a day creating a file of what is out there already.
Analyse it. See what is the best and generates the most engagement. Then get to work and create a plan of action for tour social media promotions..
Social Media Plan of Action for Your Business
Having a social media plan of action sounds very sterile but it needn’t be. Using the 1 in 7 rule (e.g. That at most one in seven of your social is the promotion of your business you need a plan. You can just bore people with the same message day in and day out as they won’t pay attention.
You should create a simple schedule of the content (see below for content) you wish to share on social. It may be daily or it may be weekly. It depends on how much content and bandwidth you have. You decide.
You should line up tools to automate your social easily. Buffer, Tweetdeck, HootSuite, SproutSocial are some of the great tools that can automate your social. Automation isn’t bad it is important as then with an above plan you can allocate your valuable time to set up your social plan.
I do this for our blog posts. At the start of the week, I plan out 5 of our posts to share during the week and some other useful content that people might find interesting. Then I use social normally as any other business, interacting and responding to people.
Promote Using Valuable Content
What is valuable content differs can be different for all different niches. It can be
- An interesting video related to what you do or how you do it.
- A useful ebook that people can download and share and get value from.
- A blog post that people bookmark and return to, talk about and perhaps share.
- An infographic that is useful, amusing, relevant that makes people pay attention
Now it easy to list on and on of useful content for you to promote on your social business channel but there is one issue here. IT takes effort and though.
The instinctive idea is to talk about you exclusively. But we are in an age now where we have an amazing strong filter. We filter out advertising so well these days even if it isn’t promoted on social media.
I can spot a self-serving post or share from 100 yards. And most people with a brain can too.
Repurpose Your Content
Once you get content I advise you to repurpose. What does this mean?
For instance, if you have a blog post (like this). It isn’t that hard to make it into
- A Slideshare presentation
- A YouTube video
- An Infographic
Even with a modest budget, you can get someone to do it for you. Then instead of one piece of content you have 4.
A tip also is that it is worth while revisiting content when you are promoting it to keep it fresh and up to date. Information changes to as part of your strategy above you should revisit it regularly
Don’t Over Promote
Going back to the 1-in-7 rule please don’t over promote on social. It just annoys people. If you want to interact and share on social talk about your business sure but don’t promote. Talk about what you did today, talk about what is new in the company. Be funny, be interesting, be serious. But don’t make your stream one long continuous advertising message.
Measure Your Social Media Promotion Impact
You have to measure, track every detail of any promotion. The goal is that it does something for your business. So track the analytics, clicks on all the formats that you have pushed out there. You need to promote it hard and measure carefully. If it isn’t generating the value that you either stop, improve, update or move on.
Social media is adaptable and flexible so if something doesn’t work and you have the data to prove it then don’t worry move on. Do something different, tweak the promotion and go again.
Keep Your Social Media Promotion Finger on the Pulse
Tried and tested approaches to social media promotion works but keep your eye on the outliers that work. People all over the world are trying new things. Do you need to rush after everyone but take time out to learn to build your knowledge, speed of delivery and overal expertise on what works in the important world of social media marketing
Don’t Drive Your Audience Crazy
Finally don’t drive your audience crazy with format over the top language. Be simple, creative and to the point. Build the quality of everything you share with your audience and it will evolve.