In her August 11 webinar, our social media manager and evangelist Christine Landry gave some hands-on advice on how time-challenged local business people can get the best results from social media with the most sensible effort. Listen to a recording of the webinar and check these takeaways:
Determine your primary goal for social media so you can measure your success.
The tracking tools that come with your social media business accounts–plus the analytics tools for your website–should tell you what you need for measurement. If your goal is building awareness of your company or brand, look to “reach”. To build website traffic, watch clicks. And for sales, track “conversions”, that is, actions like filling out a form on your site or calling a dedicated phone number.
It’s really easy in social media to get pulled in by vanity metrics.
Like going for more followers for the sake of having more followers. If your followers aren’t buying from you, it’s time to re-think your metrics.
Compare and despair.
Don’t compare yourself to celebrities, don’t compare yourself to big brands, don’t even compare yourself to small businesses outside your industry. Only compare your social media to other small businesses within your industry. And don’t compare so much as look to determine what they’re doing well (or not).
Whom you target determines your social media platforms.
Facebook is very broad, but its analytic tools give you detail on your audience composition. Other networks attract narrower audiences with some more defined preferences. Twitter and Instragram users are more generous with business recommendations than Facebook or LinkedIn users, for instance.
What to post? Make it easier by setting parameters.
Think in terms of types of posts that meet several goals, for the sake of variety. Of course, you’ll do some “point blank” promotional posts but if you push lead generation every day you’ll annoy people. So set some secondary goals, for instance, branding; you might push informative content that shows you’re on top of your industry, or toot your horn for awards won or charity work done.
You’ll want post ideas that line up with hashtags that repeat regularly, such as quotations for #mondaymotivation and #throwbackthursday. And events and holidays. Tip: People love a Lincoln quote on President’s Day!
When to post? Try these prime times…
Weekdays 3-4 PM. People seem to hit a wall at work then.
Mondays 11 AM-12 PM on Facebook and Twitter. People are gearing themselves up for the week.
Weekends 11 AM-12 PM. Post before people get consumed by their weekend to-do list and social gatherings.
But you’ll have to experiment to see if these times work for your social media followers.
Make a schedule. But stay open to spontaneous posts, too.
Schedule out your social content, a week ahead of time. It’s an important part of making social media manageable. Don’t think you have to post every day; find your own rhythm. Do leave room for spontaneous posts–they add personality to your feed–but don’t count on them.
Definitely, definitely reply.
Social media users expect to hear back from you. Don’t disappoint. But, on Facebook, do set the timer that shows your response time, to set some realistic expectations.
A little money goes a long way on Facebook.
Just click the “Boost” button and invest $5. It’s your best insurance against Facebook’s algorithm changes that are making it tougher for businesses to get attention.
Don’t feel you have to do everything.
Make smart choices for you and your business and the people you want to reach.
Dex Media offers a complete range of social media services for local businesses.