Welcome to our blog series: Social media for small business.
This is the third blog in our ongoing series which highlights how a small business should build its social media strategy.
The other two articles in this series are:
Now that you have chosen the right social media for your business, it’s time to grow your fans and followers. Depending on the social network, the strategies for growing your audience can be different.
Let’s identify the ways to grow your audience in each of them.
Your Facebook business presence is based on the number of fans you have on your page and, most important, their level of engagement with your posts. This implies that you need to make the most of your creativity.
Build fresh and creative content that captures the reader’s interest and invite them to click the “like” button. Remember: a picture is worth a thousand words, so do not be afraid to experiment, and try to convey concepts in an original way through the use of illustrations.
Offer free valuable content, such as video, infographics or ebooks on your Facebook fan page. This encourages users to interact more regularly with your Facebook. It gives the impressions that the Facebook page can be visited for any questions they have about that topic.
Organize competitions and contests that attract visitors to your page (this will also allow you to get their personal information such as name, email address, etc.) Get in touch with your audience by responding to comments and questions, so to engage and interact with them.
Add the Facebook widget or plugin on your site or your blog, so that users can easily like your page, without having to visit the Facebook URL.
Optimize your mobile app (or the mobile version of your site), by adding a button to allow the public to like your page, while they are using the application on their smartphone or tablet.
Be sure to make it easy and attractive for users to add the like on your Facebook page.
You can become a member of various Facebook groups related to your niche. A few ones you can join:
- Social Media Marketing For Small Business
- Small Businesses
- Small Business Online Community
- Small business UK
- Small Business Help
- Small Business Promotions
- Small Business and Start-ups Platform
- Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses
Finally, you may want to advertise within Facebook to quickly reach your audience, targeting people depending on age, gender, geographic area, interests, etc. (here‘s the link to Facebook ads).
How often to post to Facebook?
According to this research by Hubspot, the optimal frequency is two times a day.
Your reach on Twitter is based on the number of your followers. How to increase the number of people following you? Read carefully, because these tips can really help you.
First of all, find interesting content to share, related to your industry. When you tweet out, mention the author (his Twitter handle @). Use tools that help you plan and automate your tweets (more about this topic in our next article).
Add relevant hashtags to help you increase your visibility on Twitter. Ask influential people to retweet your content and try to directly mention them in your tweets (or inside your content).
Organize a Twitter chat or participate in some of them. Learn from the best: identify the influencers in your niche and take their example. Promote your accounts through your site, allowing your visitors to follow you easily.
Apart from the tips mentioned above, the most common practice to increase the number of followers on Twitter is to look for users within the same niche as your business and follow them. Typically 20 to 30% of them will follow you back. After a period, lets’s say 5-7 days; you can unfollow the users who are not following you back. Repeat this process to gain more followers without buying them (you can use a tool called Untangle to follow/unfollow users on Twitter).
How often to post to Twitter?
According to this research, the optimal frequency is ten tweets a day (but engagement decreases after 3rd tweet).
Here are the keys to be more effective on LinkedIn.
Promote your LinkedIn profile, making sure that it appears on your business card, on your blog, website, and your electronic signature.
Try to increase your visibility and credibility by including original publications on the platform of LinkedIn. This will also allow increasing organic visits to your profile.
Follow influential people and interact with them through questions and answers on their post. Subscribe to relevant groups of LinkedIn and be active on each of them.
Update your status every day by publishing your blog posts, SlideShare presentations or articles of interest within your target industry.
Send new call of contacts every day, trying to customize them and avoiding the standard setting, if you do not want to risk falling into monotony. Take part in discussion groups weekly. Enter your direct link profile within your site and your content.
Post your LinkedIn updates on other social media such as Twitter, or Facebook (make sure that your information is clearly visible so that users can contact you easily).
How often to post to LinkedIn?
According to this research, the optimal frequency is just one post per weekday.
Instagram is the perfect mix of photography, mobile and social. This social media has many advantages: it is free, easy to use and provides a global content distribution.
We live in the age of the image, and with the boom of photography and selfie, this is an application that you must not underestimate.
Instagram can help you strengthen your brand and acquire new users interested in your content, so be sure to apply the same principles used on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to gain new followers through interaction with the public, dissemination of compelling content, the use of hashtags, etc.
Respond quickly to the comments of your followers, so to get a real interaction with them. Organize competitions outside of Instagram that allow you to get greater participation and gain new followers.
Show your Instagram photos on the sidebar of your site, to encourage users to peek your profile on social media.
Broadcast your Instagram content on other social media: this will allow you to build faithful followers who, with time, may turn them into advocates of your brand.
How often to post to Instagram?
According to this research, the optimal frequency is 1 to 2 times a day.
Being a visual social media, you need to focus on posting catchy images, related to your market.
Like Google+, also your Pinterest reach will be based on the number of your followers. In the search bar, enter your keywords and find pins, pinners, and boards. You can choose to follow the ones that interest you more, so to get a chance of being followed back.
Build a solid base of followers by pinning the images of your business and interacting with people within your market.
How often to post to Pinterest?
According to this research, the optimal frequency is five times a day.
6. Google Plus
Being connected to Google search engine results, this social network is a must have for any business owners.
Your reach on Google Plus is based on the number of your followers. On the search bar of Google+, write your keywords and find users related to your niche. Now you can follow them and interact with their posts, to let them know you are interested in connecting with them.
A good practice is following at least ten users a day, so to have a chance of them following you back.
Find communities related to your business, ask to join and start a discussion, offering your insights to other members. Organize hangouts with your followers, so to spread the word about your content.
A new Google+ feature is “collections,” which gives users the option to categorize their posts, photos, and videos by topic. An excellent way to showcase your content to your followers.
How often to post to Google+?
According to this research, the optimal frequency is three times a day, at most.
While some suggestions are pertinent to each social networks, there are some common factors you should pay attention to. Make sure to optimize your profile and description to be able to attract your audience. Try to catch the attention of your public constantly, through the sharing of valuable and interesting content.
Remember the 80/20 rule of social media: share 20% of your content and 80% of other people/businesses.
Most importantly, consistency will allow you to build a solid base of fans, with time.
Do let us know if you agree with our ideas on increasing your social media audience. Have you tried something different which has worked for you? Let us know in the comments section below and we will add that in this article. You can also tweet to https://twitter.com/smhackapp to connect with us.
Until next week!