If you are a small-to-medium business, chances are you are doing social media wrong. Your follower base is small, and there are only a few sporadic comments on posts. Let’s take a look at what you are doing, and how to increase followers and engagement.
Where’s the blog?
“Social media” means Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and a dozen other platforms. But, when you post content on there, you occasionally want to link back to a longer blog post. If your company does not have a blog, there’s nothing to link to. This is the pillar holding up your social media, and creating or improving your blog is one of the most important steps in the process.
No matter the industry, show your expertise by writing articles both in general and in niche categories. For example, discuss recent news in your industry, and give your company’s expert opinion and analysis to prove you are the right company for potential clients.
If you already have a blog, but the last post was from two months ago, your company isn’t much better off than not having a blog at all. The University of Alabama at Birmingham Collat School of Business cites that business owners being too busy is one of the top reasons they don’t post to social media. But not engaging means losing out on more prospective clients or customers, and easily spreading your company’s name.
About 69 percent of the American public uses social media, with 68 percent of adults using Facebook. If your demographic skews younger, 88 percent of Americans ages 18-29 use Facebook, while 59 percent of that demographic uses Instagram. In other words, posting to social media potentially means a large number of eyes on your content.
Vilfredo Pareto and the 80/20 Principle
Material wealth. Peas in pea pods. Products that make a company’s profit. How much of Italy was owned by a part of the population at the turn of the 20th century? These four things all have a ratio of 80/20. This principle was discovered by economist Vilfredo Pareto in the 1800s, but it still holds up. Today, it is most often used in a business setting.
In this context, it means not making promotional articles. In short, 80 percent of your content is not focused on being promotional. Instead, it simply engages your audience, inviting comments and shares. For example, discussing migration patterns in America or providing an infographic of entrepreneurial statistics. The key is to offer valuable information to readers — or at least post something interesting — rather than promoting your newest product or service repeatedly. SEO giant Moz refers to this as the “BuzzFeed Approach.” Here’s another example: Red Bull doesn’t just splash their energy drink and logo across every post; their audience wants to see extreme sports. Take a look at their Instagram videos: Downhill skateboarding with neither a can of Red Bull or the logo in the video has more than 618,000 views. The other 20 percent of what your company posts can be promotional content that showcases services you offer, a new product, or a sale. Even so, provide information that will benefit the consumer. This metal detector company explains what the best metal detectors for finding gold are while providing products that they sell that fulfill that role. It’s promotional but still informative. These posts can also point to a landing page, as well, acting as an ad that you don’t have to pay for.
Post at the Right Time
If you want to drive engagement on a specific post, there are a few key rules to follow, especially in considering the timing of the post. For instance, Facebook users respond most to posts made on Thursdays around 1 p.m., local time. Instagram users, on the other hand, respond well to posts on Monday, at 2 a.m., 8 a.m., and 5 p.m. Going for the professional look on LinkedIn? Post at noon or 5 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday, when most workers are on lunch or just getting off work.
Don’t Avoid Comments
Twitter’s community can heap praise or cut to the bone in just 140 characters. Because it is so easy and quick to craft a tweet, and because other major corporations will respond, Twitter has ushered in a new avenue for customer and client support. Microsoft’s @XboxSupport, for example, is well-known for quickly addressing issues of its customers. Use Twitter to your advantage, fielding a Q&A session, or just answered random questions throughout the day. Set aside an hour once a week, announce to your followers that you or your customer support team are available, and use a hashtag unique to your company to easily find questions.
Follow these tips, and your social media game will be strong. You’ll have plenty of followers eagerly awaiting your next quality post (and they don’t mind occasionally seeing your listings promoted). They’ll be happy with Q&A sessions, learning more about the real estate industry, and remember your name when they need a real estate agent to buy or sell a house.