CF Saskatchewan Blog

8 Ways to Make Your Business Shine on Social Media

  • December 5, 2016
  • Written by Community Futures Saskatchewan

With some imagination, determination, and dedication, social media can offer unparalleled opportunities to connect with your prospects and meaningfully engage with your audience, while also generating interest and excitement about your business and brand.

We’ve taken the opportunity to compile eight smart strategies that will help you shine on social in ways that will delight your customers and positively impact your bottom line!

PROFESSIONALISM IS A PRIORITY

As a starting point, it’s really important to remember that a business profile on social media is vastly different from a personal one. While the main objective of social media is to humanize your brand and business, it’s vital to ensure that your content is appropriate and in alignment with the needs, wants, and wishes of your ideal clients and customers. For instance, outside of very few exceptions, unless you’re a veterinarian, animal pictures and crazy cat videos shouldn’t be making an appearance on your business feed.

QUALITY OVER QUANTITY

It’s nearly impossible to grow an equally strong presence across multiple social media platforms at one time. Begin with the one where your ideal clients are most likely to spend their time and concentrate your greatest efforts there.

For example, if you’re a photographer or foodie, Instagram is likely your best bet. If you sell beautiful handmade jewelry or luxury home items, Pinterest is definitely the better choice over Twitter. If you offer professional services such as consulting, LinkedIn is likely where you should focus your attention.

Always aim to have a standout, strategic, and steady presence on one or two platforms, rather than spreading yourself thin across them all.

ALWAYS BE OUTSTANDING

When it comes to your business profiles, if you don’t have something awesome to say, don’t say anything at all. Too many businesses make the major mistake of thinking that’s it better to post SOMETHING than nothing at all, when in fact the opposite is true. Only post content that you are reasonably certain your audience will find to be engaging, impactful and/or helpful. When you post content that is neither particularly good nor sharable, it can actually hurt your outreach efforts. For example, if you continually post things on Facebook that do not generate a healthy response from your followers, the company’s algorithm will detect this and actually penalize you by not pushing out your content to as many people as possible.

AIM TO BE ENGAGING

Sharing relevant and highly useful content gives your prospective customers the opportunity to learn about your business and the products/services you offer. However, successful social media requires actually being social.

Invite your audience to engage with you on a regular basis. Social media is most effectively used as an interactive tool to develop or deepen a relationship with your prospects and customers.

Ask questions, leave comments and respond to each and every one of their questions and concerns. Above all, say thank you as often as you have the opportunity. Again, if your outreach is perceived as being mechanical, sporadic or unresponsive, this can be more harmful to your business than having no social media presence at all.

GENEROSITY IS GOLDEN

The top priorities of your online marketing efforts should be to inform, educate, and entertain your audience. Many businesses, particularly consultants and strategists, are concerned about offering their highest value content for free. They make the mistake of worrying that doing so will discourage people from going a step further and actually purchasing their products or services. In fact, the opposite is true.

When your audience regularly receives genuinely useful information at no cost, you earn their trust and confidence. They can’t help but think: “If this is the free stuff, the paid stuff must be exceptional!”

Similarly, if you encounter an article or product elsewhere online that will resonate with your audience, share it without hesitation. This practice will generate appreciation from your prospects and customers and you’ll be recognized for your efforts to be sincerely helpful. It will further serve to enhance your status as a go-to resource and thought leader.

You’ll also be generating a good amount of goodwill from online peers as well. As social media shares are the mecca of increasing brand awareness and recognition, being generous in this way is good for relationship building and future reciprocity.

EXCEL AS AN EXPERT

Staying on top of trends and new developments within and outside your industry bolsters your reputation as an expert and reliability as a resource. Timely and thought-provoking content can also serve as a refreshing change for your audience and is often an excellent way to engage your community if you actively encourage commentary, debate, and feedback.

CONSISTENCY IS CRUCIAL

Allowing your social media profiles to go dark for any length of time will quickly disenchant your followers, undermine your credibility, and unravel all of your previous efforts. Build a social media schedule for your updates and stick to it!

If you are finding it difficult to maintain a regular presence, consider using social media scheduling software that lets you program and schedule your updates in advance. There are a variety of options out there, including Hootsuite, Meet Edgar, and Hubspot (among many others!). Be sure to do your research to determine what tool is right for you.

ANALYTICS ARE AWESOME

As the saying goes, “if it can’t be measured, it can’t be managed.” If you’re not continuously evaluating the performance of your social media activity, there’s no way of knowing what’s really working and where you need to improve.

Using tools such as Google Analytics to regularly track and measure your engagement levels, reach and ROI from your social media efforts is critical. More importantly, ensure that this isn’t simply futile data collection – insight without action is pointless.

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