Establishing an online social media presence for your business isn’t easy. It can be a real hassle creating your various profiles across multiple platforms and writing posts that actually garner qualified leads.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take some time to study and implement the following social media guidelines. By following these simple dos and don’ts across all major platforms, you’ll be on your way to social media success.
DON’T Be Too Promotional
When using Facebook for marketing purposes, many businesses think every post needs to be about them. As it turns out, the opposite is true. Data suggests that your content should only be about 20 percent promotional. Otherwise, you deter potential customers by being too pushy.
You may be wondering how to fill the other 80 percent, and the answer is with your brand’s personality. These posts should aim for maximum engagement and show your more human side. If Facebook users enjoy your non-promotional posts, they’ll be more likely to listen when you do have something to sell (and your posts will actually show up in their News Feeds).
DO Have a Strategy
Facebook is not the simple social tool it once was. Today, Facebook’s algorithms are looking for specific actions, and user habits drive results. You need to know how to play to both and establish a realistic strategy that can accomplish your goals.
This could be as simple as scheduling posts out week by week so you stay consistent or as robust as developing a long-term publishing calendar. Test different post types (text, photos and links), times of day and targeted ads to learn what your audience responds to best. Then, make a plan based on that data.
DON’T Forget About Promoting
Your Pinterest boards won’t get any traction if you don’t promote them outside of the platform. Include your Pinterest handle (@YourNameHere) on your business cards and website, and promote your best boards on other social media sites.
You can also embed your Pinterest boards directly onto your website or blog. The more channels you use to drive traffic to your profile and website, the more success you’ll have in converting casual pinners into actual customers.
DO Create Interesting Boards
The best way to get pinners to consistently see your posts is to get them to follow specific boards. Design boards that will be interesting to your audience. There is a lot of data out there about what content Pinterest users like to see. Create boards that demonstrate how your product or service relates to the average pinner’s lifestyle. Keep in mind that many of Pinterest’s 70 million daily users are American women, most likely the exact clientele that are going to call you for some home remodeling. Knowing this, you’ll want to showcase your finest home improvement projects.
DO Post Trackable Links in Your Description
There are some good analytics tools available for tracking your success on Pinterest. One of the easiest ways to find out how your posts are doing is to include a trackable link (like those from Bitly) in your description.
Unlike Instagram, Pinterest allows users to post links under their images in the description. Use this space to leave a shortened, trackable URL that lets pinners know where to find more information and lets you know which pins are getting the most attention.
DON’T Post Low-Quality Photos
Social media has increasingly become a visual tool. Low-resolution images and pixilated selfies won’t help you gain many leads in today’s photo-focused world. Houzz, especially, is made up of users looking for beautiful, high-quality images, and only the best will get their attention.
Large, quality photos will drive users to your profile, and may even get you featured on the Houzz website. The Houzz editorial team is constantly looking for the best photos to feature, so make a good impression by keeping your standards high and focusing on photo quality.
DO Participate in Industry Discussions
One way to get noticed on Houzz is to find and follow other “Houzzers” that can help grow your business. Follow their discussions, and offer feedback and advice when appropriate to help broaden your own audience. Don’t forget to thank your advocates in discussions and on your page, too.
DO Encourage Customer Reviews
The 2014 Local Consumer Review Survey found that 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. That means that your online reviews are vital to getting new business, and Houzz is a great place to look to get reviews.
Ask customers to leave a review on your Houzz page, and don’t forget to thank the ones that do.
The more reviews you get, the more opportunities you’ll have for the positive reviews to outnumber the occasional bad one. But that doesn’t mean you should leave negative reviews unanswered. Calmly and respectfully respond to any bad reviews you get, so new consumers can see how you handle conflict and resolve problems.
DON’T Forget to Put a Link in Your Bio
Instagram doesn’t allow users to post links in their photo descriptions, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give users a call-to-action. You can still include a link to your website in your profile biography. When you make a promotional post, tell followers to go to the link in your bio for more information. That call-to-action can help make Instagram a strong marketing tool for your business.
DO Follow Influencers to Grow Your Audience
Twitter is a great place to connect with industry experts and related businesses. Following these people on Twitter is important for two reasons. First, it builds your own feed so you see more relevant posts and know how to model your own. Second, it increases your own follower base and allows you to connect with audiences you didn’t even know existed.
You’re only going to get as many followers as you follow, at least at first. Improve your own reach by engaging with industry leaders and tapping into their follower base.
For social media marketing to be successful, you don’t have to dominate on every platform. Rather, look to two or three channels that really work for you and your business, and develop those profiles. Be sure to follow the above social media guidelines to maximize your social media success.
What social media best practices have helped you get more customers?