Business owners have a ton of responsibilities and a lot to consider when going about their day-to-day operations. Customer satisfaction is perhaps the most important element of any business; an excellent and responsive attitude can often result in plenty of free, positive publicity and can even turn potential negative reviews into positive ones. One way that businesses have incorporated stellar customer services into their broader ambitions of growing their businesses is through the use of social media.
Social media has given us the ability to reach individuals from all walks of life and from every corner of the globe, which is a god-send for small businesses. The power that social media provides to its users is unprecedented, making it possible to reach large numbers of people and targeted audiences all the same. Whether your business is a multinational conglomerate or a mom and pop store, you have benefits waiting to be realized through social media. Below, we’ll discuss some simple ways you can boost social media exposure and build your business’ reach at the same time.
Whenever a small business begins to build its social media presence, it can be frustrating to see virtually no one engaged with your status updates and posts. This shouldn’t get you down, however: social media is a tool and the algorithms of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can be tough on newer users. Content that is both original and consistent tends to gain more exposure, as do updates from accounts that have been active for longer periods of time.
Each time you make a post, you create an opportunity for others to see it. The average Facebook post has a half-life of about five hours, which means that by the end of the day, a single post has often reached the end of its so-called life. If you publish multiple updates each day, you ensure that there is a consistent flow of content coming from your profiles and pages. This creates more opportunities for exposure and ensures that social media networks view your profile as an active, positive contributor to discussion.
Several social media platforms will allow you to import a list of contacts that you have obtained from other sources, in order to add these people as your friends or to invite them to like your page. This method of social media augmentation is quite effective, as the names and emails of the people you possess have already interacted with your business at one point or another. This can help you boost short-term exposure and generate an additional amount of likes, shares and retweets. In most cases, this only takes a couple of minutes, so there is no excuse not to import existing contacts you may have from mailing lists or calls to action.
Countless studies have been conducted on the effects that various forms of content can have on social media performance. While basic text may be enough to convey a message, it has been shown that photos can perform twice as well, while videos can boost exposure up to three-fold. Even if you are a small business that is focused on a local audience, you can easily create or purchase multimedia that can then be targeted to both your existing audiences and local audiences who have yet to engage with your brand. In the age of digital availability, even impressive videos and infographics are quite affordable.
As we mentioned above, it is prudent that you include multiple status updates each day on your social media profiles. For some social networks such as Facebook, did you know that you can schedule posts to go out in advance? This feature is an excellent tool that will allow you to publish content at times in which your audience is most active – even if you are not at the computer. In Facebook’s case, you can schedule posts up to six months in advance and set them to go out at any hour of the day. This can help further ensure that you have a steady flow of content coming from social media, which will increase your reach over time.
Fewer things can stimulate sharing and discussion like free stuff! Many local and national brands alike have generated vast numbers of new followers for their brands through giveaways, contests and even discounts. In some cases, you’ll be able to snag an email address along the way via a page tab contest or a call to action. When providing something to value to a potential customers, it never is too much to ask for something in return; in exchange for a like or retweet, they can be entered into your contest. This is a win-win, as they have the chance to win a fabulous prize, and you increase the number of followers you enjoy.
Almost every social media platform these days has some form of paid advertising that you can use to boost your reach with select audiences. Facebook, for instance, utilizes a system that allows you to target by city or ZIP code, age, gender and various interests. You can bid buy the click or per 1,000 impressions, or let Facebook optimize bidding based on what works best. For just a couple of dollars per day, you can put your brand in front of hundreds of local faces who might not otherwise ever see your social media presence. Even larger brands can advertise cost-effectively on social media, so don’t be afraid to test the waters!
Each of the tips outlined above may seem simple, but when combined and adhered to, can make a world of difference. Social media is not something that guarantees you success or access to consumers: you have to work for it! By offering promotions, advertising through paid sources, scheduling your updates to be published at regular intervals, using multimedia, and inviting existing members to connect with your brand, you can address an array of avenues that is bound to increase traffic and promote your business.