The new year provides a perfect opportunity to make and, hopefully, keep resolutions for both your personal and business lives.
However, while many of us have no trouble making myriad new year pacts with ourselves, we often forget the business side of things and, being the first week of a new year, this is a most suitable time to think about making pacts with ourselves, ones that will help us better serve our businesses, our customers, our employers, our employees and/or the wider community.
Of course, though our individual businesses may vary from telecommunications to taxi driving or banking to baking, in 2014, you can’t go wrong making – and keeping – social media resolutions.
Stick with at least two and we’ve no doubt your business will see (and reap) the benefits well beyond 2014!
Regardless of whether you’re running (or working for) a multi-million dollar company or a hobby business operating from your bedroom, set yourself a social media schedule. We run social media for clients big and small and, whether we’re posting for them 10 – 15 times a day or twice a week, we have a schedule.
It’s never set in stone so that we can react to changes in the industry or news but, even if we’re only posting twice a week for a client, we plan ahead and have a rough schedule, committing to post, say, once early in the week and once late in the week.
We don’t post randomly and we don’t ever not post. We have a rough schedule we stick to it as closely as possible.
Also, you can save yourself a lot of time, energy and worry by scheduling your posts on, for example Facebook or using a social media program such as HootSuite, which lets you pre-program tweets and posts in large batches.
This will allow you to create interesting content when inspiration is strong and schedule it for when you may not be feeling quite so creative or when you’re unavailable. It also ensures your social media profiles are active even when you’re too busy to jump in and post.
This is particularly crucial for those businesses who use social media as their primary means of marketing or communicating with the public.
Why? Because without them, you’re flying blind.
If you don’t have any goals, be they short-term or long-term, how will you measure how well or badly you’re doing?
You need to set goals. So, to begin with, ask yourself:
– How many followers you wish to grow by each day, week and month?
– How many sales do you wish result from your social media investments of time, effort and money?
– What kinds of interactions do you want to experience on a daily basis?
These questions provide some guidance, but your own goals will, likely, vary.
Whatever your goals, simply by identifying a handful sets you on the path to success because you know where you want to go. Just remember to be realistic about the figures. Don’t expect to have a million fans on Facebook by year’s end if you’re someone who, for example, runs a mechanic in a small town.
Fewer fans who are already (or are likely to become) customers trump hundreds, thousands or, even, millions who have no interest in your business. That’s why buying fans is a bad idea, but we’ll talk about that in a future blog post.
This figure will vary depending on how many followers you have on your various social media profiles, but a major goal should be to personally connect with your followers and potential followers every single day.
Of course, even if you only have a handful of fans, you can still reach out to others on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest by commenting on their pages or responding to their comments on your own social media profiles.
Whatever your number, have a clear, attainable goal that won’t overwhelm you. If it is too much, pick a weekly number rather than a daily one.
To find these people, peruse their past tweets, posts and comments and only respond if you’re genuinely interested in what they do, say or stand for.
Don’t comment for the sake of commenting. That’s spamming and will ruin your brand’s reputation. Plus it’s just rude.
You will enjoy your social media time more and have a better chance of creating long-lasting online relationship and value for your brand by being genuine and relevant at all times.
Though you do want to post regularly, social media is NOT solely about quantity, it’s very much about quality.
Be generous with what you share. Don’t be afraid to share recipes if you’re a baker, advice if you’re a business person or tips and tricks if you’re a make-up artist.
The more you share, the more you show your expertise. The fact is, the chef who shares a recipe for her mouthwatering Fettuccine Salmone isn’t going to lose clients because the people who are willing to hire her aren’t likely to be DIYers and the Sydney-based architect who shares amazing designs by a brilliant new German architect isn’t likely to lose business to that German architect, is he?
What the chef and the architect will do is build up an audience of interested people who may one day become a customer because they’re constantly exposed to their name and interesting, relevant offerings.
Also, share lots of different types of content, not just text or images. Include video and audio too.
You’ll attract more followers (and have a much more diverse resource history) to share with new fans.
Remember, social media is about connecting with other human beings. These human beings let you into their private spaces and want to hear what you have to say. The least you can do is be polite and provide some benefit!
Your posts should be interesting, funny or insightful.
They should confer upon your fans and followers some benefit, a reason to keep on following you and, perhaps, to one day hire you or purchase your products.
If you are a Twitter comedian, keep those funny tweets rolling! If you are an educational app company, keep putting out links to the best educational technology you can find.
Always keep your posts fresh, fun, positive and, above all, useful, relevant and beneficial.
One of the biggest turn-offs for social media fans and followers is having promotional posts stuffed down one’s throats. Fans may put up with it in the short term but even if they don’t unlike you in the long-term, they’re likely to just tune out or ignore you, which is even worse!
Filling your feed with self-promotion is one of the easiest ways to lose followers and gain a poor online reputation.
Instead, stick to the general 10% rule: For every one post promoting yourself or your business, share nine helpful tweets that don’t directly benefit your bottom line.
Do you have social media resolutions? What are they? Are you sticking to them?