The Time is Now; Get on Social Media

Social media is at a high point in today's society, and it's only going to get bigger. Now is the time to take your company social. Here, we discuss what platforms are useful, general best practice, and posting frequency.

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Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google + and more. Social media is a great way to push a lot of traffic to your site. The people you sell to are there, so why aren't you? It's a lot to take on, but it's a necessary monster to tackle in today's marketplace. So here are some of the answers to your questions about social media:

Which platform should I be on?

This is a tough one. Some people say that you should be on as many as possible, but the truth is you only need to be on one to three. The trick is to choose one in that you can reach your optimal audience, so if you are a B-to-B, then you probably want to start on linkedIn. If you are a B-to-C it's best to start on Facebook or Twitter. If you business is highly visual, then start on Instagram and Pinterest. Google Plus is one that you, absolutely, must be on. You don't necessarily need to post on it everyday, but Google pulls the map and contact information for search results. Make sure your profile is complete and links to your website

How do I sell with social media?

It's similar to selling on a website but completely different. I know that's convoluted, so here are some tips to help you get started.

  1. First have a strong call to action. If you want a user to do something tell them to do it.
  2. Offer fans and followers exclusive offers.
  3. Encourage sharing. Ask your follower to share; just putting it out there rarely works out for sharing.
  4. Don't be too salesy. There is a fine line between too much an not enough. Find that line and ride it to the bank.
  5. Tailor your content to your platform and audience. Pay attention to what other people say on the platform of your choice, and don't forget who your talking to.
  6. Present your social media strategy as an extension of your current marketing efforts. Always remember to drive traffic to your website, and build your social media as a facet of traffic generation.

How do I measure the effect of social media marketing on my business?

Like most marketing avenues the only way to truly know the success of a campaign or tool is to measure your results. And the best way to measure is to set goals. Goals don't necessarily have to be monetarily driven; in fact, at the beginning they shouldn't. Every social media platform has built-in insights and analytics. Set goals like user involvement, post views, etc. This way you know if your core strategy is working or not before you jump in head first by selling to an unresponsive crowd.

It's a community, not a yelling platform.

One of the biggest mistakes made on social media is companies just blast out offers and messages, but don't engage with their users. You will see a negative impact in your social media if you post but don't interact with your constituents. Get out there and talk to people through social media; interact with potential customers.

Post often.

If you're going to do, then do it. It is paramount to the success of your social media strategy to post often. I'll use Facebook as an example, because it's most crucial there. If you post for two weeks straight, then post nothing for two weeks, your potential audience is much smaller the next time you post. Facebook uses complex algorithms to calculate what goes into a users news feed, so if you're not posting often, then their system automatically negates your post from some users' news feed.

Social media doesn't have to be scary; in fact, whenever you start doing it, it becomes fun and useful.