Social media for business isn’t going away. The more active people become on social media, the more opportunities there are for businesses to connect with prospects, subscribers and customers. With that being said, the goal for your business’s collective use of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, etc., should be to drive more qualified traffic to your website, generate leads and engage with your target audience.
By optimizing your social media channels through constant A/B testing and measuring of results, you can build your brand’s social media accounts into sales generating platforms. Check out these best practices that can help your business achieve sales success through social media marketing.
1. It’s SOCIAL Media
It’s SOCIAL media, meaning it’s meant to be conversational! If all your business is doing on social media is pushing your products or posting sales pitches, you’re doing it wrong.
Rather than pushing hard sales to your followers (who will eventually unfollow you… I promise!), use a conversational tone and strive to generate conversation. Your social media accounts are meant to show the culture and personality of your brand.
Also important to keep in mind is that while many things are now automated, social media shouldn’t be one of them. People use social media as a way to interact with brands and share their praise or concerns, and the last thing your customer wants when talking to you on Twitter is an automated message. Be genuine!
2. Test, Test, Test
Test, test and test again! When it comes to how often you post on specific networks and at what times, it’s important to think about your target audience and how and when they act on social media.
HubSpot offers the following example:
“If the majority of your followers only see around 20 total new tweets in their feeds every hour, and you tweet at a rate of four times an hour, that amounts to one in every five of the tweets they see coming from you.”
The last thing you want to do is annoy your followers to the point they unfollow you and have a bad taste in their mouth about your brand. To test frequency, start by posting every couple of hours on a platform and then review the analytics after a week. How many impressions did your posts get? How many click-throughs? How many likes, shares or comments did they receive? Then, decrease the amount of posts the following week to see if it improves and adjust accordingly.
When it comes to ideal posting times, research the best times to post on social media platforms. For instance, it’s been stated 5 p.m. is the best time to tweet, and around noon and at 7 p.m. are the best times to post on Facebook. However, this all depends on your brand.
Try posting at different hours and different days of the week. After a week, review your analytics and see which times and days performed best. The following week, test some other variations. After a couple months of testing, you should have a fair idea of which days and times of day receive the most traction.
3. Implement Images Often
As social media continues to become more and more visual, platforms are continuing to give you prime areas of real estate to push visual imagery for your brand. From profile images, to cover images, to event images, to post images, to advertising – the opportunities are seemingly endless.
With that being said, make use of the image space you’re being given. Don’t attach a picture to a post that is so small a viewer can’t tell what it is. And don’t post a cover image with incorrect dimensions so it then appears blurry.
View the image dimensions for each platform here and ensure your images are optimized.
4. Don’t Forget to Listen
One of the biggest mistakes a brand can make on social media is to forget to listen. Think about a social interaction; it’s a two-way street.
If Joe is talking to Sue, but Sue doesn’t hear him or respond, did a conversation take place? No. If Joe is talking to Sue and Sue hears him, but still doesn’t respond, would Joe think that’s rude? Yes.
Going back to the first point, social media is meant to generate conversations and if your brand isn’t listening to what your subscribers and customers are saying, you’re not conversing. Each day, your business’s social media manager needs to be reviewing and listening to what your followers are saying, and responding in a timely manner with helpful information.
5. Follow the 80/20 Rule when Posting
The 80/20 Rule was created several years ago, but is just as applicable today. Essentially, the 80/20 Rule means 80 percent of the content you publish should be content that is information, whether coming from your own blog or others, and 20 percent of the content you publish can be promotional.
Your brand should be seen as a reliable and trustworthy news source when it comes to your industry. If all you’re doing is promoting your business, you’re not accomplishing that.
Therefore, as you’re creating your social media calendars, keep the 80/20 Rule in mind.
6. Incorporate Social Sharing
Last, but certainly not least, make it easy for your customers, subscribers and prospects to engage with you on social media. Add social media icons to your emails and to your websites so your channels can be found easily. Incorporate social sharing icons onto your blogs, landing pages and downloadable pieces.
The easier you can make it for your audience to share your content and messages on social media, the more likely they are to do it! Not to mention, you’re giving them an easy way to communicate with you rather than just through your customer service phone number or email.
Is Your Social Media Strategy Working?
Woo! You’ve now gained knowledge on best practices for optimizing social media for your brand. Keep in mind, however, that there is another part of this: generating sales from social media.
While looking into analytics on social media platforms can give you an idea of whether or not followers are clicking on your posts, they don’t offer you the data to know if any of those clicks are converting into sales.
That’s where our team of social media experts at Synchronicity come in. We can help you create a tactical social media strategy that will engage with your audience and drive qualified traffic to your website. Then, we’ll track those efforts and equate them to metrics such as leads and customers. By knowing what drives conversion on each platform, you can then utilize social media as a selling tool!
Ready to get more out of your business’s social media efforts? Then get in touch today! Call 866-397-7962 to speak to an account representative directly or visit Synchronicity’s website by clicking the button below to get additional information.