You have started a business and are focused on developing your offerings, building your team, and in all this melee, marketing especially on social media is low on your priority list. In this day and age, ignoring social as a medium could be one of your biggest slip-ups. In this piece, we shall talk about ways to develop a robust presence on social media for small businesses.
Identifying the Right Hashtags
The social media world is noisy and finding the right conversations can seem a daunting task. Luckily hashtags come to the rescue here, they help you in a multitude of ways; from finding the right audience to magnifying the virality of your post, hashtags are an important first step to unlocking the power of social media.
Hashtags started on Twitter and over time have been adopted by other social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and so the best place to start your research is on Twitter search. Create a list of all the relevant, popular hashtags in any note-taking application (or go old school, use a diary!) and make it a point to use them in your posts.
Like with everything else in life, moderation is key when it comes to the usage of hashtags. An optimal of two and a maximum of three hashtags per post on all platforms except for Instagram where you can be more generous and use 15-20 hashtags below your post or in the first comment. As a business, you must also work on creating your hashtag that is short, catchy, and contains the name of your brand.
For instance, if you are running a gifting business named ‘Santa Bay’, you can go for the following hashtags:
#SantaBayislove #Santaisalwaysintown #GifttheSantaBayway
Once you come up with a hashtag, just ensure it becomes an inseparable part of your company’s communication. This not only includes all posts on social media but also email signatures, business cards and merchandise.
Content, Content, and Content!
Content is the cornerstone of all marketing efforts and the same goes with social media.
- Be prepared with at least 7-10 days’ worth of content in advance and use tools like Hootsuite to schedule your social media posts so that your brand never becomes inactive and can enjoy the benefits of being consistent.
- It is also essential to invest in content production and content diversity. Ask open-ended questions to your audience, engage with them, amplify their content. Be light and bright with your content.
Netflix does a wonderful job of this by having short videos and memes on its social media handles, all of which relate to shows on its platform.
- All platforms have the ‘Stories’ option today, so do not stick to static single-image posts that become stale rather quickly. Use a variety of formats such as listicles, infographics, videos, GIFs, animations to keep the engagements coming. Remember, social media is about people, and the key to growing and retaining your audience on social media is to show the human side of your brand.
The Twitter handle of the IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals constantly interacts with its fans and gives them witty replies. For instance, they posted “Tweet like you are watching cricket in 2002” and this opened the floodgates to a lot of merry banter!
- Leverage User-Generated Content or UGC through open-ended questions and encourage people to share personal experiences so that there is no dearth of quality, engaging content to share from your handle.
The Unacademy Twitter handle asks its followers questions like ‘What is your morning routine’ and ‘Tell us what you are currently studying without mentioning the subject’.
High-quality content can enhance brand awareness and assist in building a community of brand advocates, thus amplifying the positive sentiment, and of course, get the cash registers ringing.
Growing an Organic Follower Base
For social media to become interesting and for amplification of your content, you need to have a minimum critical mass of followers and then some. More the follower base, the higher the chances of engaging and meaningful conversations. A few simple steps to increase your following on social media are listed below:
Identify and connect with social media influencers in your field
The first step is to know who the influencers in your industry are with free tools such as Followerwonk and BuzzSumo and ensuring that your brand is following them. Share their most popular content and you will notice that in time, some of these influencer handles will follow you back.
Engage with your followers
It is imperative to put in time and effort in actively engaging and responding to your followers’ comments, mentions, or queries. But remember to ignore trolls. Focus on the genuine people.
Display Social Media Follow buttons prominently
You must have social media follow buttons on every email, blog, and every page of your website. Regularly update the cover and profile picture and post fresh content regularly so that your followers have something to look forward to. Post links to all social media pages on every handle’s bio or description.
Don’t look to buy followers
Pay attention to the third word in the heading of this section: “Growing an Organic Follower Base”. ORGANIC growth in your follower base is essential as it lends credibility to your brand. There are many companies and people out there who will promise to increase your page’s following by several thousand overnight. Do not fall for these scams – a vast majority of these accounts belong to blank followers that will in no way add to the meaningful conversations and engagements that you are looking to generate.
This blog is a primer to help your business establish a presence on social media. Are there any methods that have worked for you? Email us to let us know.
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Feature Image by pressfoto – www.freepik.com
Published by Chitra Aiyer, NICE