Social media has become a standard tool for many businesses, but few know how to leverage it for best results. It is often considered an afterthought or something to do every now and then, but a proper social media plan is crucial to growing your business.
Here are 10 social media tips and tricks that small businesses can use to gain customers and increase the brand recognition. It doesn’t matter if you want people to buy a house, car or visit your restaurant, social media is important.
Always Use the Same Name for Everything
If your business is named Harry’s Used Cars, don’t have a Facebook fan page called Harry’s Used Cars and a Twitter account under Harry’s Car Specialists. Your name is part of your brand. If you have various social media with different names, no one will be able to figure out exactly who you are.
Status Updates Need To Be Brief
Too often, people tend to ramble on about their business in a status update. People don’t want to read about the history of Greek furniture in a status update. A universal 150-character limit is a good, safe starting point. You can tweet about your latest sale, but keep your long form posts on your blog and then simply provide a link on your social media pages.
A Picture Works Better Than Words
You can talk about how beautiful the new Dodge or Chevy looks until you are blue in the face and it will never have the impact that a single picture will have. When you increase your inventory, hire a new employee or win an award, don’t be afraid to post a picture or two on your social media sites.
Recognize That Social Media Is Constantly Changing
Just when you think you have this whole social media thing figured out, they up and change it. It used to be all about Facebook and Twitter, but now everyone is sharing pictures on Instagram and pinning on Pinterest. In six months, it could be something else and you’ll have to change your social media strategy. You will be constantly learning and keeping up with the latest trends.
Update Your Pages Frequently
Many people think that just because they have a fan page, people will be hanging on their every word, but that’s not true. You have to put something on those pages, ideally every day. This keeps people interested in what you’re doing and you’re on their mind. There are programs that allow you to post to multiple social media sites at the same time.
Take the Time to Make It Look Good
Twitter is great about letting you put on customer backgrounds and making your page look good. If you take the time to customize and make your social media sites look good, customers will know that you are taking it seriously. Too many businesses stay with the default design and people understand that you’re not putting in an effort.
Get Your Social Media Links Out There
No one is going to know who you are if you don’t put your social media links out there. Every piece of advertising or signage and your website should have your social media links on them. This is the best way to get local likes and followers because the odds are slim that they will just accidentally find you online. They need to be directed.
Use Giveaways and Contests To Increase Followers
People love getting things for free, especially if they don’t have to do much. Sponsor a giveaway and let people get additional entries by following you on Twitter and liking your Facebook page. You’ll get plenty of entries and tons of new followers.
Follow the Rules
Each social media site is different and has different rules on what you can and can’t do. Before you start a contest or create a social media campaign, make sure to read the terms of usage and find out what that particular site allows and doesn’t allow.
Business Sites are not Personal Sites
While a little overlap between your business and personal social media pages is expected, it should be limited. Don’t use your business Facebook page to talk to your aunt or your business Twitter to follow your favorite celebrities. Keep business and personal pages separate.
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