10 Things About... Social Media

Written by Beth Cochran

The landscape of social media is constantly changing, thus creating the challenge of keeping on top of emerging trends and maintaining a presence across various channels, while you also have a business to run. Social networks are the most powerful when they are used for building brand awareness, driving engagement and leads, and in many cases, providing customer service. But keep in mind that a business’ website should serve as the hub where all the content originates, regardless of the format. How should social media marketing efforts be maximize to drive the audience to the business’ website?

1. Do not try to be everywhere. Choose two to four social networks and master them. Find out which channels your audience is using and what type of content they want to see by conducting research or by simply asking them. Study these channels. What types of content perform best? What is being shared? Tailor your content to that channel.

 

2. Build brand awareness. A top goal for social media marketing is to increase brand awareness, so be sure social network profiles are complete and up-to-date. Also, be sure to secure your name and vanity URL across all social channels that you plan to regularly update. For instance, your Facebook page should look like: www.facebook.com/nameofyourspa.

 

 

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3. Automate, but be sure to engage. Scheduling posts is a great time saver and can help you strategically select optimal times to post your content, but your audience also wants to know there is still a human behind it all. Do not let automation replace engagement. Continue to comment, share, favorite, or like other’s content.

 

4. Choose automation tools. If you do choose to automate, there are a number of free and low-cost tools available, including:

  • Hootsuite – for nearly all social networks except Instagram.
  • If This, Then, That, and Zapier – allow you to set certain actions. For instance, “If I publish a blog post, automatically post it to Facebook.”
  • Buffer – for scheduling posts to Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  • ScheduGram – enables you to schedule posts to Instagram.

 

5. Selling online? If your goal is to sell more product from your online shop, turn to Pinterest. Shoppers referred by Pinterest are 10 percent more likely to follow through with a purchase than visitors from other social 5networking websites. Furthermore, Pinterest generates more than 400 percent more revenue per click than Twitter and 27 percent more than Facebook.

 

6. Measure, test, and improve. While 59 percent of those using social networks for marketing purposes spend more than six hours per week managing their profiles, 53 percent never measure their success. As the proverbial phrase goes, “What you do not measure you cannot manage” and, thus, cannot improve upon. Set goals for each social network and continually analyze what is producing results.

 

7. Always include a call to action. This can be as simple as a link to additional content or asking your audience to share the content. It could also be a request to sign up for your newsletter or “Book Now.”

 

8. Manage your content. Just as many magazines do, create an editorial content calendar so you have a roadmap of what you are going to create and post and when you will do it. This helps ensure you never run out of content to post, plan for seasonal events, and market more strategically.9

 

9. Get more mileage out of your content. If you are writing blog posts regularly, can those be bundled together to create a downloadable guide (accessible only to those who subscribe for your newsletter)? That guide can then also become content for your social networks. If you have created a how-to video for YouTube, can you break it up into smaller segments and post this series to Instagram? Think about how to reuse content you have already created.

 

10. Keep it visual. Increasingly, social media users are gravitating towards visual content. This includes interesting videos, beautiful images, and well-designed infographics, but poorly lit or fuzzy images will not cut it. Invest in quality photographs or be sure that when taking your own photographs, you have proper lighting and a steady hand.

 

 

 

 

Untitled-3Beth Cochran is the founder of Wired PR, a public relations and content marketing firm, as well as SuccessLabr.com, an online source for entrepreneurs to achieve greatness. She also leads the Blah to Bliss! Spa Marketing Bootcamp.

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