Social media provides a platform for direct communication between your customers, prospects, and employees. What’s more, it is a key driver of content distribution and brand visibility online.
While there are a wide array of social networks that you can use to your advantage, we’re going to start by focusing on the “big three”: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Facebook for Business
With more than 1 billion monthly active users, Facebook is the most popular social network in the world. From a marketing perspective, Facebook serves as a powerful platform for building a community of advocates and increasing word-of-mouth marketing.
In order to grow your Facebook fanbase, you need to make your company page on Facebook as discoverable as possible. Here are a few things you can do to help make that happen:
- Fill out your company information completely. Be sure to include an overview of what your business offers as well as a link to your website.
- Invite existing contacts to like your page. Reach out to your friends, family, and existing customers and ask them to “like” your page on Facebook.
- Integrate Facebook into your other online channels. Use Facebook’s social plugins (including the Like Box and Like Button) to get people to engage with your Facebook page without having to go to Facebook.com.
- Add value by sharing content. If you’re in tune with your buyer personas — representations of your ideal customers — you’ll have a good idea of what’s going to resonate with your audience.
- Pay for engagement using Facebook advertising such as boosted posts. Due to Facebook’s algorithm, you may find that just posting updates on your company page doesn’t get you much engagement. Consider boosting these posts to get in front of more people.
Twitter for Business
Twitter is a social network on which people share 140-character messages, and users can “follow” each other’s updates.
Unless you’re a celebrity or your brand is already a household name, amassing a huge following on Twitter isn’t exactly a walk in the park. However, there are a few big levers you can pull to more quickly and effectively attract quality followers for your business’s Twitter account:
- Create and optimize your Twitter profile. Let potential followers know who you are, and provide a reason why you’re worth a follow.
- Tweet 24/7. Your greatest tactic for growing your followers is to tweet around the clock. Tweet content you create, tweet content created by others, and tweet that content more than once! You can use scheduling tools such as Hootsuite to manage your posting frequency.
- Curate content like a pro. Use Feedly, Goodreads, Alltop, Twitter (lists), StumbleUpon, LinkedIn Pulse, and what’s hot on Pinterest to discover great, relevant content to tweet.
- Make tweets visual. Take the time to create great visuals and add them to your tweets. It pays off in engagement, conversion, and click-through rates. You don’t have to be a designer to create beautiful images.
LinkedIn for Business
LinkedIn is a social network that you can use to engage with prospective customers as well as prospective employees. As such, it is a truly unique space on the web, one that blurs the lines between knowledge-sharing platforms and relationship-building tools.
Just like with Facebook and Twitter, the first step when starting out with LinkedIn for business is to make your business easy to find. Your ultimate goal is to build an engaged audience and position your business as a thought leader in your industry.
Ready to get started? Just follow these simple steps:
- Optimize your company description. Make it easy for the right people to find your company page on LinkedIn by adding keywords in the description and ‘specialties’ sections.
- Get visual. Keep your company page fresh with rich cover images that reflect your company’s accomplishments, events, and offerings.
- Share company updates regularly. Every like, comment, and share increases your reach. Prompt your followers to take action on your updates by asking thoughtful questions.
- Publish long-form content. LinkedIn is a great platform for sharing content aimed at your industry. Have your executives and other leaders at your company regularly publish longer pieces on LinkedIn to build your brand’s thought leadership.
The Art of Social Listening
An important part of leveraging social media for business is to understand what industry-related conversations are happening online and recognize when you should respond.
Here are a few tools you can use to monitor your business and industry mentions on social media:
- Google Alerts – Set up multiple Google Alerts for your company, brand, products, leaders, industry terms, etc. The alerts will get delivered directly to your email inbox at the frequency you indicate (e.g. daily or as they happen) and they are a great way to track mentions of your brand and relevant keywords on the web.
- Social media management tools – These tools allow you to save keyword searches as a live stream so you won’t miss out on what’s being said about your brand, your industry, and your products.