Social Media plays an increasingly important role in many business marketing efforts. It’s one of the pillars of a successful Inbound Marketing strategy, and with as little as 6 hours of dedicated effort a week, a small business can see improved sales results. While increased usage is great sign that business is adapting, there are some all-to-common errors that prevent business owners from taking full advantage of everything social media offers.
It’s particularly important since recent research has shown the average time spent using social media is increasing. According to research from HubSpot, more than 85% of Internet users have Facebook accounts and 49% are on Twitter. In other words, your prospects are using social media.
Since social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing, it’s important to eliminate the stumbles.
Here are 5 simple tips that will help you reach your prospects more effectively using social media:
Don’t be an egghead. The first impression a prospect forms is often based on your profile picture. Unfortunately, a lot of people haven’t taken the time to add an image to their profile, leaving the Twitter egg or a grayed out silhouette on LinkedIn. To social media users, that signals either a dead account or, worse, a spammer. That’s not the impression you want to leave a prospect. You don’t necessarily need a professional head shot, but a clear photo, used across all profiles, will show prospects you’re real and credible.
Back off the Sales Pitch. It can be real easy to fall into the habit of making your sales pitch when using social media. Resist that urge. Build relationships by sharing relevant, informational content, both your own and content from others your prospects would find helpful. Become a resource and the sales will come.
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Know Your Schedule. Consistent posting is critical for success in social media marketing, but timing is everything. Twitter followers tend to want more frequent postings, but while fans on Facebook and LinkedIn connections will consider one or two posts sufficient. Find what works and create a regular routine. Your prospects will know when to look for information from you and begin to count on it.
Say Thank You. If social media is about relationship building, don’t forget your best manners when someone shares your content, tweets or Facebook posts. Make sure to respond and thank them for taking the time.
Use Your Blog. Your blog is your content engine. Not only does it help your website by adding new indexed pages and signaling the web crawlers with each new post, it also serves as a platform to share information and provide help to your prospects. Share it via social media in order to increase your reach and expose your content to a broader audience.
Don’t Post in a Vacuum. Make sure you integrate your social media with your other marketing efforts. Include your icons on all of your printed materials, add the links to your e-mail and make sure you have your social media accounts included on your website. To build a community, you have to tell people where to find you.
These simple tips can correct some of the common missteps and make your social media marketing more effective. With an effective social media presence, your company will be seen as a resource, attracting relevant prospects and generating the opportunity to convert them to leads and customers.
For additional help maximizing your social media performance, check out our Social Media Optimization Playbook.