Clients often say to me that they’ve been plugging away at Twitter or Facebook and not getting much response, so should they bother continuing? It can seem a bit of a waste of time when not much comes back from your efforts. However there are some things you can do easily and other things you shouldn’t as these put potential followers off –
easy wins –
1) set up your account and find interesting accounts to follow eg competitors, people you know, people in your area, comedians you like, footballers/celebrities/politicians whatever you’re interested in. Then when you log in you’re more likely to see content in your stream that engages or amuses you, and this will motivate you to log in regularly.
2) follow some accounts in your industry that have a lot of followers and a lot of engagement with their followers. This way you’ll learn from them what needs to be done to build and most importantly, engage followers. What you’re looking for is not just followers – but followers who engage with your business, who click through to your website and spend time on it/visit several pages, and BOOK!
3) just spend a few minutes each day on your chosen social media account & add some fresh content -could be a picture taken that day of an attractive scene/event, a recent testimonial, a new offer, a question to followers, chat about a forthcoming event either in your business or in the area – it just adds a personal touch which is what social media is all about. Potential new followers will look at your activity and see that you’re posting regularly and will follow you.
4) This is not an easy one but it is important to build your email list so that you can have direct contact with readers to send them more detailed and personalised messages. If people like what they see of you on social media sites its far easier to get them to subscribe to regular communications from you.
5) ask people to follow you, and make it easy for them to do so. eg place a link to your Twitter account on your homepage and in your emails with your customers. Even a short message in the postscripts of the emails (“Follow us on Twitter”) can increase your following significantly.
Don’t do this –
Hard Sell! So many new accounts start up and before they’ve said anything at all about what they’re offering, they try to hit you over the head with a ‘stay with me now’ or ‘eat here today’ pitch. Major turn off. Softly does it. It’s a social medium, not a selling one, so try to build up followers who are interested in your business but might not be ready to buy at the moment. Social media is the ideal way to keep them warm, and to keep them connected to your business until they’re ready to buy.
Post too much – again many new accounts get very enthusiastic at the start and are posting away every 2 minutes and replying to anyone and everyone in their streams. Exhausting. Pace yourself. If new followers see that you’re posting a lot they might not follow you as you’ll clog up their streams with your posts and they will miss other posts. You see many accounts on twitter with 5000 tweets but only 50 followers! These people are basically talking a lot to themselves.
Have unclear goals – what is it you want your social media account to do? Are you just raising awareness of your services to pick up more passing trade? Do you want people to click through to your website or come along to an event your holding? Do you want them to book direct or call you? Do you want them to subscribe to your newsletter? Be clear in your own mind about your targets as then you’ve got half a chance of enticing followers what you want them to do.
Put your social media shares on autopilot. You wouldn’t let your computer talk to your customers so don’t automate your social media posts! I confess that we do have some posts that are automated (we use Hootsuite, very good) as there are recurring features that people like but we intersperse these with hand crafted shares with new info that comes in from our clients. So this one is a matter of ‘do as I say not as I do’ I’m afraid!
Don’t automatically direct message people that follow you – it is mighty irritating and completely pointless as everyone knows these are automated messages; #don’t #over-#hashtag; NEVER use tricks or bots to gain followers, or buy followers.
Which social media is best for my business is another question we get asked a lot. You would choose the best place to spend your time between Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google + depending on your ideal target markets. If your market is young women then FB is probably the place to spend your time & build up your Likes; older women and visual content Pinterest is growing rapidly; Twitter is great for short snippets of info on special offers or events, and Google+ is a must for search engine optimisation. You must have a G+ account.
What shall I post about? Mainly people follow businesses on social media because they’re hoping for offers & special deals, that’s the bottom line (remember these don’t have to be massive discounts, just something a bit different eg voucher for a bottle of wine at your local pub when your guests eat there). However they’re also looking for things to do so post info about forthcoming events.
The real answer to the what to post’ question I’m afraid is that it depends on your audience and what they like to consume, and the only way to really figure that out is by posting different content and seeing what gets the best reaction. If you find that your followers really love when you post links to your special offers page on your website, photos of your dog- whatever it is that proves popular — do it again! Social media is about interaction so if you give your followers the type of content they’re looking for, you’ll be rewarded in the long run because followers will feel more favourably towards your business. I realise that is very airy fairly and all we really want to know is where’s the booking, but building loyalty and maintaining contact is what it’s all about.
Social media is definately getting more visual so one firm recommendation is to use images in your posts frequently.
Followers attract other followers so keep working at it, steadily, a few minutes a day, as it’s a good way of keeping your name in front of prospects and former guests so that they think of you when they’re next ready to buy. But don’t expect overnight success!