Over the course of the past couple decades, businesses have had to evolve and change their business models to reflect the coming of the internet age. Consumers are now constantly connected to the internet, meaning a higher percentage of their purchases are done online. Businesses must have an online presence to be relevant, and part of the battle is done through social media, also called social media optimization. Engaging with consumers online to answer questions, partake in intelligent conversation, and to provide information to other users is absolutely necessary to be successful in your market. Here are some tips to win the social media game and to build your and your business’s online reputation.
You can’t give social media a few hard months of great discussion and then “take a break” for a month or two. It is absolutely necessary that you or your company is always available to respond to other online users.
Reporting about the state of your industry, your take on current events as they relate to your business, and sprinkling in some catchy-titled advice from you, the expert, are all solid foundations for a popular blog. The most responsible way to keep an updated blog is to set away a specific block of time for it each week. Set away 5 hours a week, could be on a slow Friday afternoon or Sunday morning, to spin up a good, quality story and follow-up by promoting it on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram+, and whatever other social networks you’re a part of.
Social networks allow for businesses to update the public on new company developments, broadcast new products, and keep your followers (potential customers) updated with what is going on behind the company lines. Keep your updates fresh and interesting as opposed to monotonous and white-noisy. Make your Tweets pop, meaning sprinkle in some humor, attach some pictures, and set up consumer incentives. Promoting useful infographics is another useful tool to incorporate into your social media updates.
Beyond your potential customer base with an online voice, social media is also a unique opportunity to connect with other businesses outside of your business’s industry. Praise a restaurant for quality service, ask questions related to another business, and keep positive dialogue going within between other businesses and business owners. You’ll make fresh connections and indirectly reach additional customers that witness your online interaction with others.
Being successful on social media is not as difficult as it sounds. For small businesses, it won’t be that heavy of a burden that you can’t do yourself. Larger companies have entire teams dedicated to social media and internet marketing. It might be something to check into depending on your situation. Sticking to these points will keep you relevant in the social media world, and being sure to touch on each of these regularly will separate you from those who still believe social media is just a phase. It isn’t.
Benjamin Taylor is a writer for Eloqua, an international online marketing firm that provides a unique blend of social media tools, content marketing and asset management software. His professional insights are only surpassed by his handsome looks and crippling addiction to World of Warcraft.